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Biostar TF7050-M2

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Phil Rhodes 8th August 2007, 16:21 Quote
What always concerns me about graphics hardware and claims to accelerate video is that all your software, setup and codec configuration has to be exactly right before it'll be poked into action. If you're using slightly less than mainstream software, it's almost impossible to make any of it work, and even with media player on Windows it can be mystifyingly difficult to get the h.264 decoders going. It's a shame, because 1080p h.264 is pretty hard work, even for modern processors.

The stars really do have to be in alignment for this to work. Perhaps you should do some sort of writeup on it.

Phil
capnPedro 8th August 2007, 17:11 Quote
RE: Homepage picture
At first I thought "Sweet looking IC!" before I realized it was a heatsink.

Oh, and I'm going to be calling NVIDIA, "Jolly Green Giant" from now on.
Bindibadgi 8th August 2007, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
What always concerns me about graphics hardware and claims to accelerate video is that all your software, setup and codec configuration has to be exactly right before it'll be poked into action. If you're using slightly less than mainstream software, it's almost impossible to make any of it work, and even with media player on Windows it can be mystifyingly difficult to get the h.264 decoders going. It's a shame, because 1080p h.264 is pretty hard work, even for modern processors.

The stars really do have to be in alignment for this to work. Perhaps you should do some sort of writeup on it.

Phil

I've had h.264 playing back on an inexpensive BE-2350 in vlc no problem. You do need grunt, but not quite as much on modern cpus.
Phil Rhodes 8th August 2007, 18:52 Quote
Sure, it played it, but are you certain it was being hardware-accelerated, or was it just bit banging it in software?

Phil
Renoir 9th August 2007, 02:48 Quote
Nice review Bindi ;)

Right questions:

1) Is the video processing unit the same as the one in the 7 series discrete gpus

2) Why is hardware acceleration capped at 1080i/720p for MPEG 2 and h.264 respectively? I would have thought it would work at 1080p but just provide less acceleration than at 720p

3) If "Both of the chipsets support native HDCP" then why would Biostar's 7025 mobo not have HDCP

4) If the chipset supports regular output at 1920x1200 then what's different about the 1080p content? I would understand if Nvidia said the chipset couldn't help offload the 1080p decoding but why wouldn't it play back 1080p if the cpu was able to do all the grunt work? Basically what difference does the source of the pixels make as long as the decoding is done in software

5) What process is the chipset built on

6) Seems a bit strange for Biostar to add a gigabit NIC rather than just implement the native gigabit controller doesn't it

7) Nice to see that in your application benchmarks (excluding games obviously) that sharing system memory bandwidth with the IGP generally results in <7% performance reduction compared with using a discrete card. Would be VERY interested in seeing what effect using aero in vista would have on these tests

Right that's all I can come up with off the top of my head ;)
Woodstock 9th August 2007, 04:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renoir
Nice review Bindi ;)

Right questions:


2) Why is hardware acceleration capped at 1080i/720p for MPEG 2 and h.264 respectively? I would have thought it would work at 1080p but just provide less acceleration than at 720p

3) If "Both of the chipsets support native HDCP" then why would Biostar's 7025 mobo not have HDCP

4) If the chipset supports regular output at 1920x1200 then what's different about the 1080p content? I would understand if Nvidia said the chipset couldn't help offload the 1080p decoding but why wouldn't it play back 1080p if the cpu was able to do all the grunt work? Basically what difference does the source of the pixels make as long as the decoding is done in software

1 & 4 it said in the article it was to do with the clock speed and also in the driver, however the bios update allows overclocking of the IGP, so i believe that a "hacked driver" will be made to allow it.

3 It does support HDCP, the MSI G965 doesnt thou.
Bindibadgi 9th August 2007, 10:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Sure, it played it, but are you certain it was being hardware-accelerated, or was it just bit banging it in software?

Phil

Doesn't need hardware acceleration tbh. Stuff like PureVideo is great for DVDs to remove interlacing and do improve image quality, but other stuff just needs a well tweaked ffdshow/ffmpeg.

Renoir! 1) No idea, the documents I have don't specify any correlation.

2) Nvidia's choice, I think they want to cap the whole lot at 1080i because people don't want to be changing TV resolutions above something that another part of the chip can do, then they get a bad reputation for "having something that doesn't work" when it was never meant to at 1080p.

I think the whole "acceleration" thing doesn't even then it doesn't necessarily lower CPU usage: VLC DVD playback is a fraction of PowerDVD 7 Ultra playback, and VLC is ffmpeg, whereas PDVD is a hardware accelerated DirectX overlay.

3) 7025, 7050, 690G have HDCP built in. G965 does not :)

4)

5) Small. Most likely 80nm.

6) Maybe they have a contract with Realtek and get the GigE NIC cheaper than a PHY? Or it's easier to route the PCI-Express lanes? There's no additional software optimisations included with the 630a from what I can tell, not like FirstPacket, so there's arguably no benefit of PHY.

7) I'm moving to Vista in the short term. It has better BluRay support too: we have a drive but it seems incompatible with XP! :( I was waiting on SP1 so I don't have to start retesting again, but it seems like a fruitless procrastination.
Renoir 9th August 2007, 10:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
1 & 4 it said in the article it was to do with the clock speed and also in the driver, however the bios update allows overclocking of the IGP, so i believe that a "hacked driver" will be made to allow it.
It sounds that way but I'm curious as to what difference the clock speed makes if you're doing all your decoding in software. The gpu can output 1920x1200 of non video pixels so why is it different for video? Again what difference does the Source of the pixels make?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
3 It does support HDCP, the MSI G965 doesnt thou.
From the article "The GeForce 7025 variant just offers VGA and DVI and doesn't come with HDCP."
Renoir 9th August 2007, 10:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Doesn't need hardware acceleration tbh. Stuff like PureVideo is great for DVDs to remove interlacing and do improve image quality, but other stuff just needs a well tweaked ffdshow/ffmpeg.
Would love to see the current IGP's tested with the HQV benchmark. ISTR reading recently that intel's clear video technology is surprisingly good in that test.
yakyb 9th August 2007, 10:42 Quote
so basically the k9agm2 is better for HD playback?
Bindibadgi 9th August 2007, 11:06 Quote
Ah for crying out loud guys give me a chance to reply!
Bindibadgi 9th August 2007, 11:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renoir
It sounds that way but I'm curious as to what difference the clock speed makes if you're doing all your decoding in software. The gpu can output 1920x1200 of non video pixels so why is it different for video? Again what difference does the Source of the pixels make?

From the article "The GeForce 7025 variant just offers VGA and DVI and doesn't come with HDCP."

No, they are both capable of HDCP, that was a mistake on my part. You just don't get the option of HDMI with the 7050PV so no HDMI audio and protected content support so no playback for stuff like BD-DVD or HD-DVD. What page is that?

I know what you mean about the source versus clock speed: you'd think that it would ATTEMPT to play something back at least, not just lock it out. The thing is, if you playback the Casino Royale BluRay, it's still 25MBit/s super-high-bitrate regardless of 720p or 1080p, however it has to translate that from digital pixels to an video output where the limitation in clock speed comes in. But if you choose to do it on CPU, that shouldn't make a difference so I don't know what Nvidia insists on locking it out of the options.

PDVD7Ultra auto-enables hardware playback, so I suppose maybe Nvidia assumes people don't have PCs fast enough for CPU-playback and also wants to push PureVideo? Perhaps push more discrete card purchases?? I dont know the reasoning. Perhaps it doesnt even think it's necessary considering the amount of people actually using a PC for protected HD playback?

ClearVideo is moot, since there's no HDCP or native DVI/HDMI. We do have HQV and HD-HQV, but it's a subjective test so it's only as good as knowing many other displays. There's also a differentiation between DISPLAY quality and processing, and video output from the unit itself: just like two TVs dont offer the same picture as two competing chipsets. I've been meaning to sit down with the Editor at TR who's seen more TVs and displays than I ever have, and we're gonna go through HQV/HD-HQV together since it's not a case of turn it on, get numbers out.
Renoir 9th August 2007, 11:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
No, they are both capable of HDCP, that was a mistake on my part. You just don't get the option of HDMI with the 7050PV so no HDMI audio and protected content support so no playback for stuff like BD-DVD or HD-DVD. What page is that?
You mean 7025 :D Page 2. Does the 7025 not still allow audio out via spdif just down converted to standard def?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
I know what you mean about the source versus clock speed: you'd think that it would ATTEMPT to play something back at least, not just lock it out. The thing is, if you playback the Casino Royale BluRay, it's still 25MBit/s super-high-bitrate regardless of 720p or 1080p, however it has to translate that from digital pixels to an video output where the limitation in clock speed comes in. But if you choose to do it on CPU, that shouldn't make a difference so I don't know what Nvidia insists on locking it out of the options.
Indeed don't see how it makes a difference. ISTR nvidia stating in the past that their gpus need at least 500mhz clockspeed to ACCELERATE 1080p but never saw it mentioned in regards to just outputting it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
PDVD7Ultra auto-enables hardware playback, so I suppose maybe Nvidia assumes people don't have PCs fast enough for CPU-playback and also wants to push PureVideo? Perhaps push more discrete card purchases?? I dont know the reasoning. Perhaps it doesnt even think it's necessary considering the amount of people actually using a PC for protected HD playback?
I think we're getting somewhere now. Certainly seems more plausible that any technical issues. I realise it's not protected but can you play any 1080p content through vlc given that it doesn't use the hardware playback that may be the culprit as you've described?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
ClearVideo is moot, since there's no HDCP or native DVI/HDMI.
I refered to HQV not HD-HQV although that would also be interesting on the 690 and 70xx
Bindibadgi 9th August 2007, 13:27 Quote
Well you can output 1080p if your TV is picked up like a monitor. But the specific "HDTV" settings in the NV control panel only offers the option of 1080i max, HOWEVER, he TV we were using was only 720p so it might have just detected 1080i being that max. The HDMI connection is only single link, so we couldn't just plug it into a DVI monitor like the 30" Dell because it requires dual link (oh the hassle!!). HOWEVER (again) just setting to 1080i the LCD mininum was "60Hz" and PowerDVD 7 still refused to play back the disk citing a driver error.

With regards to S/PDIF pass through like on NV discrete cards, I hadn't thought of that and don't know if the 7025 with DVI works/allows S/PDIF out because the HDCP protocol isn't meant to since it's "unprotected". But then again, it might depend on whether the DISK requires HDCP.

DRM is a ****ing pain in the arse. It's only specific to this: if you play 1080p content (even on a 720p screen so it ends up downscaling) in VLC or WMP it works just fine, hence the results.

The whole **** about "accelerating" versus "decoding" is annoying as well: is it ACTUALLY doing anything noticeable? Why isn't there software to create a balance between CPU and GPU??

The option of source or display device is unique to HD-HQV so I've been told. If there is one for normal HQV, I haven't found it or don't know the procedure to test source only.
nckyd81 10th August 2007, 10:16 Quote
I don't know what all the fuss is about as far as bad overclocking goes... but here's my specs: AMD x2 3600 @ 2660.11mhz (280 x 9.5) 1.37v, HT @ 1400.1mhz, DDR2 667 Frequency @ 380.0mhz CPU/7 cl4 I'm using a Cooler Master Gemini2 with Arctic Silver. XFX Geforce 7900gs 600/1700mhz.
My setup runs perfectly stable; Idles in the 40's and full load up to 62c.
Nature 10th August 2007, 21:12 Quote
I Vant AMD to integrate a 2600xt 512mb gdd4 on an ITX board with one ddr3 slot supporting 4gb modules, support for barcelona, HDPC-HDMI, high def audio, Esata, no IDE, 2 3.0gb/s sata, 4-8 usb, and instead of a pci slot- build in their top of the line tv tuner and ablige it with a stylish and sleek black case as tiny as a pc speaker!
vualla!
Bindibadgi 11th August 2007, 11:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by nckyd81
I don't know what all the fuss is about as far as bad overclocking goes... but here's my specs: AMD x2 3600 @ 2660.11mhz (280 x 9.5) 1.37v, HT @ 1400.1mhz, DDR2 667 Frequency @ 380.0mhz CPU/7 cl4 I'm using a Cooler Master Gemini2 with Arctic Silver. XFX Geforce 7900gs 600/1700mhz.
My setup runs perfectly stable; Idles in the 40's and full load up to 62c.

Nice! I couldnt get SFA out of it despite it being a CPU I've easily got up to 260-odd on another board. Maybe I just don't have one that worked that well but that's the consequence of a random sample!
Renoir 12th August 2007, 02:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Doesn't need hardware acceleration tbh. Stuff like PureVideo is great for DVDs to remove interlacing and do improve image quality, but other stuff just needs a well tweaked ffdshow/ffmpeg.

Renoir! 1) No idea, the documents I have don't specify any correlation.

2) Nvidia's choice, I think they want to cap the whole lot at 1080i because people don't want to be changing TV resolutions above something that another part of the chip can do, then they get a bad reputation for "having something that doesn't work" when it was never meant to at 1080p.

I think the whole "acceleration" thing doesn't even then it doesn't necessarily lower CPU usage: VLC DVD playback is a fraction of PowerDVD 7 Ultra playback, and VLC is ffmpeg, whereas PDVD is a hardware accelerated DirectX overlay.

3) 7025, 7050, 690G have HDCP built in. G965 does not :)

4)

5) Small. Most likely 80nm.

6) Maybe they have a contract with Realtek and get the GigE NIC cheaper than a PHY? Or it's easier to route the PCI-Express lanes? There's no additional software optimisations included with the 630a from what I can tell, not like FirstPacket, so there's arguably no benefit of PHY.

7) I'm moving to Vista in the short term. It has better BluRay support too: we have a drive but it seems incompatible with XP! :( I was waiting on SP1 so I don't have to start retesting again, but it seems like a fruitless procrastination.
2) Yeah powerdvd has very inefficient decoders and often is worse than others even with "acceleration"

3) Thought so

6) All very plausible. Doesn't make much difference was just curious

7) I look forward to it whenever it happens
Quote:
Well you can output 1080p if your TV is picked up like a monitor. But the specific "HDTV" settings in the NV control panel only offers the option of 1080i max, HOWEVER, he TV we were using was only 720p so it might have just detected 1080i being that max. The HDMI connection is only single link, so we couldn't just plug it into a DVI monitor like the 30" Dell because it requires dual link (oh the hassle!!). HOWEVER (again) just setting to 1080i the LCD mininum was "60Hz" and PowerDVD 7 still refused to play back the disk citing a driver error.
Hmmm I think you may be right with the tv not supporting 1080p input and hence the settings being limited to 1080i like most hdtvs are. Don't suppose you have a tv that supports a 1080p input do you? It certainly seems as though things are easier/better if your hdtv gets recognised as a monitor than as a regular tv.
Quote:
With regards to S/PDIF pass through like on NV discrete cards, I hadn't thought of that and don't know if the 7025 with DVI works/allows S/PDIF out because the HDCP protocol isn't meant to since it's "unprotected". But then again, it might depend on whether the DISK requires HDCP.
I wasn't referring to that scenario but rather simply connecting video to display and audio to receiver via dvi and spdif respectively. Not routing the audio via spdif back up to the gpu as you describe. Is that not how it works on standalone players. Spdif would only handle SD audio like DD and DTS just like they do now for regular def so I don't see why it would need "protecting"
Quote:
The option of source or display device is unique to HD-HQV so I've been told. If there is one for normal HQV, I haven't found it or don't know the procedure to test source only.
Afraid I don't understand what you mean. Could you explain?
Quote:
We do have HQV and HD-HQV, but it's a subjective test so it's only as good as knowing many other displays. There's also a differentiation between DISPLAY quality and processing, and video output from the unit itself: just like two TVs dont offer the same picture as two competing chipsets.
Using a monitor instead of a tv would rule out any processing by the display would it not?
Bindibadgi 12th August 2007, 15:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renoir
Don't suppose you have a tv that supports a 1080p input do you? It certainly seems as though things are easier/better if your hdtv gets recognised as a monitor than as a regular tv.
Well if we had had I would have used that :P :D We're (TR) getting a 1080p projector in so I want to do some HD HQV testing as well (given time). Nvidia has raised questions about the apparent "1080p update" to the 690G so ill hope to be testing that claim too.

Quote:

I wasn't referring to that scenario but rather simply connecting video to display and audio to receiver via dvi and spdif respectively. Not routing the audio via spdif back up to the gpu as you describe. Is that not how it works on standalone players. Spdif would only handle SD audio like DD and DTS just like they do now for regular def so I don't see why it would need "protecting"
Well I know Vista tries to protect everything, regardless of its protection. It's again this whole **** of "what can I do?" "is that compatible?". We could do with a dedicated decoder tbh.

HD-HQV has the option of testing the source (video quality) or display: we want to test the video output quality not the display ;), but I haven't seen the same option for normal HQV.

A monitor still has the same quality issues, and at the time we only had a 22"s which don't have enough pixels and a 30" Dell in which is a dual link display; HDMI is just a single link. We've got a HDMI display in now and Tim has been using that for 1080p testing of HD2600 and 8600. :)
Renoir 15th August 2007, 03:42 Quote
Quote:
Well if we had had I would have used that :P
Touche
Quote:
Well I know Vista tries to protect everything, regardless of its protection. It's again this whole **** of "what can I do?" "is that compatible?". We could do with a dedicated decoder tbh.
Vista certainly opens up a whole can of worms which simply serves to frustrate and confuse the end user. A decoder is sorely needed!
Quote:
HD-HQV has the option of testing the source (video quality) or display: we want to test the video output quality not the display , but I haven't seen the same option for normal HQV.
Interesting. I was not aware of any such feature/issue. What does it do differently to differentiate between video output and display quality?
Tim S 15th August 2007, 06:37 Quote
It's quite simple: if you're running video output quality, you set the display to progressive scan mode and if you're testing the display's image processing quality, you simply set the display to an interlaced resolution and allow it to convert the signal to a progressive one before displaying. After all, all LCD/Plasma TVs are delivering a progressive picture, regardless of the input resolution. :)
Bindibadgi 15th August 2007, 10:03 Quote
So, hang on, but that rational it depends on the content included on the HQV DVD... I'm pretty sure it's interlaced though.
Renoir 15th August 2007, 13:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
It's quite simple: if you're running video output quality, you set the display to progressive scan mode and if you're testing the display's image processing quality, you simply set the display to an interlaced resolution and allow it to convert the signal to a progressive one before displaying. After all, all LCD/Plasma TVs are delivering a progressive picture, regardless of the input resolution. :)
Exactly so why would you need to have a specific option for it on the disc? The disc is largely about testing deinterlacing ability and so it outputs an interlaced image. The user can then decide to deinterlace in the player/pc or pass it through to the display and have it do it. This is why I said to Rich that using a monitor would remove any display video processing from the equation as you would just send the monitor a progressive signal at it's native resolution therefore forcing the pc to do all the necessary processing. Monitors also tend to have minimal video processing on their digital inputs whereas tv's tend to do more.
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