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GeForce GT 430: The HTPC Crowd Gets Fermi On A Diet

Video Playback Quality And 3D Blu-ray Performance

First, let’s talk about video quality, specifically when it comes to high-definition playback. This go 'round, we’re using the second-generation HQV Benchmark, a test suite that is far more comprehensive than the original. This new benchmark analyzes many aspects of video playback quality that the previous version didn't touch, such as scrolling text, multi-cadence, color upsampling errors, compression artifacts, scaling and filtering, contrast enhancement, and skin-tone correction.

As usual, many video quality enhancements aren’t enabled by default in the GeForce driver. Before the tests were performed, we enabled inverse telecine, dynamic contrast, color enhancement, we set edge enhancement to 60%, and set noise reduction to 70%.

This benchmark is quite involved, so we’re not going to detail the individual tests here or compare graphics cards against one another—we’re saving that for an upcoming video quality comparison review. Instead, here are the results we achieved with the GeForce GT 430 using the HQV Benchmark:

TestScore
TEST CLASS 1: VIDEO CONVERSION
Chapter 1: Video Resolution15/20
Chapter 2: Film Resolution5/20
Chapter 3: Overlay on Film5/10
Chapter 4: Response Time0/10
Chapter 5: Multi-Cadence0/30
Chapter 6: Color Upsampling Errors5/10
TEST CLASS 2: NOISE AND ARTIFACT REDUCTION
Chapter 1: Random Noise20/20
Chapter 2: Compression Artifacts0/20
Chapter 3: Upscaled Compression Artifacts0/20
TEST CLASS 3: IMAGE SCALING AND ENHANCEMENTS
Chapter 1: Scaling and Filtering15/15
Chapter 2: Resolution Enhancement15/15
TEST CLASS 4: ADAPTIVE PROCESSING
Chapter 1: Contrast Enhancement20/20
Chapter 2: Skin Tone Correction:0/10
TOTAL SCORE:95/210

In general, the GeForce GT 430 performed very well, despite the impression left by the 95/210 final score. Video resolution, film resolution, noise, scaling, resolution enhancement, and contrast enhancement are very well executed.

The card mostly lost points for multi-cadence incompatibilities and compression artifacts. Losing points for some of the obscure multi-cadence tests, like 12 FPS animation, isn’t much of a concern for most folks I think. And while it’d be nice to have the graphics card fix compression artifacts, this is only a problem with poorly encoded or low-resolution source material. Neither of these issues is going to affect an HTPC user who wants to watch movies on Blu-ray.

Let’s move on to 3D Blu-ray now. We know that these sub-$100 GeForce cards can accelerate 3D Blu-ray decoding, but is there a performance difference? Will one card do a better job than another at taking the load off the CPU?

Apparently, it doesn’t make much difference if you’re rocking a GeForce GT 220, GT 240, or GT 430—all of these cards will do a similar job of taking the load off of the CPU during 3D Blu-ray playback. It's interesting to note, though, that the latest iteration of Nvidia's PureVideo engine (VP4) is capable of accelerating playback of the MVC codec used on 3D Blu-ray discs. Prior-generation engines like the GeForce GTX 260's VP2 fixed-function logic are incapable of assisting the CPU with this task.

  • nforce4max
    Just as I thought it is slower than a GT240.
    Reply
  • fausto
    Anybody use HTPC state side with a satallite/cable provider? cable card? are you able to decode OnDemand and Premium Channels in the United States?

    Because it seems like HTPC's primary options are services like Hulu and Netflix.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Not impressed.....at all.

    Its not like Nvidia was racing AMD to the market here so I fail to see why they insist on pushing out a product that is not priced competitively.

    Heck Nvidia's new product isnt even priced appropriately against their last generation cards much less AMDs year old offerings.
    Reply
  • christiangordon
    faustoAnybody use HTPC state side with a satallite/cable provider? cable card? are you able to decode OnDemand and Premium Channels in the United States?Because it seems like HTPC's primary options are services like Hulu and Netflix.
    I have used the HTPC cards and they don't work with Sat/ATT companies for OnDemand. They are basically good for 720p 1080p formats
    Reply
  • tmk221
    imho it's not worth anything close to 79$
    Reply
  • rolli59
    Slots in next to HD5570 low profile for small form factor cases with limited size PSU!
    Reply
  • neilnh
    faustoAnybody use HTPC state side with a satallite/cable provider? cable card? are you able to decode OnDemand and Premium Channels in the United States?Because it seems like HTPC's primary options are services like Hulu and Netflix.
    I use my HTPC for OTA HD networks (Fox, ABC, NBC, etc), Hulu, ESPN3, Blu-ray, and DVD-rips. I get HD on most of the shows I watch, and Hulu doesn't look bad for the others. There are very few gaps, but some would care a lot about them... HBO, NFL network, ESPN content that isn't available on ESPN3. Overall though, no monthly fee for all my TV with HD DVR... I like it. Some people use cable cards, but my whole reason for going the HTPC route was to save money, not pay more.
    Reply
  • rohitbaran
    Priced pretty high for its performance.
    Reply
  • ikefu
    The only reason for this card is if you actually watch 3D Bluray, for anything else the 5670 seems way better.

    I have a 55" 3d TV but hate the glasses so much I can't ever see myself using 3D playback. I'd go for 5670 just for the occasional gaming session.
    Reply
  • Onus
    This just shows how good the HD5670 is. And, with GDDR5 versions of the HD5570 available, there's just no reason for this card at this price. Pass.
    Reply