One of the most glaring issues we found with local file playback was the chroma upsampling error. Initially, we suspected that the MPC Video Decoder (our preferred H.264 decoder for use in MPC-HC running on AMD GPUs) was at fault.

Screenshots are not allowed while playing back Blu-rays in either PowerDVD or Total Media Theater. Thankfully, playing a mounted ISO enabled screenshots while apparently retaining the same playback quality as the original Blu-ray. Since the ArcSoft video decoder is the easiest to get working with MPC-HC, we grabbed screenshots when playing back the ISO and the M2TS files using Total Media Theater. To put things on a equal footing, we took the ArcSoft decoder from Total Media Theater 5 and enabled its usage in MPC-HC. Presented below are the screenshots from approximately the same timestamp for the three cases.

BD ISO (TMT) BD M2TS (TMT) Local File (MPC-HC/ArcSoft)

Considering that the video decoder used in all the cases is the same, the difference is only in the renderer / driver applied post processing. Even assuming that the EVR CP renderer used by MPC-HC lacks the quality of the ArcSoft renderer, there is a definite difference between the local file played back from within TMT and the ISO. It can only be concluded that the AMD drivers are enabling certain post processing steps only for Blu-ray playback. Will AMD rectify this issue? Only time will tell.

HQV 2.0 Benchmarking Deinterlacing Performance
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  • Targon - Friday, July 01, 2011 - link

    New vs. open box....it's like comparing the price of a used car vs. a new car, it's not in the same market.

    Yes, a car that is three years old drops in value by 45-55 percent, so you can get a used car that is better in most respects for the same money, but who knows how the original owner treated the car, if there are problems, etc. Buying new vs. used....

    You will be able to get an open box AMD motherboard for super-cheap too, so where's your advantage once THAT happens?
    Reply
  • maroon1 - Friday, July 01, 2011 - link


    Obviously, 4GB DDR3 1600MHz for $38 is going to have poor timing, and it is not going to performs as good as the one that anandtech tested
    Reply
  • rockrr - Saturday, July 02, 2011 - link

    I’m not a technowiz like many of the AT readers are, (I read AR to learn.) I am a gamer and build my own machines. I agree that the ability to upgrade CPU and GPU separately is cost effective and allows for customizing for the best performance to suit your needs. Also it allows for recycling of components to upgrade other systems. Reply
  • Anato - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Couldn't agree more. There is feeling that no way AT could let AMD to be good at something. In mobile market there was this magical performance metric i7-2630QM+GTX460M (which obviously is not a competitor to Llano) on top of the char.

    And yes AMD is not as good as Intel at x86 but the whole point of Llano is different. AMD clearly chose to set more area for the GPU and make it affordable as a platform.

    In general would be better to compare what user can get with given price range. CPU-price is only 1/2 of the story, then there is motherboard and Intel chipped motherboards are generally more expensive.
    Reply
  • prdola0 - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    That is entirely untrue now. It used to be the case but that time is now gone (it has been for a while, but you obviously missed it). It gets even better with H61. Reply
  • maroon1 - Friday, July 01, 2011 - link

    No one would buy a P67 unless you want to use discrete GPU

    A good quality H67 can be found as cheap as $75
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

    And H61 cost only $60
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    duploxxx, I agree wtih you on almost all the points.

    But, AMD has a good discrete GPU background now and taken in that context, the HTPC performance is not up to the mark.

    People don't care about post processing if they can't even play their camcorder videos. With a proper dGPU (targeted towards HTPCs), they can play and also get post processing done on the same clip. Why is the ESVP feature enabled by default when it doesn't work as intended?

    When I heard about the high end Llano, I expected it to fully replace the discrete HTPC GPU. Unfortunately, that is not happening (pending some magical driver updates?)
    Reply
  • kev18 - Thursday, July 07, 2011 - link

    i second the comment made.....I have an AMD based HTPC already......i was excited to hear the new integrated CPU/GPU and may be it is time to upgrade..... but after hearing the problem playing files on hard drive, I think i willl wait for this to be more mature before buying........may be i should consider buying a 6xxx GPU card so that i can get HD-DTS Reply
  • Gigantopithecus - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the review, Ganesh. I have a quick question: though the Antec Skeleton is a far less than ideal testbed for an HTPC, do you have any numbers or subjective impressions of the noisiness of the stock HSF?

    Also, from your reported power consumption numbers, your setup should run on an external power brick or picoPSU. The Antec PSU you used is a bottom-barrel model that's not even 80+, and during local HD file playback, is pulling ~10% of the PSU's rated output. That is, you're at the bottom end of the efficiency curve of a non-efficient PSU. It would be nice to see idealized or even more accurate power consumption numbers. Furthermore, I understand that you can only benchmark what you're actually sent, but as an HTPC builder, I'm having trouble thinking of a scenario when I would use the A8-3850 for HTPC duties...

    Finally, when you say "our expectations from the desktop Llano were much higher," well, what were you expecting? The issues with BRD and HD video file playback all sound like software, not hardware problems. Llano's not for sale on Newegg, so hopefully AMD will work out the kinks with its partners before or shortly after retail availability. I personally am extremely impressed by the power consumption numbers. Depending on the cost of the lower-end Llano SKUs and assuming they provide good enough computing (I can't wait for an HD 6410D APU to be tested), I'll likely cease building i3-based HTPCs.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, June 30, 2011 - link

    We were provided an ATX motherboard for review with the 100W TDP processor. Our benchmarking setup was chosen with future reviews in mind too. We had no idea is mind how the power consumption numbers would play out before choosing the PSU.

    Today is the launch date for the processor. So, this review is just an inkling of how the 6550D (which is also there in the A8-3800 with 65W TDP) will perform currently for HTPC duties. It is targeted towards DIYers who want to build a HTPC right away (and our conclusion is, wait and watch for a few driver releases).
    Reply

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