Whenever ATI tells us they have some announcements to make two weeks before the end of the year, we usually get a bit worried.  The fact of the matter is that it is very rare for a company to release and ship new products this close to the end of a year, so we tend to get suspicious when new announcements happen like this.  There is one exception, however - and that is software, or in this case, drivers. 

Just earlier this month, ATI released their Catalyst 5.12 drivers, which offered support for dual core processors, but without any really tangible gains in performance as we found out.  ATI had also alluded to the potential of another Catalyst release before the end of the year, and as their predictions would have it, Catalyst 5.13 is due out for release this coming Thursday (12/22/2005). 

But Catalyst 5.13 doesn't promise improved gaming performance, better scaling from dual core processors or anything of that sort.  Instead, Catalyst 5.13 is a little gift to Radeon X1000 owners from the Avivo team. 

Avivo was pretty much a joke of a launch when the X1000 series came out.  There were hardly any tangible improvements due to the new platform that we didn't already have, and its fabled improvements in DVD playback turned out to be worse than what NVIDIA had already had out for months beforehand; yet, there was promise of more. 

ATI promised us H.264 decode acceleration, offloading some of the most CPU intensive tasks for media PCs today onto their brand new GPUs.  ATI also alluded to a transcode utility, which would aid in the conversion between video formats and potentially even accelerating it on the GPU as well. 

Catalyst 5.13 begins to deliver on some of those promises of more, and while we had pretty much given up on Avivo being any good for DVD playback quality, ATI has also promised improved video playback in the latest version of Catalyst.  While we'll save the video playback portion of this article for a later time, there are two equally important topics to discuss today instead.  And there's one more surprise from ATI's Avivo team later on in the article as well...

H.264 Decode Acceleration - As Promised


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  • Pete84 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Looks like the AIW series got yet another shit in the multimedia arm. Capture video and then convert it to whichever format you desire, very nice. Reply
  • vijay333 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    yes...another "shot" indeed :) Reply
  • Pete84 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Oops, that is what happens when I rush typing :p Reply
  • RandomFool - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    I'm just waiting for the more creative users to show up. :) Reply
  • ksherman - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Thanks AT! you guys ROCK! I do a bit of video converting after I finish a movie project, and it seems as though this proggie might work a lot faster than the other ones I have used! Reply
  • ksherman - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    one question though, if this tool is eventually released with GPU assisted recoding, is this going to be an ATI-only product, or will I be able to use it with my 7800?? Reply
  • Thalyn - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Even though it currently uses the CPU to process the transcode, the final product will depend on features present on the X1x00 series and not on the NV4x (6x00/7x00) series. Specifically, it makes use of GPGPU - a function set that allows the graphics card to process more generic code, rather than just graphics, for features such as physics or, in this case, video transcoding.

    It's true that SM3 cards have been used for this purpose before (I recall an audio DSP program written to use a 6800 Ultra, since it could do the task about 5x faster than a P4 3.0e), but this time around it's been designed to work outside of DirectX - ergo, ATi only unless nVidia incorperates GPGPU at a later date.

  • ksherman - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    well, it seems I was a little too quick on the draw... doesnt work at all with nVidia cards :(... guess i really shouldnt have expected that, or just read the little two sentence sumary on the main page. alas, I am still saddened :( Reply
  • karoldude - Monday, June 28, 2010 - link

    cool staff ,thannks for sharing.
    This <a href="http://www.best-video-converter.net">video converter</a> is great , i have tried it.

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