SD and HD Video Performance
We also did some quick testing of the GeForce 9300's video processing engine as it is implemented on the Asus P5N7A-VM, in terms of both image quality and CPU utilization with some HQV and H.264 playback tests.
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 PowerDVD Ultra, with hardware acceleration for NVIDIA PureVideo, ATI UVD, and Intel video acceleration extensions enabled.
The GeForce 9300 performed much like NVIDIA's discreet graphics cards in the HQV benchmark, clearly surpassing both Intel's and ATI's offerings here. We should note, however, that in the Jaggies 1 and Jaggies 2 tests, the GeForce 9300 just barely squeaked by with its 5 and 3 scores, but due to HQV scoring system the scores are justified. If we disregard the scores, in a side-by-side test versus a discreet card in the GeForce 8500 range or higher, the discreet card actually performs better in those tests.
GeForce 9300 H.264 HD Playback
Next we conducted a test using an H.264 encoded movie clip which is available for download from NASA's HD showcase website. The CPU utilization data gathered during this tests was taken from Windows Vista's built-in Performance Monitor while playing back on the GeForce 9300 using PowerDVD 8 Ultra. The graphs show the CPU utilization while playing back the 1080i QuickTime clip on the GeForce 9300. As you can see, utilization was quite low and HD video playback shouldn't be a problem for this chipset.