GT 430 For the HTPC: HQV Benchmarking

HTPC enthusiasts are often concerned about the quality of pictures output by the system. While this is a very subjective metric, we have decided to take as much of an objective approach as possible. Starting with our HTPC reviews, we have been using the HQV 2.0 benchmark for this purpose. The HQV 2.0 test suite consists of 39 different streams divided into 4 different classes. In our HTPC(s), we use Cyberlink PowerDVD build 2113 with TrueTheater disabled and hardware acceleration enabled for playing back the HQV streams. The playback device is assigned scores for each, depending on how well it plays the stream. Each test was repeated multiple times to ensure that the correct score was assigned. The scoring details are available in the testing guide from HQV.

Given the price point and the power consumption profile of the GT 430, it is evident that it is going to compete with the Radeon HD 5570. In the table below, we indicate the maximum score possible for each test, and how much the GT 430 (with driver version 260.77) and the Radeon HD 5570 (with Catalyst 10.9) were able to get.

GT 430 vs. HD 5570 : HQV 2.0 Benchmark
Test Class Chapter Tests Max. Score GT 430 HD 5570
Video Conversion Video Resolution Dial 5 4 5
Dial with Static Pattern 5 5 5
Gray Bars 5 5 5
Violin 5 3 3
Film Resolution Stadium 2:2 5 0 5
Stadium 3:2 5 5 5
Overlay On Film Horizontal Text Scroll 5 5 5
Vertical Text Scroll 5 5 5
Cadence Response Time Transition to 3:2 Lock 5 5 5
Transition to 2:2 Lock 5 0 5
Multi-Cadence 2:2:2:4 24 FPS DVCam Video 5 0 5
2:3:3:2 24 FPS DVCam Video 5 0 5
3:2:3:2:2 24 FPS Vari-Speed 5 0 5
5:5 12 FPS Animation 5 0 5
6:4 12 FPS Animation 5 0 5
8:7 8 FPS Animation 5 0 5
Color Upsampling Errors Interlace Chroma Problem (ICP) 5 5 5
Chroma Upsampling Error (CUE) 5 5 5
Noise and Artifact Reduction Random Noise SailBoat 5 5 5
Flower 5 5 5
Sunrise 5 5 5
Harbour Night 5 5 5
Compression Artifacts Scrolling Text 5 3 3
Roller Coaster 5 3 3
Ferris Wheel 5 3 3
Bridge Traffic 5 3 3
Upscaled Compression Artifacts Text Pattern 5 3 3
Roller Coaster 5 3 3
Ferris Wheel 5 3 3
Bridge Traffic 5 3 3
Image Scaling and Enhancements Scaling and Filtering Luminance Frequency Bands 5 5 5
Chrominance Frequency Bands 5 5 5
Vanishing Text 5 5 5
Resolution Enhancement Brook, Mountain, Flower, Hair, Wood 15 15 15
Video Conversion Contrast Enhancement Theme Park 5 5 5
Driftwood 5 5 5
Beach at Dusk 5 5 5
White and Black Cats 5 5 5
Skin Tone Correction Skin Tones 10 7 7
    Total Score 210 148 189

We find that the GT 430 scores the same as the GT 425M in the ASRock Vision 3D. It is also better than the Intel HD Graphics (which scored 133) with respect to this metric, but comes up short against the HD 5570.

A look at the above table reveals that there is not much to differentiate between the GT 430 and HD 5570 except for the bulk of the cadence detection tests. The all-important 3:2 pulldown is performed correctly. However, none of the other cadence detection tests passed. Getting those cadence detection features implemented in the drivers has the potential to increase the HQV score by 35 points, bringing it much closer to the 5570's score. Till then, it is hard for us to recommend the GT 430 with respect to picture quality for the average user.

Power users can always get past the cadence issues by setting up custom resolutions and refresh rates depending on the video being played back, but this not a solution for the average consumer. More concerning is the fact that many digital camcorders record at 30 fps, making it necessary to have proper cadence detection set up for 2:2 pulldown. nVidia says that this issue is being looked into, but not as a top priority feature to implement. Eventually, we should see scores similar to the 5570 a couple of driver releases down the line. For now, the Radeon HD 5570 is a clear winner from the picture quality standpoint.

HTPC Testbed Thoughts & Impressions On 3D TV


View All Comments

  • Ryan Smith - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    None of the good product shots I have include passive GT 430s. However there are 2 in the collage on an NV slide: a Sparkle and a Zotac. Reply
  • ranger203 - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I have a Geforce G210 for my media center and it runs blu-rays well. I am looking for a little more umpppff to allow some post processing of other videos. But I paid $35 for my card, and the only way I would replace it was if this one was under $50.

    But.... a quick froogle search found they want to go for around $75. Giga-byte offers a passive cooler, looks pretty bad ass.
  • Lolimaster - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Just buy a HD5550. You shoul've started buying an AMD IGP Mobo, that's enough.

    Nvidia on the low end is just worthless.
  • DMisner - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    I noticed it has the same number of CUDA cores as the GT 240. Would this perform any better or about the same as the GT 240 for Folding@Home? Reply
  • AznBoi36 - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    It's slower than the GT240. Also the GT240 is a full height card, while this one is low profile. There is a reason why this card is called the GT430 and not a GT440. Reply
  • mczak - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Hmm on page 1 it says roughly same die size as "Juniper GPU in the 5500/5600 families" - that should be redwood. Also, the "GT430 goes up against... GT430..." I guess that should be GT240?
    I'm really wondering how they attach 4 rops to two memory partitions btw. I believe that one quad rop per partition wouldn't really have required a lot of changes over one octo-rop per partition, but either the quad-rop block was split into 2 or it's actually attached to both MCs. Of course, for actual color fillrate, it doesn't really matter if there are 4 or 8 rops - pixel output is limited to 2 per SM anyway.
  • jsbiggs - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Additional correction:

    On the Power, Temperature, and Noise page, the line "Even at these low wattages where our 1200W power supply isn’t very efficiency". Probably should be "...isn't very efficient". Cheers.
  • Onferno - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Passively cooled and working as a PhysX card:
  • kmitty - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Depends on your definition of 'ultimate'. For me, just looking at it and seeing a fan meant it wasn't my ultimate HTPC card - absolute silence required! Reply
  • mcnabney - Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - link

    No kidding.

    An ideal HTPC card is:

    1. Silent
    2. Consumes very little power
    3. Can decode all current and pending video format/containers
    4. Fits half-height as well
    5. Has rock-solid driver support
    6. Cheap
    7. Bitstream audio and includes a full version of BluRay software to support it

    This card just doesn't measure up. Ideally the best HTPC card isn't a card, but is actually part of the motherboard.

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