Asus P5N7A-VM: Geforce 9300 IGP

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TEST METHODOLOGY

Test Setup:

Measurement and Analysis Tools

  • Cyberlink PowerDVD 8 to play video.
  • Prime95 25.6 processor stress software for loading the CPU.
  • ATITool 0.27 Beta 4 artifact scanner to stress the integrated GPU.
  • CPU-Z to monitor CPU frequency and voltage.
  • SpeedFan 4.35, used to monitor temperature and fan speeds.
  • Seasonic Power Angel AC power meter, used to measure the power consumption of the system.
  • Custom-built, four-channel variable DC power supply, used to regulate the CPU fan speed.

Our main test procedure is designed to determine the overall system power consumption at various states (measured using a Seasonic Power Angel), and to test the integrated graphics' proficiency at playing high definition video. Standard HD-DVD and Blu Ray discs can be encoded in three different codecs: MPEG-2, H.264 / AVC and VC-1. MPEG-2 has been around for years and is not demanding on modern system resources. H.264 and VC-1 encoded videos, on the other hand, are extremely stressful due to the complexity of their compression schemes and will not play smoothly (or at all) on slower PCs, especially those with antiquated video subsystems.

We use a variety of H.264/VC-1 clips encoded for playback on the PC. The clips are played with PowerDVD 8 and a CPU usage graph is created by the Windows Task Manger for analysis to determine the approximate mean and peak CPU usage. High CPU usage is indicative of poor video decoding ability on the part of the integrated graphics subsystem. If the video (and / or audio) skips or freezes, we conclude the board's IGP (in conjunction with the processor) is inadequate to decompress the clip properly.

Video memory was set to 128MB, SpeedStep was enabled, and the following OS features / services were disabled to prevent spikes in CPU or hard drive usage that are typical of fresh Vista installations:

  • Windows Sidebar
  • Indexing
  • Superfetch

Video Test Suite


1080p | 24fps | ~10mbps
H.264: Rush Hour 3 Trailer 1 is encoded in H.264 with Apple Quicktime.


1080p | 24fps | ~7.5mbps
WMV3: Coral Reef Adventure trailer is encoded in VC-1 using the WMV3 codec (commonly recognized by the moniker, "HD WMV").


720p | 60fps | ~12mbps
VC-1: Microsoft Flight Simulator X trailer is encoded in VC-1 using the Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile (aka WVC1) codec — a much more demanding implementation of VC-1.


1920x1080 | 24fps | ~19mbps
VC-1: Drag Race is a recording of a scene from network television re-encoded with TMPGEnc using the WVC1 codec.


1920x1080 | 24fps | ~33mbps
Blu-ray: Disturbia is a short section of the Blu-ray version of Disturbia, the motion picture, played directly off the Blu-ray disc. It is encoded in H.264/AVC.



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