Biostar TF7050-M2

August 8, 2007 | 14:05

Tags: #690g #7050 #am2 #atx #hdcp #hdmi #igp #micro #motherboard #onboard #spdif

Companies: #amd #biostar

Video Playback


HD-DVD Playback

Superman HD-DVD, PowerDVD 7 Ultra, Toshiba SD-H802A

  • Biostar TF7050-M2 (IGP)
  • MSI K9AGM2 (IGP)
  • 51
  • 71
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Frames Per Second - higher is better

The MSI G965 doesn't offer HDMI or even DVI output with HDCP, meaning we couldn't play back our HD DVD movie. The chipset requires an additional TDMS that MSI hasn't included, probably because the board is already more expensive than alternatives on the market. Both Biostar's TF7050-M2 and MSI's K9AGM2 can play back HDCP-protected content from a source like an HD DVD, given the fact you invest in a HD DVD drive (we've used Toshiba's SD-H802A here), a capable player (Power DVD 7 Ultra), and use either Windows XP SP2 or Windows Vista.

After several minutes of recording the CPU usage, the Nvidia 7050 motherboard requires around 20 percent less CPU load than the AMD 690G chipset. Both are running their equivalent hardware accelerations in Power DVD 7 Ultra to provide an optimal video quality and the HDTV was set to 720p.

DVD Playback

Rush Hour DVD

  • Biostar TF7050-M2 (IGP)
  • MSI K9AGM2 (IGP)
  • MSI G965MDH (IGP)
    • 9.2
    • 0.8
    • 2.2
    • 0.9
    • 7.7
    • 0.7
0
3
5.5
8
10.5
CPU% (lower is better)
  • Power DVD 7 Ultra (hardware accleration)
  • VLC (software ffmpeg)

DVD playback is a different matter however, with the Biostar TF7050-M2 using more CPU than both the AMD and Intel IGPs when using hardware acceleration. However when this was turned off and VLC was used there was virtually nothing between them all, as all used a fraction of the CPU compared to before (not that it was high to begin with mind you).

h264 Playback

VLC Player

  • Biostar TF7050-M2 (IGP)
  • MSI K9AGM2 (IGP)
  • MSI G965MDH (IGP)
    • 0.2
    • 9.2
    • 20.8
    • 0.5
    • 10.0
    • 30.6
    • 0.4
    • 11.5
    • 23.4
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
CPU% (lower is better)
  • 480p, 4.1Mbit/s
  • 720p, 12.1Mbit/s
  • 1080p, 9.7Mbit/s

There is no specific h.264 acceleration in any of the chipsets so VLC was used as a standard software player. The Biostar TF7050-M2 board consistently had lower CPU usage than either of the MSI boards all the way up to 1080p.

MPEG-4 Playback

VLC Player

  • Biostar TF7050-M2 (IGP)
  • MSI K9AGM2 (IGP)
  • MSI G965MDH (IGP)
    • 0.1
    • 0.5
    • 0.5
    • 0.5
    • 0.5
    • 1.1
    • 0.5
    • 0.5
    • 3.6
0
1
2
3
4
CPU% (lower is better)
  • 480p, 1.2Mbit/s
  • 720p, 5.1Mbit/s
  • 1080p, 4.45Mbit/s

The top score is 0.1 percent, it was genuinely consistently that low, even when just using VLC. The Biostar 7050 is again the top performer but only by a percent point or two at most. If you move the mouse at all or any number of Windows background services decides it needs to pipe up about something, then all that performance gain will be lost.

WMP9 Playback

Windows Media Player 9

  • Biostar TF7050-M2 (IGP)
  • MSI K9AGM2 (IGP)
  • MSI G965MDH (IGP)
    • 21.8
    • 22.5
    • 16.4
    • 27.0
    • 17.7
    • 22.1
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
CPU% (lower is better)
  • 720p, 6.8Mbit/s
  • 1080p, 9.8Mbit/s

Interestingly, WMP9HD playback goes against the run of play, as the Biostar 7050 had a higher CPU utilisation than the other boards at 720p, and there's also very little difference in CPU utilisation between 720p and 1080p unlike both MSI boards. Although the TF7050-M2 board uses more CPU load than the other boards at 720p, the MSI 690G board has a higher CPU utilisation at 1080p.
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