Performance Leap: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra

Video Processor, Continued

According to NVIDIA, the NV4x architecture greatly reduces CPU usage during video playback. Also, the chip promises to improve video encoding performance in optimized programs, leading to a much lower power consumption - a factor that will be of utmost importance for the mobile derivatives of the NV4x line. While the performance of the video processor depends on the clockspeed of the whole GPU, all other functions of the chip can be deactivated to save power when the video processor is active. The TV-out functionality is also housed in the new video processor.

This diagram shows the functions of the video processor during MPEG playback...

...and during MPEG encoding.

We tested the CPU usage during MPEG and WMV playback and will cover the results in a separate section of this article.