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Video Playback Quality And 3D Blu-ray Performance

GeForce GT 430: The HTPC Crowd Gets Fermi On A Diet
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First, let’s talk about video quality, specifically when it comes to high-definition playback. This go 'round, we’re using the second-generation HQV Benchmark, a test suite that is far more comprehensive than the original. This new benchmark analyzes many aspects of video playback quality that the previous version didn't touch, such as scrolling text, multi-cadence, color upsampling errors, compression artifacts, scaling and filtering, contrast enhancement, and skin-tone correction.

As usual, many video quality enhancements aren’t enabled by default in the GeForce driver. Before the tests were performed, we enabled inverse telecine, dynamic contrast, color enhancement, we set edge enhancement to 60%, and set noise reduction to 70%.

This benchmark is quite involved, so we’re not going to detail the individual tests here or compare graphics cards against one another—we’re saving that for an upcoming video quality comparison review. Instead, here are the results we achieved with the GeForce GT 430 using the HQV Benchmark:

HQV Benchmark 2.0 Results
(GeForce GT 430)
Test
Score
TEST CLASS 1:
VIDEO CONVERSION

Chapter 1: Video Resolution 15/20
Chapter 2: Film Resolution 5/20
Chapter 3: Overlay on Film 5/10
Chapter 4: Response Time
0/10
Chapter 5: Multi-Cadence
0/30
Chapter 6: Color Upsampling Errors
5/10
TEST CLASS 2:
NOISE AND ARTIFACT REDUCTION


Chapter 1: Random Noise
20/20
Chapter 2: Compression Artifacts
0/20
Chapter 3: Upscaled Compression Artifacts
0/20
TEST CLASS 3:
IMAGE SCALING AND ENHANCEMENTS


Chapter 1: Scaling and Filtering
15/15
Chapter 2: Resolution Enhancement
15/15
TEST CLASS 4:
ADAPTIVE PROCESSING


Chapter 1: Contrast Enhancement
20/20
Chapter 2: Skin Tone Correction:
0/10
TOTAL SCORE:
95/210


In general, the GeForce GT 430 performed very well, despite the impression left by the 95/210 final score. Video resolution, film resolution, noise, scaling, resolution enhancement, and contrast enhancement are very well executed.

The card mostly lost points for multi-cadence incompatibilities and compression artifacts. Losing points for some of the obscure multi-cadence tests, like 12 FPS animation, isn’t much of a concern for most folks I think. And while it’d be nice to have the graphics card fix compression artifacts, this is only a problem with poorly encoded or low-resolution source material. Neither of these issues is going to affect an HTPC user who wants to watch movies on Blu-ray.

Let’s move on to 3D Blu-ray now. We know that these sub-$100 GeForce cards can accelerate 3D Blu-ray decoding, but is there a performance difference? Will one card do a better job than another at taking the load off the CPU?

Apparently, it doesn’t make much difference if you’re rocking a GeForce GT 220, GT 240, or GT 430—all of these cards will do a similar job of taking the load off of the CPU during 3D Blu-ray playback. It's interesting to note, though, that the latest iteration of Nvidia's PureVideo engine (VP4) is capable of accelerating playback of the MVC codec used on 3D Blu-ray discs. Prior-generation engines like the GeForce GTX 260's VP2 fixed-function logic are incapable of assisting the CPU with this task.

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  • 21 Hide
    cknobman , October 11, 2010 1:28 PM
    Not impressed.....at all.

    Its not like Nvidia was racing AMD to the market here so I fail to see why they insist on pushing out a product that is not priced competitively.

    Heck Nvidia's new product isnt even priced appropriately against their last generation cards much less AMDs year old offerings.
  • 21 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 11, 2010 1:59 PM
    Priced pretty high for its performance.
  • 19 Hide
    tmk221 , October 11, 2010 1:42 PM
    imho it's not worth anything close to 79$
Other Comments
  • 13 Hide
    nforce4max , October 11, 2010 1:26 PM
    Just as I thought it is slower than a GT240.
  • 0 Hide
    fausto , October 11, 2010 1:27 PM
    Anybody use HTPC state side with a satallite/cable provider? cable card? are you able to decode OnDemand and Premium Channels in the United States?

    Because it seems like HTPC's primary options are services like Hulu and Netflix.
  • 21 Hide
    cknobman , October 11, 2010 1:28 PM
    Not impressed.....at all.

    Its not like Nvidia was racing AMD to the market here so I fail to see why they insist on pushing out a product that is not priced competitively.

    Heck Nvidia's new product isnt even priced appropriately against their last generation cards much less AMDs year old offerings.
  • 0 Hide
    christiangordon , October 11, 2010 1:38 PM
    faustoAnybody use HTPC state side with a satallite/cable provider? cable card? are you able to decode OnDemand and Premium Channels in the United States?Because it seems like HTPC's primary options are services like Hulu and Netflix.


    I have used the HTPC cards and they don't work with Sat/ATT companies for OnDemand. They are basically good for 720p 1080p formats
  • 19 Hide
    tmk221 , October 11, 2010 1:42 PM
    imho it's not worth anything close to 79$
  • -2 Hide
    rolli59 , October 11, 2010 1:50 PM
    Slots in next to HD5570 low profile for small form factor cases with limited size PSU!
  • 1 Hide
    neilnh , October 11, 2010 1:58 PM
    faustoAnybody use HTPC state side with a satallite/cable provider? cable card? are you able to decode OnDemand and Premium Channels in the United States?Because it seems like HTPC's primary options are services like Hulu and Netflix.


    I use my HTPC for OTA HD networks (Fox, ABC, NBC, etc), Hulu, ESPN3, Blu-ray, and DVD-rips. I get HD on most of the shows I watch, and Hulu doesn't look bad for the others. There are very few gaps, but some would care a lot about them... HBO, NFL network, ESPN content that isn't available on ESPN3. Overall though, no monthly fee for all my TV with HD DVR... I like it. Some people use cable cards, but my whole reason for going the HTPC route was to save money, not pay more.
  • 21 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 11, 2010 1:59 PM
    Priced pretty high for its performance.
  • 16 Hide
    ikefu , October 11, 2010 2:00 PM
    The only reason for this card is if you actually watch 3D Bluray, for anything else the 5670 seems way better.

    I have a 55" 3d TV but hate the glasses so much I can't ever see myself using 3D playback. I'd go for 5670 just for the occasional gaming session.
  • 15 Hide
    Onus , October 11, 2010 2:21 PM
    This just shows how good the HD5670 is. And, with GDDR5 versions of the HD5570 available, there's just no reason for this card at this price. Pass.
  • 3 Hide
    RazberyBandit , October 11, 2010 2:42 PM
    Page 1, in reference to GT 220 comparison:
    Quote:
    the new GeForce GT 430 has an obvious advantage over its predecessor in the form of one-third more shader cores and a 75 MHz-higher core clock

    96 shader cores is only one-third more than 48? Looks more like 100% more (or twice as many) to me...
  • 1 Hide
    cleeve , October 11, 2010 2:50 PM
    RazberyBanditPage 1, in reference to GT 220 comparison:96 shader cores is only one-third more than 48? Looks more like 100% more (or twice as many) to me...


    Thanks! Fixed.
  • -6 Hide
    sohaib_96 , October 11, 2010 3:01 PM
    its an htpc card what would you you expect from it??
  • 1 Hide
    jestersage , October 11, 2010 3:03 PM
    Still waiting for the price war... or Christmas... whichever...
  • 0 Hide
    f-14 , October 11, 2010 3:03 PM
    Quote:
    Here we see the new GeForce GT 420 keep pace with the Radeon HD 5570.


    i won't tell if you don't Don ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    cleeve , October 11, 2010 3:11 PM
    f-14i won't tell if you don't Don


    Doh! You just told!

    Fixed. :) 
  • 9 Hide
    megamanx00 , October 11, 2010 3:19 PM
    So, this new card is still crappy it's just less crappy than a GT 220. It would look alot better if the 5570 wasn't around to not only beat it but use less power at the same time.
  • -6 Hide
    chovav , October 11, 2010 3:23 PM
    how about doing some CUDA calculations? like converting video and checking the differences between the cards. The best will be ofcourse to do this with a program compatible with both CUDA and STREAM..
  • 5 Hide
    Onus , October 11, 2010 3:36 PM
    "The good news is that there are no bad GeForce or Radeon cards anymore; there are only inappropriate prices. "
    Bottom line, I think this is an entirely reasonable assessment. And this card is about $20 too high for what it offers.
  • 0 Hide
    Gekko Shadow , October 11, 2010 3:43 PM
    Sooo...it's a fermi why? *sigh* well i suppose for your average consumers this can work out ok, but i don't think this is something I'd buy for me. Maybe for one of my customers, lol.
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