G45 is great at HD video playback

Written by Tim Smalley

April 9, 2008 | 10:12

Tags: #blu #definition #g45 #h264 #hd #high #htpc #movie #playback #ray #video

Companies: #blu-ray #intel

Intel’s Taiwanese partners have expressed excitement for Intel’s upcoming G45 integrated graphics chipset, with several saying that it’s going to be a fantastic solution for HTPC builders.

If we go back to Intel’s G35 chipset, there were a number of problems with it – probably the biggest being its poor HD video playback performance, which was simply unacceptable for a modern chipset targeted at home theatre PC builders.

The second problem was the lack of support from motherboard vendors – only Asus delivered a G35 based board and it was simply too expensive to recommend over boards based on AMD’s now retired 690G chipset—never mind the newer and more feature rich 780G chipset.

With that said, sources inside Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers say that G45 is looking good. When we asked about CPU offload in high bit-rate Blu-ray movies, we were told that during their early testing, they’re seeing CPU load sitting at around 20 to 35 percent on a dual-core processor—or equivalent to AMD’s recently-released 780G chipset.

The sources didn’t talk specifically about video quality enhancements, but we expect this has been improved as well, because our sources said that it was a significant update over G35. In fact, it’s so significant that one source admitted that “[G35] was an incomplete solution from our perspective, and that’s why we didn’t release a G35 board.

This will no doubt be a kick in the teeth for Intel, but given the lacklustre partner support G35 received, it probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise for the chip giant. Are you looking to build a home theatre PC soon, or have you already bitten the bullet and opted for an AMD 780G-based solution? Share your thoughts with us in the forums.
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