AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition and ECS A890GXM-A2 Review
Blu-Ray 3D: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 3D is encoded in High Definition 1080p format using MPEG4 AVC compression and comes on a dual layer (50GB) disc. The aspect ratio of 2.35:1 is used with letterbox bars at the top and bottom of the 16:9 image. This portion of the movie has an average video bitrate of around 45MBPS and regularly peaks above this making it one of the most demanding Blu-Rays on the market. For comparison, a movie such as Casino Royale has a bitrate of 24MBPS.
Blu-Ray playback is a relatively simple affair on recent AMD/Nvidia/Intel hardware, just install the latest drivers then tweak the display settings to the preferred level and run PowerDVD 10 which features support for Blu-Ray 3D. If we want to pass some of the video processing to our GPU we can do so by going into the software options and ticking the hardware acceleration option.
With GPU acceleration in place the CPU usage statistic for Blu-Ray 3D playback never rises into double figures, leaving plenty of resources free for other tasks. It would be hard to tell the systems apart if they were side by side, the comparison is that close.
In our second playback test we look at 1080p video on YouTube. In the first four results we see the performance of the various CPUs on their own. The fifth and sixth results are recorded with GPU acceleration enabled in Flash player 10.2 beta. This passes the workload to our on-board GPU with a noticeable reduction in CPU use, ideal for those who want to perform other tasks while watching video.