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Best GPU For Plex Transcoding 2022

If you are an online streamer, then you would know about Plex. It is the most popular and widely used streaming program that most streamers around the world use for the streaming requirement, and the purpose of the software is to transcode the media files so that you can run it on your server. 

Different streaming platforms have different playable format requirements, and Plex configures the streaming video to that format so the audience can enjoy it. You must fulfill some requirements to run the Plex program. Plex client, computer, storage drive, and GPU.

Theoretically, you can stream your content to the audience without needing a graphics card. Still, Plex transcoding is a resource-consuming task. Using an underperforming GPU might result in overheating, long load time, and low-quality videos that are not good for the machine or the users. 

If you are looking for the best GPU for plex transcoding, then you have come to the right place cause we are going to discuss everything that you need for the purchase of the best GPU for plex transcoding. We will look into our best hand-picked models that you can use and also the useful shopping tips so that you always purchase the perfect GPU. So let’s begin.

List of Best GPU For Plex Transcoding

At a Glance:

  1. NVIDIA Quadro P2200
  2. NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
  3. Zotac GeForce GTX 1660
  4. Nvidia Titan RTX
  5. Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti

NVIDIA Quadro P2200
NVIDIA Quadro P2200 (Image Credit: Amazon)

NVIDIA Quadro P2200

SPECIFICATIONS

Base Clock Speed: 1000 MHz | Boost Clock Speed: 1493 MHz | CUDA Cores: 1280 | Video Memory: 5GB GDDR5X | Memory Interface: 160-bit | Memory Clock: 5 Gbps | Video Output: x4 DisplayPort | Supported Video Formats: H.264 & H.265 |

REASONS TO BUY

Best for Plex streaming 

Low cost and power efficient

High potential for overclocking

The high number of output ports

For professional working and modeling

REASONS TO AVOID

Not the best option for gaming

Memory speed is low

DDR5 seems outdated

NVIDIA Quadro P2200 is the best option for your streaming requirements if you are looking for a budget graphics card that can easily provide resolutions of up to 1080p and 4K. We used this graphics card for multiple streaming, proving to be a reliable choice. 

We recommend this piece if you are looking for a long-term solution. It can easily provide 4K streaming in 68 MBit to 4 screens and 1080p in 10 MBit to 17 screens without much effort. We found this a huge upgrade compared to its previous versions and have enough clock to handle resource-intensive and complex transcoding.

It has a stock speed of 1000 Mhz but can be extended up to 1490 Mhz. 1280 CUDA cores make sure that everything works perfectly and smoothly. It can also perform video editing and 3D modeling.

The best thing that we found extremely surprising is power efficiency. Despite all of these features, it has a power consumption of just 75 watts, which makes it extremely reliable and power efficient. The heat dissipation system is also good and can handle high overclocking. It is primarily built for Plex streaming and has everything that it needs. The GPU supports all the plex streaming formats, whether H.264 or H.265.

NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000
NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 (Image Credit: Amazon)

NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000

SPECIFICATIONS

Base Clock Speed:  1620 MHz | Boost Clock Speed: 1815 MHz | CUDA Cores: 3072 | Video Memory: 16GB GDDR6 | Memory Interface: 256-bit | Memory Clock: 14 Gbps | Video Output: x4 DisplayPort, 1x USB Type-C | Supported Video Formats: H.264 & H.265 |

REASONS TO BUY

Best GPU for plex transcoding in 4K format

High memory and speed.

It can even be used for gaming

Have support for USB port

REASONS TO AVOID

Overpriced as compared to competitors

No permanent heat dissipation for continuous gaming

It is arguably the most powerful graphics cards you can purchase for your Plex transcoding requirement. It is a strong piece designed to handle all the complex coding workloads and can efficiently do the job in any condition.

Our expert technician used this device to determine its potential and limitations, and the results were good. First, what surprised us the most was the use of Nvidia’s Turing architecture on which the chip is based that can provide the coding and decoding in H.265 (HEVC) 4:4:4, which is beyond the reach of many competitors. Once you equip your system with this device, ensure your audience gets the best and smooth stream without any buffering or resolution drop. 

We used this for some of the toughest transcoding and streaming, and it performed well in every situation thanks to the 3072 CUDA cores with the memory of 16GB GDDR6. It can provide multiple transcoding for 4K streams in 10 Mbit settings.

The memory clock is at 14 GBps, which is more than any of the competitors. The base clock speed is 1620 MHz, which can be overclocked up to 1815 MHz and a 256-bit memory interface provides the best combination. 

Check out our separate post for Does CPU affect FPS?

You can even use it for gaming purposes, and it is pretty good for mid-level gaming and can provide 60 fps in 1080p resolution. 

It supports all the plex transcoding formats and has a USB C port and conventional 4 display ports. In short, it is the Best Gpu For Plex Transcoding if the budget does not limit you.

Zotac GeForce GTX 1660
Zotac GeForce GTX 1660 (Image Credit: Amazon)

Zotac GeForce GTX 1660

SPECIFICATIONS

Base Clock Speed: 1530 MHz | Boost Clock Speed:  1785 MHz | CUDA Cores: 1408 | Video Memory: 6GB GDDR5 | Memory Interface: 192-bit | Memory Clock: 14 Gbps | Video Output: 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI | Supported Video Formats: H.264 & H.265 |

REASONS TO BUY

Budget-friendly

Powerful performance

High speed and memory compared to price.

Supported with HDMI

Extremely quiet and power efficient

REASONS TO AVOID

Not the best option for gaming

DDR6 is only included in the Ti version

If the above-discussed graphics card is out of your budget and you are willing to purchase a cost-effective solution for your plex streaming, this would be the best choice. The GTX 1660 is one of the most reliable models in the GPU industry, and if you are using it for transcoding, it can provide more than 20 1080p streams to 720 simulations. We use this for multiple purposes in different situations, and it meets the advertisement. 

First of all, there are various models and variations. You can get the upgraded version by paying a little extra, which will tremendously increase the performance. The best thing about this machine is that it is extremely quiet and power efficient.

It can provide decent performance thanks to 6Gb DDR5, which has a 192-bit interface. The base clock is enough to provide extensive performance and can even be compared to some high-tier GPUs. It has a 1530 MHz base clock that can be extended to 1785 MHz. 

If you find it insufficient, choose the Ti version that provides DDR6 memory and can reach up to 1860 at the cost of power. The price difference is minimal, but it can overheat at maximum potential. 

It supports all the video formats for Plex and has HDMI support as the video output, along with 3 display ports. We recommend it compared to Quadro P2200 because it supports five 4K streams while P2200 supports only 4.

Nvidia Titan RTX
Nvidia Titan RTX (Image Credit: Amazon)

Nvidia Titan RTX

SPECIFICATIONS

Base Clock Speed: 1350 MHz | Boost Clock Speed: 1770 MHz | CUDA Cores: 4608 | Video Memory: 24GB GDDR6 | Memory Interface: 384-bit | Memory Clock: 14 Gbps | Video Output: 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, x1 USB Type-C | Supported Video Formats: H.264 & H.265 |

REASONS TO BUY

Extremely powerful

It can be used for any purpose

High memory and speed

Unmatched CUDA core and memory interface

REASONS TO AVOID

Extremely expensive

The base clock is less

Not for regular streamers

If the graphics card does not seem to impress you and is unworthy of your streaming needs, then this beast will surely do the job. It is based on the TU102 graphical processor designed to provide smooth performance for any job, whether streaming, video editing, gaming, or modeling. 

We used this graphics card to its limits and found it extremely powerful compared to other competitors. We could stream more than 20 streams in ultra 4K settings on the Plex server.

It can also provide more than 48 1080p streams, which is way more than others. This extreme range is possible due to unmatched 24 GB DDR6 memory similar to the popular RTX 3090. 

This GPU enables you to handle the larger file on Plex at more than 670 MBps bandwidth and is an ideal platform for deep learning, creative content creation, video editing, etc. the domain where it shines the most is CUDA core which has 4608 that can provide the 384-bit memory interface. The base clock is 1350 MHz and can be extended to 1770 Mhz. 

But we would not recommend buying this GPU because of its extremely high prices. If you do not need the best of all specifications, then Quadro RTX 5000 will do just fine. It is designed for the best experience, and 24GB VRAM is way too much for the general needs. 

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti
Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti (Image credits: Amazon)

Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti

SPECIFICATIONS

Base Clock Speed: 1310 MHz | Boost Clock Speed: 1430 MHz | CUDA Cores: 768 | Video Memory: 4GB GDDR5 | Memory Interface: 128 bit | Memory Clock: 4 Gbps | Video Output: 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, x1 DVI | Supported Video Formats: H.264 & H.265 |

REASONS TO BUY

Cost-effective

Quiet and efficient

Suitable for streaming and gaming alike

High heat control

REASONS TO AVOID

Low specifications leave a lot to desire

It is a low-cost solution that is not entirely built for Plex transcoding but can do the job well. This is the best option if you want to convert 4K streams to 1080p at a low cost.

It is designed for budget and is an extremely cheap solution, but it has specifications limitations. We used this and found that it is only good for 3 4K and 14 1080p streams. Compared with other GPUs for transcoding, it can perform well in the 1080p domain.

The 4Gb DDR5 is enough for most gaming and streaming needs and is supported by a 128-bit memory interface. The best thing about this GPU is the power efficiency; it consumes less than 75 watts.

Its powerful heat sink design provides maximum heat dissipation and a clock speed of 1430 Mhz. It is a good solution for entry-level streamers who are still learning it.

Also Check, GPU overheating and how to fix it.

Quick Shopping Tips

Choosing the graphics card for plex transcoding differs from choosing for gaming and other needs. There are different parameters that you need to consider. Otherwise, you can get stuck with an underperforming device that is not up to your requirements. If you are looking for the best GPU for Plex Transcoding, these factors would greatly help you.

Model Of Graphics Card

The graphics card model is the first thing you need to consider. Nvidia graphics cards are considered more reliable for plex transcoding than AND because Nvidia has features to reduce the load of CPU and share it to GPU for better performance. GTX is considered good but for the best experience, consider the RTX models.

Size

Choosing the GPU, you can fit inside your computer would be best. Choosing an oversized graphics card that cannot fit is a waste of money and time, so you must consider the available space and search the units according to it.

Streaming And Resolution

Plex transcoding is resource intensive, and you should consider the resolution of the streaming and the number. Most devices can only provide 4K resolution in 4 to 5 streams, and you should consider your requirements. For 1080p, the stream count is much higher. 

Clock Speed

Clock speed is the frequency of signals generated by the GPU, and a higher clock speed means better resolution and refresh rate performance. For the best experience, using more than 1000 MHz GPU is recommended. 

Price

You should always consider your budget before searching for the GPU for transcoding. There are several GPUs out there, and by considering the optimum range, you can filter them that would, leaving only a few to inspect.

A low budget does not necessarily mean you would have to purchase a low-quality GPU. You can get a powerful GPU in your budget if you know your preferences.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed several GPUs that you can use for your plex transcoding. The first thing you should consider in transcoding is the model of the graphics card. AMD is not recommended because they are built for gaming; instead, you should choose Nvidia.

We have discussed a few options that you can consider. If you are looking for a highly reliable GPU that you can use for 4k streaming, then the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 would be the best option. It is balanced between price and performance and best suits most requirements. 

If you are not willing to compromise on anything and want the best GPU, then consider the Nvidia Titan RTX, which is unmatchable in streaming. The Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti will be a good option if you want a budget-friendly GPU.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the GPU compulsory for transcoding?

GPU is not compulsory for transcoding, but if you want the best experience for your stream without any lag, delay, or overheating, then you should use the GPU. Also, it is not recommended to transcode without the GPU as it can damage other components. 

Is Any GPU Good For Plex Transcoding?

No, you will need the GPU based on your streaming needs and resolution. It is good to use the Nvidia GPU because they are more reliable for transcoding.