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One of the features which Nvidia has enabled on the Geforce 9 series is dual stream decoding and when watching a special feature in the standard picture in picture mode the 9600 is able to accelerate both streams, keeping CPU usage at a minimum. The Radeon does not yet have this feature and as a result a significant amount of decoding is passed to the CPU.

The 9600 also allows us to keep the Aero desktop enabled when playing back high definition content where as Radeon systems switch to Vista basic. Clearly this is not a major issue; it just creates a nicer environment in which to watch movies if a Geforce 9 card is installed.

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Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.