High definition is the future entertainment standard of tomorrow's video's.
Playing high definition content on current generation PCs can boggle down even
the fastest processors because there is more data to handle. Similar to the need
for DVD accelerators a few years ago, nVIDIA PureVideo enables computer users to
view MPEG-2/DVD and WMV HD formats without slowing the PC to a crawl.
The PureVideo standard incorporates a hardware accelerator for the afore
mentioned MPEG-2/DVD, and Microsoft Windows Media HD Video standards (WMV HD).
According to nVIDIA's documentation on PureVideo, the GPU (GeForce 6 and 7
series GPUs) takes on video decoding tasks from the CPU, and the end result is
smoother, shutter free HD playback. nVIDIA PureVideo also supports most current
and future high definition formats. The system seems to be built with a good
degree of future proofing for upcoming standards.
PureVideo is more than just a media accelerator; it also includes features to
improve video picture quality. If you believe the marketing; DVD, cable and
satellite video provide poor crispness, clearness and smoothness that consumers
have been desperate to be "saved from." nVIDIA's PureVideo technology applies
spatial temporal de-interlacing to apparently deliver a better image than
traditional de-interlacing can muster. PureVideo also fixes the 3:2 pull down
problem that can arise from 24 fps video being converted to 30 fps for viewing
on TVs or monitors. By recovering the original 24 frame content, PureVideo
apparently allows for a clear crisper image.
Another neat feature of PureVideo is its ability to scale videos to any
resolution, while maintaining a relatively detailed picture. This means users
can view lower resolution videos at a high resolution without suffering too much
from blocky or blurry pictures.
To test PureVideo's HD accelerating capabilities, we decided to play one
video through Windows Media Player 10, which was downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase. The Discoverers
(IMAX) video is available in both 720P and 1080P formats. CPU utilization was monitored
through Task Manager.
Loading up the 720P version of "The Discoverers" there was an immediate load of 100% on the system, but that fell quickly to 30%. After playing the video for two minutes, the CPU usage jumped between 15-33%.
The 1080P version of the Discoverers video is a lot more demanding, and here CPU usage jumps between 33-42%. With a videocard that does not offer HD acceleration, CPU usage is stuck at 100% and there can be brief moments when video playback is even choppy. Looks like PureVideo is not simply marketing hype.
Skipping Over Overclocking
Unfortunately, after a bit of testing the Gigabyte GV-3D1-68GT experienced instability with our attempts to overclock it, and it really just turned out to be unfeasible for a product such as this. Anyway, with twin GPUs who needs to overclock?
|PCStats Test System Specs:|
AMD Athlon64 4000+
12 x 200 MHz = 2.4 GHz
Gigabyte GA-K8N Ultra-SLI (NF4-SLI)
ATi Radeon X850 XT PE
ATi Radeon X800 XL
PowerColor X700 PRO
NX7800GTX-VT2D256E (Single Mode)
MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E (SLI
Asus EN7800GT 2DHTV/256M/OSP/A (Single Mode)
EN7800GT 2DHTV/256M/OSP/A (SLI Mode)
MSI NX6800-TD128E (SLI Mode)
NX6600GT-TD128E (Single Mode)
MSI NX6600GT-TD128E (SLI
Gigabyte GV-3D1-68GT (Single)
Gigabyte GV-3D1-68GT (SLI
2x 512MB Mushkin PC3200 L2 V2
||74GB WD Raptor 10k RPM SATA HDD|
||AOpen 52x Combo|
||PC Power & Cooling TurboCool
510 SLI |
||Stock Athlon64 4000+ HSF|
WindowsXP Build 2600
Cell: Chaos Theory