In an odd twist, Nvidia has decided to Turing’s NVENC from their new offering in the budget 16-series offering. Historically, each of Nvidia’s graphics card architecture has offered a new encoder block. So the inclusion of Volta NVENC instead of Turing NVENC is a shocker for us, especially when the other offering in the GTX 16XX series has the new Turing NVENC.
NVENC is a portmanteau for Nvidia encoder, it offloads all the encoding tasks to free up processing power for other tasks. While the gap in encoding performance between the VOLTA and Turing Encoder block is around 15% as per Nvidia Streaming Twitter page, but this might be a bone of contention for the streamers and content producers who is looking for a very budget upgrade. The GTX 1660 or the RX 570 looks like a better upgrade at this scenario.
While no official statement is available from Nvidia at this point, the most obvious reason comes to mind is cost saving. A reduce of few dollars per chip means there will be a huge effect in the bigger scale translating to profit margins. Another thing that comes to mind is that Nvidia might have wanted to limit its power draw by attempting to reduce the transistor count.
While we can only speculate at this point, an explanation from Nvidia behind this switch will be most welcome.