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Measurement and Analysis Tools
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
Video Test Suite
1080p | 24fps | ~7.5mbps
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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