ATI All-In-Wonder 2006

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Test System & WMV-HD Decode Acceleration

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested our cards on an ASUS AV8 Deluxe motherboard, powered by an AMD Athlon 64 3000+ (Winchester Core) processor and 512MB of low-latency Mushkin Level 2 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the BIOS and load the "High Performance Defaults."  The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional with SP2 was installed. When the installation was complete, we installed the latest chipset drivers available, installed all of the other necessary drivers for the rest of our components, and removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled, the hard drive was defragmented, and a 768MB permanent page file was created on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance," installed all of the benchmarking software, and ran the tests. We tested at the two most popular resolutions according to a recent poll of our readers, using a mid-range system.

The HotHardware Test System
AMD Athlon 64 FX Powered

Processor -

Motherboard -


Video Cards -


Memory -


Audio -

Hard Driv
e -

 

Hardware Used:
AMD Athlon 3000+ (1.8GHz, Winchester Core)
ASUS AV8 Deluxe
Nvidia nForce 4 Chipset

XFX GeForce 6600 DDR2 256MB
ATI AIW 2006

512
MB Mushkin Level 2 PC3200 RAM
CAS 2

Integrated on board

Western Digital "Caviar"

80GB - ATA 100

Operating System -
Chipset Drivers -
DirectX -

Video Drivers
-



Synthetic (DX) -
DirectX -

DirectX -
OpenGL -
Relevant Software:
Windows XP Professional SP2
nForce Drivers v6.82
DirectX 9.0c

NVIDIA Forceware v81.98

ATI Catalyst v6.2


Benchmarks Used:
3DMark06 v1.0.2
Half Life 2*
Quake 4*

* - Custom Test (HH Exclusive demo)

Windows Media Video 9 Acceleration: Microsoft's Windows Media Video 9 (WMV9) HD format was accepted by the SMPTE HD-DVD consortium as a new HD format. The Windows Movie Maker software, which comes bundled with Windows XP, makes it easy for consumers to edit and save their favorite videos. These videos are saved in the .WMV format. Most of today's high-end GPUs include dedicated hardware to accelerate the playback of WMV and WMV-HD content for fluid full frame rate video even on systems with entry-to mid level CPUs. Previous generations of GPUs were not able to support WMV9 decode acceleration, so often times HD WMV9 content would drop frames when being played back on legacy hardware.

WMV-HD Decode Acceleration
So, what does Avivo do for me, today?

To document CPU utilization when playing back WMV HD content, we used the performance monitor built into Windows XP. Using the data provided by performance monitor, we created a log file that sampled the percent of CPU utilization every second, while playing back the 1080p versions of the "The Rules of Attraction" video available on Microsoft's WMVHD site. The data was then imported into Excel to create the graphs below. The graphs shows the CPU utilization for a GeForce 6600 and the All-In-Wonder 2006 using Windows Media Player 10, patched using the DXVA update posted on Microsoft's web site (Update Available Here), and using ATI's own player that is included in the MMC software suite.

ATI's built in decode acceleration technology is able to take away some of the strain normally put on the CPU. When put up against Nvidia's Purevideo technology, ATI's AVIVO seems to have done slightly better. If you have a powerful enough CPU, and are only watching video, it's possible you'll hardly notice the benefits of these two technologies. However, if you're multitasking and aren't using a top of the line system, the benefits will become more noticeable.

Tags:  ATI

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