Image Quality

Here’s where Elemental gets off easy. Since Badaboom is best used as an application for getting DVDs onto your iPhone or other low res format, image quality isn’t as big of a deal as it would be if you were viewing these things on a TV.

Compared to the x264 codec, Badaboom’s output seems just fine:


Elemental's Badaboom 1.0


x264

Again, Badaboom avoids the more difficult image quality comparisons by not being useful for high quality conversions.

AMD shows up to this gun fight with a knife, as Avivo’s image quality isn’t acceptable. While the Avivo video converter is free, it’s not useful.

Performance

Once again, I looked at the performance of Badaboom vs. transcoding on a CPU using Handbrake 0.93 (which uses the x264 codec). This time around we have Intel’s Core i7 965, running at 3.2GHz. The comparison stacks up pretty much as it did before:

Empire Strikes Back (1GB Chunk)

The issue is that the Core i7 isn’t running with all 8 threads maxed, instead Handbrake appears to be only utilizing 30 - 40% of the available execution resources, which amounts to less than all four physical cores.

I suspect with better CPU utilization we could have a scenario where the Core i7 was able to perhaps match the performance of the GeForce GTX 280. The only problem then becomes the cost difference.

The Avivo Video Converter does complete our conversion task in around half the time of the GeForce GTX 280 running Badaboom, however the output file is unusable so the performance advantage is meaningless in our opinion. If AMD could fix things however...

Elemental's Badaboom 1.0: The Redemption Badaboom 1.1 Preview
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  • SkullOne - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    GPU encoding is not supported by Vista 64-bit at this time. So if Vista 64-bit is being used that would explain why it was CPU based.

    This is straight from the 8.12 release notes: "The ATI Avivo video transcoder does not currently use GPU acceleration under Windows Vista 64-bit edition."

    Now with that said under Vista x64 I do not get nearly the same amount of corruption as seen on the review but I do get it. Hopefully those bugs are worked out in the future.

    I can successfully encode any VCD/SVCD MPEG to iPod size without a single issue. DivX files encode down to iPod size with some video corruption although it appears that the better the DivX encode the less corruption I get the in the iPod file. Xvid files just dump out audio with no video. I can't even try to covert an h.264/x264 based MKV file as Avivo doesn't recognize the container.

    Hopefully ATI addresses these issues quickly.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Wow, good catch. There was some mention of using Vista 32bit on a few encodes, but I have to wonder if they were using Vista 64bit during the timed run. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    We used 32-bit for everything but those 64-bit stills. AMD didn't tell us about the issues with 64-bit until we brought them up with them, so we switched half way through.

    All the performance tests were done on 32-bit vista.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Thanks for the clarification, Derek. Reply
  • nissen - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Is it Badaboom 1.0 you are using when talking about cpu usage? because here on my duo e6600/gtx280 badaboom eats just between 10-20% of the cpu depending on input ( ~15 for 1080i h264, ~20 for dvd ) , definatly something wrong.
    Reply
  • MojaMonkey - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    On page 7 you have the 9800 GTX+ outperforming the GTX 260 is this correct or have you got the labels wrong?

    I'd expect the GTX 260 to perform better than a GTX+
    Reply
  • dvinnen - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    "And since when is video transcoding not a deterministic process?"

    Cool product from AMD and I'm sure it will get better over the coming months, but how do you manage to do that? Weird.
    Reply
  • The Preacher - Saturday, December 20, 2008 - link

    Ever heard of dithering? If you use that and seed the random generator using system time (not really a bright idea) you could get slightly different results each time (I doubt you could actually SEE the difference).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dithering">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dithering
    Reply

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