NVIDIA nForce 780a SLI Motherboard Round-Up
Video Playback Performance
We also did some quick testing of the nForce 780a SLI's video processing engine as it is implemented on the Asus M3N-HT Deluxe, 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 HD extensions enabled.
The nForce 780a SLI doesn't fare quite as well as current NVIDIA discreet graphics cards do, an 8800 GT for example scores 128, but a score of 103 is very good for an IGP. Possible improvements with future driver revisions in the Jaggies and noise reduction tests would boost the score to discreet card levels.
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 testswas taken from Windows Vista's built-in Performance Monitor. The graphs show the CPU utilization for the nForce 780a SLI IGP while playing back the 1080i QuickTime clip.
nForce 780a SLI IGP
With an AMD Phenom X4 9850 powering our test machine, the nForce 780a SLI IGP required an average of only 10.67% of the CPU's resources to playback the HD clip. The PureVideo HD engine incorporated into the IGP seems to be doing its job nicely.