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AVIVO HD vs. Purevideo HD Part 3: Midrange and Low-end Card Performance

AVIVO HD vs. Purevideo HD Part 3: Midrange and Low-end Card Performance
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In part one (The Radeon X1000 vs. Geforce 7000 Generation) of our Avivo vs. Purevideo comparison, we concentrated on DVD playback. In our second article in this series ((What You Need to Know about High-Definition Video), we concentrated on high definition video formats - HD DVD in particular - and we dug in to what it takes to get them to work on the PC.

This time, we'll be concentrating on the end-user experience with new midrange and low-end video accelerators. We'll be looking at the highest end midrange cards - the Radeon 2600 XT Compare Prices on Radeon 2600 XT Video Cards and Geforce 8600 GTS Compare Prices on GeForce 8600 GTS Video Cards - to see how they compare to the lowest end discrete cards in the same families: the Radeon 2400 PRO and Geforce 8400 GS.

In our last review, the GeForce drivers were not yet able to accelerate video decoding in Windows XP, limiting their effectiveness to the new Windows Vista. Have the drivers matured to offer identical performance across these operating systems? Does one company offer a clearly superior solution? Will the products from within the same graphics card family perform closely, or will there be marked differences? Let's find out!

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