Despite an interesting name, AMDs AVIVO does not stand
for anything specific. It is a collection of different video technologies that
share a common name, like Centrino or ViiV for example. First and foremost,
AMD's AVIVO includes a hardware accelerator for MPEG-2/DVD Microsoft Windows
Media HD video standards (WMV HD) and H.264 standards.
VIVO is built into the ECS AMD690GM-M2's Radeon Xpress
1250 videocard and helps to enable such features as Home Theatre PCs (HTPC) or
Personal Video Recorders (PVR) with the appropriate 3rd-party software
applications. AVIVO can automatically adjust gamma and colour correction, and
that should enhance picture quality too.
High Fidelity Colour allows for 10-bits per colour
channel, which translated basically means a more vibrant picture. There is also
a high quality 12-bit analog-to-digital converter to reduce picture noise as
To test AVIVO's HD accelerating capabilities, we played a
HD video through Windows Media Player 10 (the movie can be 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 during playback through Task Manager to give a general
indication of system load.
When running the 720P version of the
Discoverers video, CPU usage jumps between 20-26% which is pretty good. Remember
we're using the onboard Radeon Xpress 1250 videocard here. Lots of resources for
background tasks and applications still.
Interestingly, when we run the 1080P version
of the Discoverers video, CPU usage is lower, at or between 15-20%. That
allows the system to run background tasks without any issues. Next up,
overclocking tests and a round of benchmarks.