Which H.264 codec is the best?
It makes almost twice more compact files than Intel QuickSync and almost 3 times smaller files than MainConcept CUDA-accelerated codec still with the same quality. So faster encoding doesn’t mean better quality. Also note that ‘open-source’ doesn’t mean free for commercial use.
FYI x264 codec is used by YouTube, Hulu, Sorenson, Telestream and other online encoding services. It’s free for personal use, there also a lot of optional GUI applications for x264 encoding with some optional functions, e.g. MeGUI or Avanti.
UPDATE: The report is updated and now includes results for GPU accelerated codecs:
“So best of hardware encoders Intel QuickSync and best of software encoders x264 are comparable by speed/quality at very high speed encoding.”