Hiper Media Center PC HMC-2K53A-A3

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TESTING

Measurement and Analysis Tools

A Seasonic Power Angel was used to measure the overall system power consumption at various states including Off, Sleep, Idle, with 2 instances of CPUBurn K7 running, and with ATI Tool's artifact scanning running in conjunction with CPUBurn.

We also tested 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.

128MB was assigned to video memory and Aero Glass was disabled during testing.

Video Test Suite


1280x720 | 24fps | ~6.1mbps
720p H.264: BBC's 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
1080p H.264: 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
WMV3 VC-1: 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.

Test Results

CPU Usage & Power Consumption
Activity
Mean CPU Usage
Average Peak CPU Usage
System Power (AC)
Core 0
Core 1
Average
Off
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
3W
Idle
0-6%
0-6%
3%
N/A
~59W
720p H.264
20%
21%
20.5%
51%
~77W
1080p H.264
32%
33%
31.5%
69%
~79W
WMV3 VC-1
41%
45%
43.0%
79%
~80W
WVC1 VC-1
78%
77%
77.5%
98%
~84W
CPUBurn
100%
100%
100%
100%
97W
CPUBurn
+ ATI Tool
100%
100%
100%
100%
104W

All the test clips played back smoothly though during playback of the most demanding WVC1 video, peak CPU usage almost reached 100%, meaning the system was just barely able to decode it properly. Increasing the amount of video memory to 256MB helped a small amount — ultimately the IGP and CPU clock speed determined the performance.



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