Difference Between Xvid and X264 (With Table)

Xvid and X264 are both encoders. Many people struggle to tell the difference between the two encoders. There is a major quality difference between the videos encoded in Xvid and X264.

Xvid vs X264

The difference between Xvid and X264 is that Xvid is an encoder that follows MPEG-4 part 2 video coding standard while X264 is an encoder that encodes video streams into H.264 format and also it follows MPEG-4 part 10 coding standard.

To clearly know the difference, one should know what video coding actually is. Video encoding is a process of converting source formal data (usually in RAW format which occupies large capacity) into small sized Docx or H.264 format using the Xvid or X264 encoders. It can even be done by lowering the parameters of encoding in the same format it was encoded. The source format is the final output to one or more specific encoded files.

If the quality is set the same for both Xvid and X264, video encoded in X264 will be of smaller size than the video encoded in the Xvid encoder. Also, if the file size is set the same for the encoders, the video quality of X264 encoder will be better than the video quality of the Xvid encoder.


Comparison Table Between Xvid and X264 (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonXvidX264
DefinitionXvid is an open source MPEG-4 video codec library and is not a format.X264 is an open source library that encodes the video streams in the H.264 format.
Coding standardIt follows MPEG-4 Part 2 video coding standard.It follows MPEG-4 Part 10 video coding standard.
SizeFor the same size, video encoded will be of lesser quality.For the same size, video encoded will be of better quality.
QualityFor the same quality, the size of the video encoded will be larger.For the same video quality, the size of the video encoded will be smaller.
CompatibilityCompatible on all devices.Compatible on only new devices that support H.264 format.


What is Xvid?

Xvid is an open source MPEG-4 video codec library that is distributed in accordance to the terms of the GNU (general public license). It’s reason for emergence was to compete with the proprietary DivX codec which has license restrictions and that is why only available to the members of the DARC (DivX Advanced Research Centre).

Xvid is not a format. It’s basis of working includes usage of the MPEG-4 ASP (advanced simple profile) compression. It consists of two parts, the DIvX’s encoder and the DIvX’s decoder.

Videos encoded with Xvid encoder can be decoded again with all the decoders that are  MPEG-4 compatible.To be precise, it can be decoded by the other decoders that are based upon the open source libavcodec library.

It’s main purpose is to compress video’s data in order to facilitate and to increase the speed of online video data exchange and also to improve the storage on hard discs. Xvid encoder is capable of stripping video data of unnecessary stuff.

The videos compressed by the Xvid encoder can be 200 times smaller than the original source video even with the visual quality kept intact. It ensures fast compression and exceptional quality video performance which exceeds many expensive similar products to it.

The codec is available for free. In many hardwares, the Xvid encoder is incorporated from the start. As the Xvid encoder is an open-source software, it’s source code is available for the public view. This enables the public to check it and to make sure if there is any spyware or adware in it.


What is X264?

X264 is an open-source library. It was developed by VideoLAN. It enables encoding the video streams into the MPEG-4 AVC or the H.264 format. It was released in accordance to the terms of the GNU (General public licence).The other ways of availing X264 is under the commercial lisence from CoreCodec and X264LLC.

X264 encoder provides a large number of features if compared to the other H.264 encoders. It includes an API and also a command line interface. The most useful command line interface is used by many graphical user interfaces which includes the MeGUI and the Staxrip. On the other hand, the API is used by interfaces which includes the FFmpeg and the HandBrake.

It also comes with a lot of psychovisual enhancements like the pyscho-visual rate-distortion optimization and the adaptive quantization which is available in two modes. This enhances the video quality of the encoded video in X264 encoder.

The capabilities of X264 encoder of achieving dramatic performance by encoding three or more 1080p streams in real time on an one end user computer is more advanced than any of the other H.264 encoders.

It provides the high quality of encoded videos with the advanced psychovisual optimizations. It also supports many features that are used by different applications which includes applications like Web videos, Blu-ray, low-latency and even television broadcasts.

Main Differences Between Xvid and X264

  • Xvid encoder is older than the X264 encoder. X264 has more advanced features than the Xvid.
  • X264 does not support older devices that cannot support H.264 files.
  • For the sharing of files between people, Xvid is a safer option than the X264.
  • Encoding a video into H.264 format is only possible with the X264 encoder and not the Xvid encoder.
  • X264 encoded videos takes less sapce and gives better quality than the Xvid encoded videos.



Xvid encoder is a codec library for encoding and decoding video files while on the other hand the X264 encoder is a software library for encoding video in H.264 format.

X264 ensures better video quality and also faster compression but the devices need to be of the new age to support X264. Xvid is older but a safer encoder.