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Blu-ray Playback And Video Performance

Intel’s Second-Gen Core CPUs: The Sandy Bridge Review

That takes care of the encode/transcode optimizations, but what about decode? I really wanted to know what Arcsoft and CyberLink were doing with Quick Sync leading up to launch, so I spent time with both companies talking about their work.

Sub-10 percent utilization on a mobile CPUSub-10 percent utilization on a mobile CPU

It turns out that the decode pipeline on Sandy Bridge is so complete that even the AACS decryption is offloaded to fixed-function hardware. AACS employs AES encryption, which most Sandy Bridge-based CPUs accelerate, so that’s rather convenient.

In a best-case scenario, Arcsoft’s reps say that you bitstream encoded Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio to an HDMI 1.3- or 1.4-capable receiver (meaning there is no audio decoding for the CPU to do) and see CPU utilization as low as 0% playing back Blu-ray content.

Bitstreaming DTS-HD Master AudioBitstreaming DTS-HD Master Audio

I used CyberLink’s PowerDVD 10 bitstreaming audio and didn’t get results that stunning. However, CPU utilization did hover around 10% on a Core i7-2820QM-equipped notebook while watching Quantum of Solace, which employs AVC.

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