Blu-ray Playback And Video Performance
That takes care of the encode/transcode optimizations, but what about decode? I really wanted to know what Arcsoft and CyberLink were doing with Quick Sync leading up to launch, so I spent time with both companies talking about their work.
It turns out that the decode pipeline on Sandy Bridge is so complete that even the AACS decryption is offloaded to fixed-function hardware. AACS employs AES encryption, which most Sandy Bridge-based CPUs accelerate, so that’s rather convenient.
In a best-case scenario, Arcsoft’s reps say that you bitstream encoded Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio to an HDMI 1.3- or 1.4-capable receiver (meaning there is no audio decoding for the CPU to do) and see CPU utilization as low as 0% playing back Blu-ray content.
I used CyberLink’s PowerDVD 10 bitstreaming audio and didn’t get results that stunning. However, CPU utilization did hover around 10% on a Core i7-2820QM-equipped notebook while watching Quantum of Solace, which employs AVC.