Summary & Conclusion
Summary: In the examples we have shown here today, the NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT with PureVideo Technology had better image quality than the Radeon X700. The NVIDIA powered card also had lower CPU utilization when playing back WMV HD content when hardware acceleration was enabled using a pair of beta DLL files. However, the ATI powered card had a slight advantage in CPU utilization in the default configuration.
NVIDIA's PureVideo Technology is a definite step in the right direction. The video quality produced on the GeForce 6 Series of graphics cards with PureVideo technology was excellent, and rivaled that of most consumer electronics devices. When compared to ATI, NVIDIA also seems to have gained ground, or even surpassed ATI in some respects. We won't dwell on this point though, because ATI also has some updates in the works that will likely render the comparisons made here somewhat out-dated in a few short weeks. We'll have to revisit the topic of image quality during video playback at a later date, using real world content to make any final conclusions. Regardless, NVIDIA's PureVideo Technology and new decoder software dramatically improve video playback on the PC, and further blurs the lines between the PC and a Home Entertainment Center. More information on NVIDIA's PureVideo Technology is available on their website in this press release, and in this comparison chart that illustrates the specific features available in the GeForce 6 Series of cards.