ATI Radeon X1K Refresh: X1950 XTX, X1900 XT 256MB, X1650 Pro, and X1300 XT

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AVIVO Video Performance

For our next round of tests we took another look at Digital Video processing performance between the two competing core GPU architectures. "PureVideo" technology is at work here for NVIDIA and "AVIVO" drives the ATI card.

WMV-HD Decode Acceleration
PureVideo Performance Explored

To illustrate CPU utilization when playing back WMV HD content, we used the Performance Monitor built into Windows XP. Using the data provided by Windows Performance Monitor, we created a log file that sampled the percent of CPU utilization every second, while playing back the 1080p version of the "Coral Reef Adventure" video available for download on Microsoft's WMVHD site. The CPU utilization data was then imported into Excel to create the graph below. The graph shows the CPU utilization for a GeForce 7950 GX2 and a Radeon X1950 XTX using Windows Media Player 10, patched using the DXVA updates posted on Microsoft's web site (Updates Available Here).

Average CPU Utilization (Athlon 64 FX-60 @ 2.6GHz x 2)

GeForce 7950 GX2 Radeon X1950 XTX
21.38% 19.25%

Both cards performed similarly in our WMXHD playback test. With the exception of a few seconds at the beginning of the video where the GeForce 7950 GX2 used about 10% to 15% more CPU resources than the X1950 XTX, there is not much separating the two cards throughout the graph.  While playing back this particular video, the Radeon X1950 XTX averaged approximately 2% less CPU utilization than the 7950 GX2.  In the past, using a different video, we've seen the opposite.  For all intents and purposes, AVIVO and PureVideo are on par with one another in terms of CPU utilization while playing back HD content.

DVD Video Quality: HQV Benchmark with PowerDVD 7

Next up, we have the HQV DVD video benchmark from Silicon Optics. HQV is comprised of a sampling of SD video clips and test patterns that have been specifically designed to evaluate a variety of interlaced video signal processing tasks, including decoding, de-interlacing, motion correction, noise reduction, film cadence detection, and detail enhancement. As each clip is played, the viewer is required to "score" the image based on a predetermined set of criteria. The numbers listed below are the sum of the scores for each section. We played the HQV DVD using the latest version of CyberLink's excellent Power DVD 7 Deluxe, with hardware acceleration and PureVideo extensions enabled.

We give a slight edge to ATI in the HQV benchmark, but in our opinion the results are closer than the numbers appear. Due to the way HQV's scoring system is designed, we gave ATI an edge in both of the noise reduction tests, which resulted in an overall benchmark victory. We like the fact that NVIDIA's drivers gives users the ability to tweak the noise reduction and edge enhancement algorithms, however, so at least currently, PureVideo is more flexible than AVIVO.  The results in this benchmark have changed drastically over the last few months though, and HQV's usefulness is dwindling as both AVIVIO and PureVideo approach the perfect 130 score mark.

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Tags:  ATI, Radeon, x1, ATI Radeon, x16, refresh, XT, pro, and, K

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