GT 430 For the HTPC: HQV Benchmarking

HTPC enthusiasts are often concerned about the quality of pictures output by the system. While this is a very subjective metric, we have decided to take as much of an objective approach as possible. Starting with our HTPC reviews, we have been using the HQV 2.0 benchmark for this purpose. The HQV 2.0 test suite consists of 39 different streams divided into 4 different classes. In our HTPC(s), we use Cyberlink PowerDVD build 2113 with TrueTheater disabled and hardware acceleration enabled for playing back the HQV streams. The playback device is assigned scores for each, depending on how well it plays the stream. Each test was repeated multiple times to ensure that the correct score was assigned. The scoring details are available in the testing guide from HQV.

Given the price point and the power consumption profile of the GT 430, it is evident that it is going to compete with the Radeon HD 5570. In the table below, we indicate the maximum score possible for each test, and how much the GT 430 (with driver version 260.77) and the Radeon HD 5570 (with Catalyst 10.9) were able to get.

 
GT 430 vs. HD 5570 : HQV 2.0 Benchmark
Test Class Chapter Tests Max. Score GT 430 HD 5570
Video Conversion Video Resolution Dial 5 4 5
Dial with Static Pattern 5 5 5
Gray Bars 5 5 5
Violin 5 3 3
Film Resolution Stadium 2:2 5 0 5
Stadium 3:2 5 5 5
Overlay On Film Horizontal Text Scroll 5 5 5
Vertical Text Scroll 5 5 5
Cadence Response Time Transition to 3:2 Lock 5 5 5
Transition to 2:2 Lock 5 0 5
Multi-Cadence 2:2:2:4 24 FPS DVCam Video 5 0 5
2:3:3:2 24 FPS DVCam Video 5 0 5
3:2:3:2:2 24 FPS Vari-Speed 5 0 5
5:5 12 FPS Animation 5 0 5
6:4 12 FPS Animation 5 0 5
8:7 8 FPS Animation 5 0 5
Color Upsampling Errors Interlace Chroma Problem (ICP) 5 5 5
Chroma Upsampling Error (CUE) 5 5 5
Noise and Artifact Reduction Random Noise SailBoat 5 5 5
Flower 5 5 5
Sunrise 5 5 5
Harbour Night 5 5 5
Compression Artifacts Scrolling Text 5 3 3
Roller Coaster 5 3 3
Ferris Wheel 5 3 3
Bridge Traffic 5 3 3
Upscaled Compression Artifacts Text Pattern 5 3 3
Roller Coaster 5 3 3
Ferris Wheel 5 3 3
Bridge Traffic 5 3 3
Image Scaling and Enhancements Scaling and Filtering Luminance Frequency Bands 5 5 5
Chrominance Frequency Bands 5 5 5
Vanishing Text 5 5 5
Resolution Enhancement Brook, Mountain, Flower, Hair, Wood 15 15 15
Video Conversion Contrast Enhancement Theme Park 5 5 5
Driftwood 5 5 5
Beach at Dusk 5 5 5
White and Black Cats 5 5 5
Skin Tone Correction Skin Tones 10 7 7
           
    Total Score 210 148 189

We find that the GT 430 scores the same as the GT 425M in the ASRock Vision 3D. It is also better than the Intel HD Graphics (which scored 133) with respect to this metric, but comes up short against the HD 5570.

A look at the above table reveals that there is not much to differentiate between the GT 430 and HD 5570 except for the bulk of the cadence detection tests. The all-important 3:2 pulldown is performed correctly. However, none of the other cadence detection tests passed. Getting those cadence detection features implemented in the drivers has the potential to increase the HQV score by 35 points, bringing it much closer to the 5570's score. Till then, it is hard for us to recommend the GT 430 with respect to picture quality for the average user.

Power users can always get past the cadence issues by setting up custom resolutions and refresh rates depending on the video being played back, but this not a solution for the average consumer. More concerning is the fact that many digital camcorders record at 30 fps, making it necessary to have proper cadence detection set up for 2:2 pulldown. nVidia says that this issue is being looked into, but not as a top priority feature to implement. Eventually, we should see scores similar to the 5570 a couple of driver releases down the line. For now, the Radeon HD 5570 is a clear winner from the picture quality standpoint.

HTPC Testbed Thoughts & Impressions On 3D TV
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  • n9ntje - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Sad to see Nvidia doesn't live up to expectations, while they want us to believe that they have a perfect HTPC card, it isn't.

    To most people, image quality counts. 3D is still a niche.
    Reply
  • IceDread - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Yeap, it's always best if the competition is even, gives us the best prices. Reply
  • medi01 - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I am afraid market is too slow to react to nVidia having worse products, AMD has nowhere near market share that it deserves to have.

    We can't expect one player to dominate all the time. So when the underdog creates superior products, it should benefit from it. But this is not the case in GPU market, unfortunatelly, as nVidia still keeps much bigger market share, than AMD.
    Reply
  • dnd728 - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I've tried quite a few ATI/AMD cards over the years, including the latest 5000 series, and to date not a single one of them worked right, i.e. without keep crashing Windows.
    It could be one reason.
    Reply
  • electroju - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I agree and I have also used ATI and AMD graphics over the years. AMD graphics writes the worst software or drivers from a reputable company. I go with nVidia because I care for reliability and stability. I do not mind spending money on nVidia graphics because the money goes towards software development. The cost of AMD graphics is too low to provide enough for software development. Reply
  • Zoomer - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I have personally found nvidia cards to have inferior hardware quality. This was very evident from the time when quality dacs for vga mattered, and nvidia cards absolutely sucked at that. Further suboptimal decisions made their cards meh.

    Software wise, I thought nvidia's software quality peaked around the time of the detonators.
    Reply
  • AmdInside - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    DACs depended on the maker of the card. Quadro NVS cards which were made by NVIDIA were regarding as having excellent 2D image quality over analog display. Sadly a lot of NVIDIA partners used cheap DACs on some of their cards. Reply
  • mentatstrategy - Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - link

    Nvidia Fanboi: I have used ati cards and they suck!
    ATI Fanboi: I have used nvidia cards and they suck!
    Reply
  • heflys - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Hmmm....Haven't had a problem with ATi/AMD drivers thus far. Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    perhaps you need to read a bit more and see how many 1000's have been recently been affected by this awesome nvidia reliability and stability when they all had to throw away there graphic cards and laptops. Reply

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