ASRock's High-End Vision 3D HTPC Reviewedby Ganesh T S on October 3, 2010 10:20 AM EST
The GF108 Fermi lineup was announced by nVidia at the 2010 IFA in the first week of September. We already covered their announcement in a previous piece along with the details of the architecture. I happen to be the first editor at AnandTech to get hold of the actual silicon in a system, and the full responsibility of putting it through the paces fell on me. Though I happen to be more of a HTPC person, I did manage to run a few of the gaming benchmarks developed by Jarred. I have been playing around with various beta driver releases from nVidia ever since I got hold of the engineering sample, but the results presented in this piece are all obtained with MXM driver version 260.66. Before we get to the gaming performance, let us take a look at some of the synthetic benchmarks related to the GPU in the Vision 3D.
The GeForce 425M comes out with surprisingly better performance than the Mobility Radeon 5650. Though the effective memory bandwidth in the 425M (25.6 GBps) is lesser than that available in the 335M (34.1 GBps), the architectural improvements seem to have delivered very similar scores in our two synthetic benchmarks. But, do these improvements show benefits in actual gaming performance? We will see that in the next section.
Our coverage of the 400M series indicated that the number of shaders in almost all the members of the GF108 series is constant at 96. They all have a DDR3 memory interface running at 800 MHz. The processor clock is locked at 2x the graphics clock for all the models. While the default 425M graphics clock frequency is 560 MHz, we could easily overclock it to 650 MHz (435M default frequency) using the nTune program available as part of the nVidia system tools suite. The GPU is very overclocking friendly, and we were even able to ramp up the memory clocks to the rumoured GT 430 specifications without encountering any issues.
The GF108 brings the latest and greatest in PureVideo to the consumer. Based on VP4, it supports hardware accelerated decode of almost all video codecs except Real Media and the On2 codecs. We have already seen the DXVA status of a VP4 enabled device in the GeForce G210 in a previous article. The DXVA Checker report for the 425M is provided below, and there is nothing unexpected in it.