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Benchmark Results: MediaEspresso 6.5 And LuxMark

AMD Radeon HD 7950 Review: Up Against GeForce GTX 580

This was perhaps the most disappointing chart we encountered. CyberLink generally does a great job of supporting new GPU-based technologies, and we’ve used special versions of its MediaEspresso software in the past to analyze the visual quality of AMD’s accelerated output.

However, we tried three versions of the software: the latest demo, the latest press room-based review copy, and a third with certain features that we can’t disclose yet. None of them made hardware-accelerated encoding available on the AMD cards. Decoding was available, but as you can see, it’s faster to disable AMD's UVD 3 block and use Intel’s Core i7-3960X for the job instead.

Although MediaEspresso also defaults to using accelerated encode-only on the Nvidia cards, we turned on decoding as well. The resulting speed-up is noticeable compared to the software-only approach.

The biggest bummer is that AMD still hasn’t enabled the Video Codec Engine purportedly built into its Radeon HD 7900-series cards. This fixed-function hardware is supposedly not any faster on its own than encoding collaboratively with the programmable hardware. However, in light of the fact that we can’t use the shader hardware on its own, even with the latest Media Codec Package installed, AMD’s performance story in MediaEspresso ends with a whimper.

AMD’s OpenCL performance under LuxMark is much more promising. This tool, derived from the LuxRenderer engine, is a real-world representation of OpenCL-based performance that reports its result in samples per second.

Don’s Radeon HD 7970 launch coverage mentioned that GCN was architected to greatly improve compute performance, and these numbers validate that claim by blowing right past Nvidia’s dual-GPU GeForce GTX 590. The single-GPU Radeon HD 7970 nearly matches pace with the dual-GPU Radeon HD 6990.

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