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Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A Videocard Review

Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The 256MB Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A videocard is compatible only with PCI Express x16 slots so that means AGP users needs to get their fix elsewhere.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Sep 23 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ASUS EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A

XHD Gaming and PureVideo

High Definition content is the future of entertainment; heck Sony is betting on HD massively by timing the release of the PlayStation 3 when HD is set to fully explode into the lexicon of techno-geeks! Playing High Definition content on current generation PCs can bog down the fastest processors because there is so much more data to handle. Similar to the need for DVD accelerators a few years back, nVIDIA PureVideo enables computer users to view MPEG-2/DVD, H.264 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, H.264 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 - as it should be.

'H.264' is a standard that describes a next generation digital video codec which achieves very high data compressions, at a larger ratio than anything else currently available. H.264 is able to provide quality video at bit rates that are substantially lower than previous standards like MPG2, H.263, etc. To decode this much data on the fly without a hardware accelerator requires a large pool system resources. nVIDIA's GeForce 7 series supports H.264 hardware acceleration which takes the task of decoding H.264 video off the processor, placing it onto the videocard GPU which is more efficient at this task. This frees up the CPU resources to perform other tasks.

High Definition Content Protection (HDCP) encoding is supported natively by the 'G71' GPU and is built into PureVideo as well. This means users should have no difficulty playing copy right protected high definition content on their computers at full resolution when all of this comes into play. There might not be a need for this at the moment, however Microsoft Windows Vista will require HDCP enabled hardware to play Blu-Ray/HD-DVD videos. Computer hardware that does not support HDCP will be limited to playing high definition content at lower resolutions, or in worse case scenarios, not at all.

nVidia's 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 are desperate to be "saved from." 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 clearer and crisper image.

PureVideo can also 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.

High Definition CPU Utilization Tests

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, and CPU utilization was monitored through Task Manager to give a general indication of system load.

Loading the 720P version of the Discoverers video, CPU usage jumped between 19% and 29%. It seems like nVIDIA might have improved PureVideo's acceleration a bit as these numbers are better than with previous generation GeForce 6 and 7 series videocards.

When running the 1080P version of the Discoverers video, CPU usage is noticeably lower than with previous generation nVIDIA videocards which is nice. CPU usage here hopped between 25 and 37% which is very good and leaves plenty of resources for other tasks.

Next up, overclocking the Geforce 7900GT!

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Contents of Article: ASUS EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A
 Pg 1.  Asus EN7900GT TOP/2DHT/256M/A Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  nVidia GeForce 7900GT Technology
 Pg 3.  — XHD Gaming and PureVideo
 Pg 4.  Overclocking a preoverclocked card
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: FarCry
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: X3: Reunion
 Pg 14.  Advanced Benchmarks: FarCry, Doom 3
 Pg 15.  Advanced Benchmarks: FEAR and Conclusions

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