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AMD Roundup October 09

by Stuart Davidson - 8th October 2009
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High Definition Playback

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, chapter 1. Indy 4 is encoded in High Definition 1080p format using MPEG4 AVC compression (rather than Mpeg 2 which is used on older Blu-Ray’s) and comes on a dual layer(50 Gb) disc. The aspect ratio of 2.40:1 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 37 Mbps 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 24 Mbps.

MKV: Our test file was a 1080p .mkv file which was taken from a 1080p source and converted into this format.

When playing a Blu-Ray without GPU acceleration the Athlon 2 X4 620 provides excellent playback with results which are only 1.3% higher on average than a chip twice its price. When we enable GPU acceleration which is a feature of the 785G chipset found on the GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H the CPU use drops significantly.

Our MKV playback test, which is more demanding than Blu-Ray, focuses on CPU performance of a clip which is not being accelerated by the GPU. In this scenario the 810 and 620 CPUs perform at a similar level with the 965BE providing noticeably better results. For someone who watches a lot of MKV files while multi-tasking the extra money spent on a higher specification processor could be worthwhile.

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