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HD Noise Reduction Test: Out Of 25 Points

AVIVO HD vs. Purevideo HD Part 3: Midrange and Low-end Card Performance
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This test shows scenes that are plagued with noise artifacts. Good noise reduction erases most of these artifacts, making the image appear more natural and much less grainy. The trick is to make the noise reduction work without losing detail.

HD Noise Reduction test Windows XP Windows Vista
Radeon 2600 XT 25 25
Geforce 8600 GTS 0 15
Radeon 2400 PRO 0 0
Geforce 8400 GS 0 0

First off, it's hard not to notice that only the 2600 XT seems to be doing any HD video post processing in Windows XP, and only the 2600 XT and 8600 GTS do any post processing in Windows Vista. This was a little surprising, as I had expected the lower end cards to perform closer to their bigger siblings.

As far as the noise reduction test, I have to say that the Radeon 2600 XT's noise reduction algorithm is, to my eye, far superior to that of the Geforce 8600 GTS. Clearly, the Radeon is using a superior method of noise reduction.

Yes, the 8600's noise reduction can be adjusted in the driver control panel, but this doesn't really help, as anything less than 60% doesn't cancel that much noise and anything above 60% causes noticeable blurring of the video. Even the 60% setting on the 8600 GTS doesn't offer the excellent noise cancellation and crisp edges of the 2600 XT. Because of this, I gave the 8600 GTS 15 points and the 2600 XT the full 25 points.

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