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Measurement and Analysis Tools
Our test procedure is designed to determine the overall system power consumption
at various states, and to test the integrated
graphics' proficiency at playing back high definition videos. Standard HD-DVD
and Blu Ray discs can be encoded in three different codecs by design: MPEG-2,
H.264/AVC and VC-1. MPEG-2 has been around for a number of years and is not
demanding on modern system resources. H.264 and VC-1 encoded videos on the other
hand, due to the amount of complexity in their compression schemes, are extremely
stressful and will not play smoothly (or at all) on slower PCs, especially with
antiquated video subsystems.
Since we did not have a HD-DVD or Blu Ray drive at our disposal, we instead
used a variety of H.264 and VC-1 video clips encoded for playback on the PC
for testing. The clips were played with Windows Media Player 11 and a CPU usage
graph was created by the Windows Task Manger for analysis to determine the approximate
mean and average CPU use. High CPU usage is indicative of poor video decoding
ability on the part of the integrated graphics subsystem. If CPU usage reached
extremely high levels and the video skipped or froze, we concluded the board
(in conjunction with the processor) failed to adequately decompress the clip.
Enhanced Intel Speed Step was enabled and Aero Glass was disabled during testing.
Video Test Suite
1280x720 | 24fps | ~6.1mbps
HD in Full Bloom
is encoded with H.264. It features time-lapsed
photography, mainly of various flowers blooming with vibrant colors
and high contrast.
1920x816 | 24fps | ~9.9mbps
Rush Hour 3 Trailer 1
is encoded with H.264. It has a good mixture
of light and dark scenes, interspersed with fast-motion action and cutaways.
1440x1080 | 24fps | ~7.5mbps
Coral Reef Adventure trailer
is encoded in VC-1 using the WMV3
codec (commonly recognized by the moniker, "HD WMV"). It features
multiple outdoor landscape and dark underwater scenes.
1280x720 | 60fps | ~11.9mbps
WVC1 VC-1: Microsoft Flight Simulator X trailer
is encoded in VC-1. It's a compilation of in-game action from a third
person point of view. While the source image quality is poor compared
to the other videos in our test suite, it is encoded using the Windows
Media Video 9 Advanced Profile (aka WVC1) codec a much more demanding
implementation of VC-1.
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