High definition is the future entertainment standard of tomorrow's video's.
Playing high definition content on current generation PCs can bog 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 High Definition formats on the monitor without slowing
the Albatron KM51PV-AM2 system to a crawl.
The PureVideo standard incorporates a hardware accelerator for the
afore mentioned MPEG-2/DVD, and Microsoft Windows Media High Definition 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 High Definition playback. nVIDIA PureVideo also supports most current and
future high definition formats.
PureVideo is more than just a media accelerator; it also includes
features to improve video picture quality. 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 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.
Examining CPU Load with PureVideo
test PureVideo's High Definition accelerating capabilities on the Albatron KM51PV-AM2, we'll
playback a video downloaded from Microsoft's WMV HD Content Showcase
through Windows Media Player 10.
"The Discoverers" (IMAX) video is available in both 720P and 1080P formats.
Socket AM2 processor utilization will be monitored via Task
When running the 720P version of The Discoverers
video, CPU usage hovered between 20-28% with the Albatron KM51PV-AM2. That means
you can do many things in the background without worrying about dropped frames
or an interrupted video.
When playing back the 1080P version of The Discoverers video, CPU usage stays about the
same as we saw with the 720P version of the video. That's very
surprising since 1080P obviously shows more detail, and with previous setups
we've seen 1080P videos push CPU usage past the 60% mark. Looks like nVIDIA did
its homework with the new generation of GeForce 6150 chipsets!
Please note that CPU usage varies depending on the type of processor that's used.
For instance when the Albatron KM51PV-AM2 is equipped with a single
Sempron 3600+, CPU load will jumps to ~30% with the 720P version of the video
and 60% with the 1080P version. Note that these numbers are similar to how a
GeForce 6150 performs with a single core Socket 939 Athlon64 4000+
nVIDIA PureVideo Decoder Software
Sold separately is nVIDIA's
PureVideo Decoder software (retails for between $20-$50 US) which functions
with any GeForceFX/6/7 series videocard. The software essentially turns a
desktop PC into a home entertainment center with the ability to watch DVD movies
or other computer related videos, listen to music or view
The look and feel of nStant Media is very similar to
Microsoft WindowsXP Media Center's media browser. Under the 'Watch Movies'
category, users can watch videos stored on the hard drive or on disc. 'Listen to
Music' has the same options as does 'View Pictures.' The 'Settings' options
allow users to change language, when the nVIDIA screen saver kicks in, parental
control, closed captioning, display formats (Standard definition or high), etc.
Overall the look and feel of nStant Media is nice and the program is extremely
easy to use.
Next up, overclocking the Albatron KM51PV-AM2