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When GeForce GTX 680 launched, we uncovered a bug in Nvidia’s driver that failed to accelerate transcoding of MPEG-2 sources using the NVEnc fixed-function logic built into GK104. A subsequent driver update was supposed to solve it, but a follow-up test revealed no improvement. Nvidia suggested that the shaders were handling the workload more effectively than NVEnc in our specific workload.
But retesting with 301.33 does alter the performance picture—both for the GTX 680 and 670. Now, a benchmark that took more than a minute on the Radeon HD 7900-series cards (which still can’t utilize AMD’s VCE technology, by the way), wraps up in roughly 30 seconds.
The H.264-encoded source we used for our GeForce GTX 680 review worked fine. Not surprisingly, then, the new driver and new card don’t affect performance. The task takes just 18 seconds now, as it did before.