It is fair to say that many of the people reading this article will have a substantial collection of DVDs and that many will not have been replaced by a Blu-Ray version at this time. It is however more than likely the case that these movies will be watched on a screen (monitor or HDTV) which is capable of much higher resolution than DVDs provide. In this scenario it is important to have quality upscaling software and recently Cyberlink released PowerDVD 9 which includes just that. Even better though is the fact that it supports GPU acceleration for ATI hardware.
Before we discuss the results it is worth taking into account two points about DVD upscaling. The first is that our performance figures are taken from a Core-i7 CPU. In this task it doesn’t really get faster than that and so the CPU only performance is quite low. The lower specification the processor, the more impressive the GPU assisted gains will be. The second point is that the appearance of the upscaled content will vary greatly depending on the hardware used, including aspects such as the size/resolution of the screen. We shouldn’t expect to see excellent results on a 2560×1600 screen; 720p and 1080p models can show desirable results though. And one other point… upscaled DVD will never look as good as Blu-Ray.
In terms of performance we can see that ATI GPUs reduce our CPU usage by a considerable amount which results in more available CPU resources for other tasks.