Intel Westmere 32nm Launch & Clarkdale Core i5-661 CPU Review

by MAC     |     January 3, 2010

IGP HD Video Decoding

In order to test the high definition video decoding capabilities of the Intel GMA HD IGP we loaded up CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra 9.0.2320 and played high definition 1080p media with three different types of HD codecs, namely VC-1, H.264/AVC, and WMW HD. Hardware acceleration was enabled in PowerDVD to take advantage of the accelerated decoding capabilities of our IGPs and GPUs.

Chapter 24 of the Batman Begins Blu-ray DVD was our source for VC-1.
Chapter 8 of the Transformers Blu-ray DVD was our source for H.264/AVC.
The entire clip of The Living Sea (IMAX) was our source for WMW HD.

What we are looking for is the lowest possible CPU utilization.

As you can see the Intel GMA HD IGP proved supremely capable at handling 1080p HD content. Clearly, the full hardware accelerated decoding of HD formats is working quite well. Yes, the ATI Radeon HD 4200 and NVIDIA GeForce 9400 achieved even lower CPU utilization results, but you have to give credit where its due. Intel's new solution is miles ahead of the GMA X4500 found in the G41 and G43 chipsets.

We would have liked to show you some transcoding figures as well, since Intel announced that the GMA HD IGP will have GPGPU capabilities, but that capability is not quite ready yet. We will have that for you in a future article.

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