Before proceeding to the conclusions, let us deal with a couple of topics which didn't fit into any of the preceding sections.

First off, we have some power consumption numbers. In addition to idle power, we also measure the average power consumption of the testbed over a 15 minute interval when playing back a 1080p24 MKV file in MPC-HC.

 
HTPC Testbed Power Consumption
  Idle Power Consumption (W) Playback Power Consumption (W)
HTPC Testbed (Core i5-680) 56.6 67.7
AMD 6450 66.4 84.9
MSI 6450 66.2 78.4
Sapphire 6570 66.7 79.6
NVIDIA GT 430 65.7 76
MSI GT 520 67 73.4

There is not much to infer from the above power consumption numbers except that the GDDR5 based AMD 6450 needs to be avoided. All the cards idle around the same value. The AMD cards consume slightly more power when playing back the video.

I am sure many readers are also interested in the performance of the GPUs for 3D videos. With the latest PowerDVD and Total Media Theater builds, all the 3D Blu-rays we tried played back OK. Beyond this, we did't feel it necessary to devote time to develop a benchmarking methodology for 3D videos. There is no standardized way to store and transfer 3D videos. 3D Blu-ray ISOs are different from the 3D MKV standard, which, in turn are different from the standards adopted by some of the camcorder manufacturers. In our personal opinion, the 3D ecosystem for HTPCs is still in a mess. It is no secret that NVIDIA has invested heavily in the 3D ecosystem. In addition to the support for 3D movies, they also supply software to view stereoscopic photographs. If you plan on connecting your HTPC to a 3D TV and also plan to invest in 3D cameras or camcorders, the NVIDIA GPUs are a better choice (purely from a support viewpoint). If all you want to do is to play back your 3D Blu-rays any current GPU solution (Intel or AMD or NVIDIA) should be fine. Note that SBS/TAB (side-by-side/Top-and-Bottom) 3D streams (as used in TV broadcasts) are likely to have performance similar to that of the 2D 720p/1080i content.

From a broadcast perspective, MPEG-2 is a mature codec, but it is not very efficient at HD resolutions. H.264 is widely preferred. Current H.264 broadcast encoders take in the raw 4:2:2 10-bit data, but compress them using 8-bit 4:2:0 encoders. Recently, companies have put forward 10-bit 4:2:2 encoding [PDF] as a way to boost the efficiency of H.264 encoding. Unfortunately, none of the GPUs have support for decoding such streams (encoded with profile level High10). Considering that 10-bit 4:2:2 is finding acceptance within the professional community only now, we wouldn't fault the GPU vendors too much. However, x264 has started implementing 10-bit support now, making it possible for users to generate / back-up videos in the new profile. We would like GPU vendors to provide decode support for the High10 AVC profile as soon as possible in their mainstream consumer offerings.

Benchmarking LAV CUVID with madVR Final Words
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  • fixxxer0 - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - link

    that arrangement of cards slightly resembles a swastika Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the heads up, it honestly didn't cross our minds at all but now that it's been pointed out I can completely see the resemblance. Needless to say we've removed the offending image and I'd like to apologize to anyone who was offended.

    Thank you guys for catching it so quickly.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • fb39ca4 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    If people want to jump to conclusions, let them. The swastika means many things, if you want to associate it with Nazis then go ahead, or you could associate it with the religion Jainsim, which it happens to be a symbol of. Your interpretaion of the image affects no one, there is no reason to make a big deal over it. Reply
  • fixxxer0 - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    lol... i made no connection to nazis or anything... nor said i was offended.

    i just pointed out a resemblance i noticed as a matter of fact.
    Reply
  • tzhu07 - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - link

    Yeah, time to change the Nazi reference. Reply
  • qwertymac93 - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - link

    The indians(the asian ones...) have been using Swastikas for centuries before the nazi party was even thought of. Just sayin'. Reply
  • jwilliams4200 - Sunday, June 12, 2011 - link

    It is unfortunate that there is such an over-reaction to something like this. Besides, the swastika symbol is and has been used for many, many other purposes than representing Nazis:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika
    Reply
  • Souka - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    True as it may be that fact remains that if some one says:

    "Hitler"
    Most people think of Adolf

    "swastika"
    Most people think of Nazi

    I'm of Jewish decent... the pic didn't offend me in the least bit, nor my friends.

    Jusy saying.... ;)
    Reply
  • Gnarr - Monday, June 13, 2011 - link

    people should be thinking of Nazi's and Hitler anyways, it reminds everyone not to make that mistake again.

    I see no harm in accidentally arranging something in a Swastika :p

    and on that notes.. There is a company in my home country that has been using the swastika as the company logo for over hundred years:
    http://martasmarta.blog.is/users/1d/martasmarta/im... ;)
    Reply
  • L. - Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - link

    Unfortunately it does not.

    The way the western world depicts adolf hitler, nazism and everything surrounding that part of history is far from reminding anyone not to make that mistake again, as the main message is "nazi evil, hitler evil, us good guys, us not like them".

    Anyone ever wondered what difference there is between Gestapo and the Patriot Act ? - oh right it doesn't target jews so it's fine ... lol
    Reply

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