The lack of a standardized HTPC GPU evaluation methodology always puts us in a quandary when covering the low end / integrated GPUs. Towards this, I had a long discussion with Andrew Van Til, Mathias Rauen and Hendrik Leppkes, all popular open source multimedia software developers. The methodology we developed is presented below.

The first step is to ensure that all the post processing steps work as expected. HQV benchmarking gives us an idea. Once the cards' post processed videos pass visual inspection, we need to gather an idea of how much time is left for the GPU to do further post processing activities. These may include specialized scaling algorithms, bit-depth etc. as implemented by custom MPC-HC shaders / renderers like madVR.

Deinterlacing and cadence detection are aspects which affect almost all HTPC users. Other aspects such as denoising, edge sharpening, dynamic contrast enhancement etc. are not needed in the mainstream HTPC user's usage scenario. Most mainstream videos being watched are either from a Blu-ray source or re-encoded offline or TV shows which need deinterlacing (if they are in 480i / 1080i format).
 

Denoising OFF Denoising ON
Under what circumstances would a GPU run out of steam for such post processing?

The intent of the benchmark is to first disable all post processing and check how fast the decoder can pump out decoded frames. In the typical scenario, we expect post processing to take more time than the decoding. Identifying the stage which decides the throughput of the decoded frames can give us an idea of whether we can put in more post processing steps. This is similar to a pipeline whose operating frequency is decided by the slowest stage. We then enable post processing steps one by one and see how the throughput is affected.

DXVAChecker enables us to measure the performance of the DXVA decoders. We use a standard set of 1080p / 1080i H264 / MPEG-2 and VC-1 clips. We also have 1080p DIVX / XVID and MS-MPEG4 clips. Cyberlink PowerDVD 11, Arcsoft Total Media Theater 5 and MPC-HC video decoders were registered under DirectShow. DXVA Checker was used to identify which codecs could take advantage of DXVA2 and capable of rendering under EVR for the sample clips. An interesting aspect to note was that none of the codecs could process 1080i VC-1 or the MPEG-4 clips with DXVA2.

Note that the results in the next section list all the cards being tested. However, the 6450s and GT 520 shouldn't really be considered with seriousness because of the issues pointed out in the previous sections.

Denoising Performance and ESVP on the 6450s DXVA Benchmarking
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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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