For a while now (over a year), I can't get AMD VCE to work with my screen recording software. My setup is an AMD 8350 at stock and an MSI R9 280X also at stock. I've tried plays.tv, OBS Studio, and AMD's own Radeon ReLive. Before all of the trouble happened, plays.tv recorded gameplay at 1080p 60fps at a 15mbs bitrate just fine. Then problems started to arise (huge frame rate drops in the recording) and afterwards I found out that plays.tv had switched to software encoding on the CPU judging by the near 99% CPU usage when playing games. I've tried reinstalling plays.tv, along with my other recording software that I've tried (multiple times), reinstalling AMD drivers (also multiple times), and ended up reinstalling windows itself to try to solve the problem. So far, no luck. I eventually narrowed the problem down to the recording softwares using software (CPU) encoding instead of hardware based encoding using my R9 280X.
I've followed a forum on plays.tv to find out what plays.tv is actually using to encode on my computer:
TLDR: If I have a HW Level of 1, than AMD VCE is detected and working properly, but if I have a HW level of 4, than no hardware encoder can be found so software encoding is forced.
Unsurprisingly, I have a HW Level 4.
OBS Studio's Auto configuration utility that tries to configure the settings automatically based on the user's hardware chose these settings (picture attached):
So along with plays.tv, OBS also chooses software encoding and there is no option in the settings to change to any other encoder.
I must also mention that due to problems with the latest drivers, I've rolled back to Radeon Software Version 16.6, but the problems still persist with the latest drivers as off the time of this post.