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AMD/ATI and NVIDIA Graphics Cards in Video Decoding Tasks
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Written by Gizmo   
Monday, 25 June 2007 23:24

Digit-Life decide to evaluate the video decoding performance of the various ATI and nVidia offerings: 

Much time has passed since our previous analysis of video decoding performance and quality in ATI and NVIDIA video cards. Since that time ATI was bought by AMD, both companies launched new video cards with improved support for video decoding. Software support for hardware-assisted video decoding in drivers is also constantly evolving. The situation with performance and quality may change several times a month. So, we again decided to test how well AMD and NVIDIA GPUs cope with decoding and displaying video data.

Read the full comparison at Digit-Life:

Playing HD video with high bitrate, encoded into modern compression formats, such as H.264, WMV and VC-1, has high system requirements. There are no problems with performance, when you play video of any format in low resolutions. But some new CPUs barely cope with software decoding of modern formats in high resolutions (1920x1080) and high bitrates. The main load used to fall on a CPU, but modern video cards are now taking up more and more video decoding and post processing tasks. Modern video chips from AMD and NVIDIA contain special dedicated units, which are used to accelerate video decoding and post-processing. The latest solutions offload CPUs almost completely. One of such cards participates in our tests.

We used three video cards in our tests, based on GPUs from two main manufacturers:

  • Video card: ATI RADEON X1900 XT 512MB (625/1450 MHz), Catalyst 7.4
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB (575/1800 MHz), ForceWare 158.22/ForceWare 158.43
  • Video card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GTS 256MB (675/2000 MHz), ForceWare 158.22/ForceWare 158.43

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