Serenity (VC1)

Our final test is a VC1 test, meaning the new BSP engine remains idle in the GeForce 8600 while running this test as it is hardcoded to H.264 CAVLC/CABAC bitstreams. When decoding VC1 content, the new 8600 (and the 8500) are essentially the same as the GeForce 8800 GTX or the GeForce 7 series GPUs. While they do include support for inverse transform, that doesn't appear to make any significant difference to the strain on the CPU.

Serenity (VC1) - Average % CPU Utilization

For some reason ATI's offerings continue to give us much higher CPU utilization figures. In this case it's as if hardware assist isn't working at all. We haven't been following ATI's AVIVO over the past several Catalyst revisions, so it is possible that somewhere along the line ATI broke compatibility. It could also be just one more software bug that needs to be fixed by PowerDVD. ATI's hardware is supposed to handle motion compensation while the NVIDIA hardware does not, so in theory ATI should be producing lower CPU utilization numbers in these VC1 tests.

Serenity (VC1) - Max % CPU Utilization

Under WinDVD the story is no different; the new GPUs (as expected) do the same amount of decode work as the old ones and CPU utilization remains unchanged. Given that VC1 is predominantly an HD-DVD codec, the CPU utilization figures we're seeing here aren't terrible.

Serenity (VC1) - Average % CPU Utilization

While NVIDIA has stated that it will look into adding a VC1 compatible BSP in future GPU revisions, it's not absolutely necessary today.

Serenity (VC1) - Max % CPU Utilization

The Interpreter (H.264) Power Consumption
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  • kilkennycat - Friday, April 27, 2007 - link

    Er, its successor-family (89xx??, G9x??) which is now well into design most likely will. Expected out before the end of 2007. Double-precision math etc for the dual role of GPU and general-purpose parallel computation. Maybe with VC1 hardware decode for the little extra icing....
  • DigitalFreak - Friday, April 27, 2007 - link

    LOL. ...and you know this how?
  • Griswold - Saturday, April 28, 2007 - link

    He doesnt know, he is just guessing/wishful thinking. :p
  • Cascavel - Friday, April 27, 2007 - link

    Likewise, impressed. I think one of these will be going in my HTPC.

    And thanks for the review guys, first I have seen on these cards which covered this topic

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