Question / Help Confused about presets: higher or lower for better quality?


I am still confused all these years about how the preset ranking works. I have a 4790k processor. Which preset am i supposed to use to get the best quality? the "slowest" or "fastest" preset?



The slower the preset, the better the quality.

Here is the "Explain it like I'm 5" version (No offense intended)

Essentially, the slower the preset, the software encoder takes MORE time to go over the video to encode it with a better quality.

When the preset is faster, the encoder just skims over the video, which does not give it good quality.

On a 4790k, without knowing if you are streaming console or PC games, you should be safe to go to faster and/fast.


Forum Moderator
Think of it this way: The slower your encoder preset is set, the more CPU cycles it will take to encode each frame -- the more cycles (time) your CPU spends on each frame, the higher the quality its output will be.

Of course, if a frame takes longer than 1/30 (or 1/60, at 60FPS) to encode, that means that your CPU isn't able to encode in real-time, which degrades quality of output, and thus should be avoided. The slower you go, the more likely this is to occur. Any other variable loads (say, the games you're playing) should also be accounted for, so that your CPU doesn't get overloaded and have trouble keeping up -- leave some headroom, especially if you're playing on the same machine you're encoding on.


So if I only use my 4790k to capture and stream, and am not gaming on it, I can set it to the slowest preset for optimal quality per size of file?


Forum Admin
The slowest preset will put an extreme load on your CPU. I recommend starting with veryfast and go down until you get reasonable performance and quality.


Forum Admin
"Lag" can mean a lot of things in terms of streaming. Can you be more specific as to what kind of lag you're trying to minimize?


Which of these describes your issue:
1. The computer plays the game just fine, but the stream is choppy.
2. The computer is unable to play the game well. Local play seems to stutter. The stream is a perfect replication of a stuttering local player.

For #1, you want to either reduce the bandwith, or move the encoding closer to ultrafast. See if the log indicates dropped frames (badnwidth) or skipped frames (encoding)

For #2, you need a preset closer to ultrafast.


New Member
You want a rough example of what an i7 5820k can do with 6 hypo cores and 12 threads I can currently game and stream fast paced games on slow preset at 2k bitrate no hiccups , cpu won't go over 60-70% at 3.3 stock speeds, now slower goes to around 40 idle , and when in motion 90-98 maybe an overclock to 4.5 you can game and stream on slower preset :)