AnandTech - AMD 780G: Preview of the Best Current IGP Solution (March 10, 2008)UVD 2.0 and Advanced Deinterlacing Quote:
HDMI 1.3b and HDMI Audio
AMD integrates their Unified Video Decoder 2.0 (UVD 2.0) capabilities into the 780G. UVD 2.0 offers hardware acceleration for decoding VC-1, H.264 (AVC), WMV, and MPEG-2 sources up to 1080p resolutions. Advanced de-interlacing is available when using a Phenom processor. We generally found CPU utilization rates and output quality to be near or equal to that of the HD 3450.
We were excited to learn that AMD was seeking HDMI 1.3b certification of the RS780, but it turns out that will not happen. xvYCC color space is fully supported and Deep Color (10-bit) was on the list, but the specification calls for 4:4:4 and the RS780 supports 4:2:2. On the audio side, the HDMI interface offers support for 2-channel LPCM, Dolby Digital 5.1, or DTS 5.1. Multi-Channel LPCM is not supported due to an available audio bandwidth of 1.6Mb/s over the HDMI interface.
So the HDMI audio of 780G seems to be limited by hardware.
- LPCM 2-channel/16-bit/48kHz
- Dolby Digital 5.1
The usual S/PDIF supports a wider bandwidth of 12.3Mb/s
. Multichannel LPCM requires a bandwidth of:
- LPCM 8-channel/24-bit/192kHz
= 36.9 Mb/s
(= 8 x 24 x 192/1000)
HDMI 1.2 supports a bandwidth of 4.9Gb/s, video/audio combined, while HDMI 1.3 supports 10.2Gb/s.HyperTransport 3.0 is Essential for the Integrated Graphics HD 3200
Another confirmation, this time by AnandTech:
HyperTransport 3.0 capability (5.2GT/s+ interface) is included and is extremely important in extracting every last ounce of performance out of the HD 3200 graphics core. AMD recommends the Phenom processor family (not just to sell out stocks of B2 processors) in order to fully take advantage of the performance offered by the HD 3200. With a Phenom onboard, the HD 3200 will perform post-processing on high-definition content and it makes a difference in image quality and fluidity during 1080P playback. In fact, the graphics core is so sensitive to the HT interconnect link speed that simply raising the standard 1.8GHz speed to 2.2GHz on our 9600BE resulted in measurable performance differences in a few applications
Votes on Video Output Quality by Eight People
With a Phenom installed, we see the advantages of the post-processing engine coming into play. Additional tuning is also available in the 8.3 drivers with the ability to turn edge enhancement off and on. We will have the standard HQV results in our roundup. The 8.3 drivers allow the 780G with a Phenom to score 122 out of 130 points and 113 with the 4850e
Note that the processor is Athlon X2 4850e (HT 2.0) for both 780G and 8200, while it's Pentium Dual-Core E2200 for G35.
- SWORDFISH (MPEG-2): 780G: 4, 8200: 2, G35: 2
- SWORDFISH (VC-1): 780G: 3, 8200: 1, G35: 3 (1 vote is missing)
- Cars (H.264): 780G: 1, 8200: 4, G35: 3
- Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds (VC-1): 780G: 3, 8200: 3, G35: 2
- SPIDER-MAN 3 (H.264): 780G: 4, 8200: 3, G35: 1
- Total Votes: 780G: 15, 8200: 13, G35: 11
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds includes Dolby TrueHD 5.1 24-bit/96kHz and LPCM 2.0 24-bit/48kHz sound tracks. CPU usage for 8200 is 9% higher
when PowerDVD decodes TrueHD 5.1 to LPCM 5.1 than LPCM 2.0.
The AMD 780G platform offers significantly lower CPU utilization rates than the G35 in our H.264 playback tests while jockeying back and forth with the GeForce8200. VC1 and MPEG-2 playback was certainly lower on the 780G/GeForce 8200 platforms although the G35 was at least in the ballpark. Intel has made some strides with the 15.8 drivers in regards to MPEG-2 playback and overall image quality. Our experiences with the 15.9 driver are even better but we will have to wait until the G45 fora true competitor to the either AMD chipset previewed today when comparing hardware accelerated decode capabilities.
However, throughout testing, the 780G nor GeForce 8200 never once experienced pausing, judder, or outright blank screen events, something we cannot say about the G35. Certainly, our processor choices have a significant impact on CPU utilization rates but considering our two choices are priced equally, we have to give the nod to AMD for having a better media solution in this price range. As far as power consumption goes during H.264 playback, the AMD platform averaged 106 watts, NVIDIA platform at 102 watts, and the Intel platform averaged 104 watts.
The G35 and GeForce 8200 certainly holds an advantage when it comes to providing multi-channel LPCM audio over the HDMI interface and that one item is enough for us to go back to our original opening comments that AMD got it right, almost exactly right. From an HTPC perspective, it is hard to argue with the video results from the HD 3200 but the audio capabilities of the G35 and GeForce 8200 still sway us at times to the other side.
After testing nearly non-stop over the past two weeks, we think the 780G is the better overall solution and are still amazed that AMD made such a significant jump in IGP performance in such short time. Our comments come from reviewing the results from close to two-dozen benchmarks and a general maturity in platform at this moment, something we could not have said when our first boards arrived a few weeks ago.
The only wild card at this point is the NVIDIA GeForce 8200 as it appears to be very close to the 780G in multimedia performance, but gaming and application capabilities are lagging a little in early testing. Whether this is due to an immature BIOS, chipset limitations, or drivers is up for debate at this point (calling 1-800-NVIDIA, please pick up). We will have full results for this chipset in our roundup but considering most boards based on the MCP78 are not due for another month, we have to tip our hats to AMD for executing better at this point.
The Intel G35 platform will show its strength in areas like office applications and video/audio encoding thanks to the Core 2 processor family. However, it has an Achilles heel for being an all around champion. Besides dismal H.264 decoding abilities with low end processors, casual gaming is an almost disaster on this platform. An area we will report on thoroughly in our next article. In the meantime, we leave you with these screenshots to ponder which platform is best suited for that casual gamer in the household.