Best GPU for Plex Transcoding

Best GPU for Plex Transcoding
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It is no doubt that a CPU is the most important piece of hardware of a Plex Media Server. Depending on the resolution and size of the video, transcoding consumes a lot of CPU resources.

You can reduce that CPU load and also stream videos to multiple devices smoothly at higher resolutions if you have a dedicated GPU.

In fact, having a proper dedicated GPU can increase the speed at which you can transcode videos without using a big chunk of CPU resources. You can stream multiple videos without affecting their picture quality. You will also not have any buffering issues.

In this article, I reviewed the 5 Best GPUs for Plex Transcoding. I reviewed both Professional and Gaming centric Nvidia GPUs for this purpose. You will find one in every budget.

Here are our Top 5 GPUs for Plex Transcoding in 2021

Top PickBest Value GPUBest Mid-Range GPUGamer’s ChoiceBest Budget
Quadro RTX 5000Quadro RTX 4000Quadro P2000GTX 1660 TiGTX 1050 Ti
➕Best in Class for GPU Transcoding ➕Great Value for Money➕Affordable Price➕Affordable Price➕Good for 1080p Transcoding
➕Best for Transcoding 4K videos➕Good for 4K and 1080p Transcoding ➕Best For 1080p Transcoding➕Good for Plex and Gaming➕Cheap yet effective
➕Huge 16GB VRAM➕8GB VRAM➕Single Slot Design➕Generous 6GB VRAM➕Good Price to Performance ratio
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List of Best GPUs for Plex Transcoding

GPU NamePreviewMemory HEVC SupportPrice
Quadro RTX 500016GB GDDR6Yes Check the Latest Price on Amazon
Quadro RTX 40008GB GDDR6Yes Check the Latest Price on Amazon
Quadro P20005GB GDDR6Yes Check the Latest Price on Amazon
GTX 1660 Ti6GB GDDR6Yes Check the Latest Price on Amazon
GTX 1050 Ti4GB GDDR5Yes Check the Latest Price on Amazon

Quadro RTX 5000 - Best GPU for Plex Transcoding

Tech Specs:
Core Clock / Boost Clock: 1620 MHz / 1815 MHz
Cores: 3072
Memory : 16GB GDDR6
Bandwidth : 448 Gb/s
Supported Streams: 13 (4K to 1080p)
HEVC Support: Yes

What’s Good

  • Best in Class
  • Huge 16GB VRAM
  • Best for Transcoding 4K videos

What’s Bad

  • Nothing

Our Verdict:
The Quadro RTX 5000 is the Best GPU for Plex Transcoding. It is especially useful if you want to transcode 4K videos into 1080p or 720p videos. It can transcode up to 13 streams of 4K videos into 1080p without any buffering or any loss in video quality. It also supports the HEVC video format. If you can afford it, I would definitely recommend it.

The Quadro RTX 5000 is a workstation GPU by Nvidia. It is based on Turing architecture. It has a massive 16GB VRAM that has a bandwidth of 448GB/s. It contains 3072 cores running at 1620MHz.

The Quadro RTX 5000 supports transcoding up to 13 simultaneous streams of 4K to 1080p and up to 48 simultaneous streams of 1080 to 720p. It offers you buffer-free video streaming without any loss of video quality.

The Quadro RTX 5000 is a dual-slot GPU. It has a TDP rating of 230W. It uses a single 6-pin and a single 8-pin power connector.

The Quadro RTX 5000 is worth its price tag if you are someone who streams multiple videos at higher resolutions. You can stream them faster and smoother without affecting the performance of your CPU.

Quadro RTX 4000 - Best Value GPU for Plex Transcoding

Tech Specs:
Core Clock / Boost Clock: 1620 MHz / 1815 MHz
Cores: 2304
Memory : 8GB GDDR6
Bandwidth : 416 Gb/s
Supported Streams: 6 (4K to 1080p)
HEVC Support: Yes

What’s Good

  • Great Value for Money
  • Generous 8GB VRAM
  • Good for 4K videos

What’s Bad

  • Nothing

Our Verdict:
The Quadro RTX 4000 is the Best GPU for Plex transcoding for under $1000. It offers you decent performance in 4K and 1080p transcoding. It also supports the HEVC format. For its price, it offers you excellent value for money. It is a great choice for most Plex transcoding servers. I would highly recommend it.

The Quadro RTX 4000 is based on Turing architecture. It has a generous 8GB VRAM that has a bandwidth of 416Gb/s. It has 2304 Cores running at 1005MHz. They can be boosted up to 1545MHz.

The Quadro RTX 4000 supports transcoding 6 simultaneous streams of 4K videos into 1080p resolution. It can also transcode 27 simultaneous streams of 1080p videos into 720p.

The Quadro RTX 4000 is a single lot card. It occupies less space and is a great choice for a portable 4K plex server. It has a TDP rating of 160W and has a single 8-pin power connector.

The Quadro RTX 4000 is a great choice for those who cannot afford the Quadro RTX 5000. If you are looking for a GPU that offers you excellent performance for a great price, the Quadro RTX 4000 is the best fit for you.

Quadro P2000 - Best Mid-range GPU for Plex Transcoding

Tech Specs:
Core Clock / Boost Clock: 1076 MHz / 1480 MHz
Cores: 1024
Memory : 5GB GDDR6
Bandwidth : 140 Gb/s
Supported Streams: 4 (4K to 1080p)
HEVC Support: Yes

What’s Good

  • Affordable Price
  • Best For 1080p Transcoding
  • HEVC Support
  • Single Slot Design

What’s Bad

  • Nothing

Our Verdict:
The Quadro P2000 is the best mid-range GPU for Plex Transcoding. It is especially very good for 1080p transcoding. It offers you all the features of the Quadro GPUs like stability and reliability at a great price. The Quadro P2000 is the right one for you if you are on a strict budget yet want the most performance in Plex transcoding for the cheapest price.

The Quadro P2000 is based on Pascal architecture. It has 1024 cores running at 1076Mhz. It also has a 5GB GDDR5 VRAM that has a bandwidth of 140GB/s.

The Quadro P2000 supports the HEVC format. It can simultaneously transcode up to 17 streams of 1080p videos into 720p videos. It can also transcode 4 streams of 4K videos into 1080p. Do keep in mind that

It should be enough for home use but if you have projects that require much power, the above RTX cards are the best bet for you.

The Quadro P2000 is a single slot card. It has a TDP rating of 75W. It is a great fit for most Small form factor server builds thanks to its compact size. It comes with four DisplayPorts.

The Quadro P2000 is ideal for most users. You will definitely see an improvement over CPU-only transcoding. Its affordable price makes it even more appealing. I would highly recommend it.

GTX 1660 Ti - Best GPU for Plex Transcoding and Gaming

Tech Specs:
Core Clock / Boost Clock: 1500 MHz / 1770 MHz
Cores: 1536
Memory : 6GB GDDR6
Bandwidth : 288 Gb/s
Supported Streams: 5 (4K to 1080p)
HEVC Support: Yes

What’s Good

  • Affordable Price
  • Good for Plex and Gaming
  • Generous 6GB VRAM

What’s Bad

  • Nothing

Our Verdict:
The GTX 1660 Ti is a great choice if you are looking for a gaming-centric Graphics card that is also a great choice for plex transcoding. It offers you very good performance in both 4K and 1080p transcoding. For its price, it offers you amazing value for money. I would highly recommend you check it out.

The GTX 1660 Ti is based on Turing architecture. It is powered by 1536 cores that run at 1500Mhz. It has a generous 6GB VRAM that has a bandwidth of 288GB/s.

The GTX 1660 Ti can transcode up to 5 4K streams simulations into 1080p videos and up to 20 1080p streams into 720p videos. It also supports the HEVC format.

It can also run the latest games at 1080p resolution without any trace of FPS drops. It offers you the best of both worlds in terms of gaming and transcoding.

The GTX 1660 Ti is a dual-slot card. It has a TDP rating of 120W and uses a single 8-pin power connector. Its cooling system is efficient and doesn’t produce much noise under load.

Overall, The GTX 1660 Ti is a sweet spot for gaming and Transcoding. It also comes at an affordable price and makes it a more appealing graphics card.

NOTE: I wrote the above review keeping in mind gamers who transcode videos. If you are only looking for a graphics card that transcodes videos, Choose the GTX 1660 over GTX 1660 Ti. It offers you the same performance in plex transcoding for a lower price.

GTX 1050 Ti - Best Budget GPU for Plex Transcoding

Tech Specs:
Core Clock / Boost Clock: 1291 MHz/ 1392 MHz
Cores: 768
Memory : 4GB GDDR5
Bandwidth : 122 Gb/s
Supported Streams: 3 (4K to 1080p)
HEVC Support: Yes

What’s Good

  • Afforbale Price
  • Good for 1080p Transcoding
  • Powerful than Quadro cards in its price range

What’s Bad

  • Not for Gaming in 2021

Our Verdict:
The GTX 1050 Ti is the cheapest card you can get for Plex transcoding. Don’t let its price fool you. It is a great choice for those transcoding 1080p videos. You can easily transcode 10+ 1080p videos smoothly without any decrease in quality. It is a great choice for those with who are on a tight budget.

The GTX 1050 Ti is based on Pascal architecture. It has 768 cores that run at 1291MHz. It has a 4GB GDDR5 VRAM that has a bandwidth of 112Gb/s.

It can transcode up to 3 4K streams simultaneously into 1080p videos. It can also transcode up to 14 1080p streams into 720p videos. It is much better than the Quadro GPUs like P400 that offer you fewer transcodes despite having a similar price. The GTX 1050 Ti also supports the HEVC video format.

The GTX 1050 Ti is a dual-slot GPU. It has a decent cooling system. It has a TDP rating of 75W and doesn’t use any power connectors.

If you also plan on gaming on it, I would suggest the 1660 Ti mentioned above. The GTX 1050 Ti is not a suitable choice for gamers especially in 2021. You will definitely be disappointed with its gaming performance.

If Plex Transcoding is your only reason to buy this GPU, by all means, go ahead. You will have no issues with it in terms of 1080p transcoding. For its price, I am more than satisfied with its performance.

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