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Monday, 07 April 2008 01:00
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ATI and NVIDIA - Video playback quality and performance analysis
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ATI and NVIDIA - Video playback quality and performance analysis

While graphics boards (and discrete parts in particular) are still often considered as only being of use in 3D graphics and gaming terms, to focus on such cards in these terms alone would be to belie one of the other major requirements from any modern GPU in this day and age - Video playback.

Although playing back DVD content is easy enough with any modern CPU now, the advent of High Definition content and the rise of Blu-Ray as the winner of the next-generation optical format war have brought new and far more demanding computing requirements to the PC marketplace.  While a CPU alone will struggle to handle High Definition content recorded in 1080p, modern GPUs are ideally designed and placed to take most of that workload away from the CPU, which means that the latest generations of graphics boards from both NVIDIA and AMD's ATI graphics division are capable of accelerating most if not all of a High Definition video stream.

With this in mind, and with NVIDIA's latest drivers sporting various improvements to their PureVideo technology, now seems like an ideal time for us to finally put both ATI and NVIDIA's current offerings through their paces in the realm of video playback.  Thus, in this article, we'll be taking a look at what both companies have to offer from a driver perspective, before going on to examine both DVD and Blu-Ray video playback quality together with the performance on offer when playing back Blu-Ray movies.  So, if video is your thing, and you're wondering which side of the graphics fence to place your bets on, read on to find out everything that you need to know.



 
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