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Blu-ray Done Right: How Does Your Integrated GPU Stack Up?

The State Of HD Video On Integrated Graphics

Update: Since we first published this story, working with Intel and CyberLink,we have been able to get the Film Mode Detection mode to work on the Intel G45 chipset as described on page five. This has impacted the playback image quality scoring and our conclusion as it pertains to the G45 chipset on page 15.

In our last Avivo HD Versus PureVideo HD face-off, we compared the newest chipsets with integrated graphics processors (IGPs) and examined how well they played back Blu-ray content. Frankly, the results were a bit surprising, as both the AMD 780G and GeForce 8200 chipsets scored a zero in the HQV video quality benchmarks. While they managed to provide basic hardware acceleration for smooth Blu-ray playback, the quality just wasn't there, according to the tests. At the end of our review, we concluded that the best option for a serious HD video enthusiast would be a discrete card, such as the Radeon HD 2600 XT.

However, our last Avivo HD versus PureVideo HD comparison was written a long time ago, and the drivers have come a long, long way. In addition, there are some new players to consider: the Intel G45, the GeForce 9300/9400, and the AMD 790GX/785G.

Just how far has the software supporting these integrated GPUs come? Are integrated chipsets now able to compete with discrete solutions as far as video quality is concerned? How do the new options perform? Let's dig in and see if we can sort out the current state of integrated HD video playback on the PC.

  • Proximon
    Great article. I think maybe the 4650 is a bit overkill, but that's just nitpicking.

    As long as you are talking about HTPC builds though, you might want to mention temps... aren't the 9300/9400 boards very hot?
    Reply
  • epsiloneri
    Power draw is not interesting because of the electricity bill, it is the generated heat needed to be dissipated with the associated noise levels due to cooling that is critical for an HTPC.
    Reply
  • HalfHuman
    i don't get it why a home theater would use a 1200w power source. at the same time i don't get why would someone evaluate the power efficency using this kind of power sorce. if you ask me i'd make this crazy ass power supplies illegal. a normal hometheater should not use more than 50w at idle and 100-150w at load. seems that this is what these actually consume. factor in the less than 5% load on the power supply and you get a masterfull 50-60% power efficency. i'd love to see some proper power supply test.
    Reply
  • falchard
    BUT CAN IT PLAY CRYSIS!
    Reply
  • falchard
    BTW, I would like to see a "Can it play Crysis" article in the future that runs down every video card and IGP, then determines if it can possibly play Crysis and at what settings.
    Reply
  • HalfHuman
    the 1200w power supply is green as in blue-green mould green.
    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.
    Reply
  • Efficiency isn't even tested below 20% load i believe But it should still be around 70-80% it is a Thermaltake Toughpower 1200w and all of them(3 listed on their site) are standard 80% eff rated or bronze. Ture a more modest Delta,Seasonic 250w or 300w would be much more appropriate for a htpc.
    Reply
  • HalfHuman
    20% for this would be 240watts and efficency would still be reasonable.
    i posted some link but i see it's been removed. that review said something about 65% minimum.
    Reply
  • drew_a
    Uh, guys... you might want to edit this article...
    "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
    Reply
  • icepick314
    "If you are an audiophile, you should know that out of these remaining options, only the GeForce 9300/9400 can handle uncompressed eight-channel LPCM audio over HDMI 1.3."

    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....
    Reply