CPU-Usage Benchmarks: H.264 Codec
With video quality out of the way, let's examine video performance. To keep things fair and a little clear, we'll split up the results between AMD and Intel platforms. First, the AMD motherboards:
At this point, we think it's important to remind readers that we had to turn the GeForce 8200 noise reduction off because its video output stuttered when it was enabled. With this in mind, note that the AMD 785G and 790GX are achieving a notably lower CPU utilization while effectively rendering noise cancellation.
Sure, there is a spike in the GeForce 8200 and 785G results, but this is nothing to be concerned about, as the total CPU utilization is so low for these processors. The 790GX manages similar results without a spike.
Now let's examine the Intel processor results:
Both the Intel G45 and GeForce 9300 boards are delivering low CPU utilization. The Intel usage is slightly higher, but in the big scheme of things, it's hardly worth mentioning. Note that we included results on the GeForce board with both the buggy 190.38 driver and the working 182.5 driver. The CPU utilization is lower with the new driver, likely because it isn't handling the same workload (remember, those drivers are "broken" for playback).
As long as you are talking about HTPC builds though, you might want to mention temps... aren't the 9300/9400 boards very hot?
this is in fact an excellent power supply... if you use it. at 100watts load it has a "cool" 76% efficency. if the intel pc uses less than 82watts in load and 66watts in idle you can only imagine the efficency a power supply has at below 5% load. the site suggest around 65% so instead of having a proper power supply using 40watts or less when idle, you get this "green" efficient hummer who swollows 66w. i really like you articles guys but this kind of testing is not the way to go.
i posted some link but i see it's been removed. that review said something about 65% minimum.
"For the last CPU utilization test, we will check the capability of these graphic chipsets to accelerate picture-in-picture (PIP) video streams. To do this, we will use the Blu-ray dick Sunshine, which utilizes the H.264 codec and features PIP commentary during playback."
on page 6
i did NOT know this...
i thought only way to listen to uncompressed audio on blu-ray was using Asus Xonar HDAV 1.3 audio card to bitstream to your receiver...
it's nice to know that IGP has enough power to handle 1080p while streaming HD audio codec....