Test Systems And Benchmarks
We were sent two very different test platforms for our exploration of Blu-ray 3D: a laptop and a home-theater PC. Let's start with the laptop:
The laptop appears to be a variant of Asus' G51J-3D. It employs an Intel Core i7-720QM processor and 8GB of RAM, and sports a GeForce GTS 360M with 1GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory for graphics. The 15.6" display isn't full 1080p HD, but instead features a 1366x768 native resolution, which is a little better than 720p. Regardless, it provides a great picture and fantastic 3D effects for a portable PC. Rumor has it that the final model will feature Blu-ray 3D compatibility from the factory, in addition to an integrated 3D Vision IR emitter.
The home-theater PC is a custom-built Maingear system intended for demonstrating Blu-ray 3D and 3D Vision. The platform is decidedly entry-level, as far as processing and graphics muscle are concerned. Maingear goes the quiet, energy-efficient route with a dual-core Pentium G6950 and GeForce GT 240 GPU. Of course, the GT 240 is the least-expensive and least-powerful graphics card on Nvidia's list of desktop GPUs that support Blu-ray 3D playback. Because we're interested in this GPU's fixed-function video decode logic, however, it's on equal footing with the higher-end GeForce GTX 480 and 470 graphics cards.
The display is an Acer GD235HZ, a 3D Vision-ready 23.6" LCD monitor with a native 1920x1080 resolution and an HDCP-compliant DVI input. This monitor can be found for about $380 online.
The Blu-ray 3D disc we use for testing is one of the only discs available for the budding new format: Monsters vs Aliens 3D. It is not a bad flick, with lots of laughs for the adults as well as the kids. Seth Rogen rocks.
For our objective testing, we ran Blu-ray 3D on our own test systems:
|Athlon II Test System||Core i7 Test System|
|CPU||AMD Athlon II X3 440 (Deneb) 3.0 GHz, FSB-200 MHz(forth core unlocked for some tests)||Intel Core i7-920 (Nehalem)2.67 GHz, QPI-4200, 8MB Cache|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P BIOS F7, AMD 790X||ASRock X58 SuperComputer Intel X58, BIOS P1.90|
|Networking||Onboard Gigabit LAN controller||Onboard Gigabit LAN controller|
|Memory||Mushkin PC3-10700 4GB Dual-Channel 2 x 2,048MB,DDR3-1340, CL 9-9-9-24-1T||Kingston PC3-10700 3GB Triple-Channel 3 x 1,024MB,DDR3-1066, CL 8-8-8-19-1T|
|Graphics||Zotac GeForce GT 240600 MHz GPU, 1460 MHz shaders, 1GB GDDR5 RAM at 1,000 MHzAsus GeForce ENGTX260 Matrix576 MHz GPU, 1242 MHz shaders, 896MB GDDR3 RAM at 999 MHz*all clock rates have been set to reference specifications for the purpose of benchmarking|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA500GB, 7,200 RPM, 8MB cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
|Power||Thermaltake Toughpower 1,200W1,200W, ATX 12V 2.2, EPS 12v 2.91|
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit|
|DirectX version||DirectX 10|
|Graphics Drivers||Nvidia GeForce 257.01|