Second Benchmark: HD playback
Let me start off by saying that I'm an audiophile, not a videophile. As such, my HD playback tests are extremely basic. I found some free trailers online (here
). Some of them were in MP4 format, others in WMV format, and others still in Divx. Also, I do not have a BluRay drive nor an HD-DVD drive, so I have no way to validate HD playback against physical media.
For comparison's sake, I found videos that came in multiple formats and HD levels, so that they could be readily compared to one another. My methods: start Speedfan, enable Core 0 monitoring, kick off Task Manager, and then launch each video. Repeat as necessary.
WMV, Dolphins, 720p: (47W
WMV, Dolphins, 1080p: (52W
Divx, Pirates OTC: 2, 720p: (42W
MP4, Pirates OTC: 2v, 720p: (47W
MP4, Pirates OTC: 2, 1080p: (52W
The Nano can ALMOST run 1080p video with the integrated video. While watching, the biggest issue with 1080p content wasn't frame skipping (though that does happen a little); the main problem with watching 1080p content on the VB8001 (using integrated video) is that the audio gets out of sync; WAY out of sync. I think the problem is actually that the video frames dragging behind, though, so maybe I would have prefered some frame skipping compared to that.
Another interesting observation is how quickly the Nano cools down once it's not under load - If you look at the Pirates 2 1080p usage + temp charts, you can actually see where a temperature dip corresponds to a usage dip. Similar occurances can be seen elsewhere; it's uncanny.
Finally, DIVX-HD really stands out in terms of CPU utilization & power consumption. When I downloaded the trailer, certainly it said it was H.264 content - but then I would have expected it to match closer with the stats that came from the other 720p videos. Not sure how I feel about those results... needless to say, I could not detect any variance between the quality of the videos.
All-told, the VB8001 seems to be able to handle 720p HD content without any additional hardware. I'll check back on this later, though, when I switch to the discrete graphics cards - maybe something will change for the better!
(Also, further supporting evidence for 52W being my system's upper limit)
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