Jump to content
LaptopVideo2Go Forums

PureVideo performance


envydyauser

Recommended Posts

The main reason I tweak my card is to get the best possible video hardware acceleration from my GPU. After all, we got PureVideo, no ?

Except I found that measuring whether (let alone *how much*) a given GPU does accelerate playback is very elusive.

I've done my own set of tests, which I'm going to post here if anyone's interested, but I'd very much like to have other user's input / feedback on this point.

note1 : I haven't got a single HDTV or BluRay disc, I actually test with my own video stuff encoded with x264.

note2 : 3DMark06 and SPECviewperf10 only test the 3D performance of a card (ie the OpenGL / Direct3D subsystems).

SPECviewperf has announced in august that they are going to investigate testing playback perf, but it's in the future.

let's have some feedback !!

cheers

envydyauser

Edited by envydyauser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 83
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • LSudlow

    10

  • envydyauser

    22

  • cdx47

    24

The nightmare comes true ... stranded in a crowd of gamers !!!

Nobody here watches videos ? Ever ? Not even after a 12-day game session ???

for anyone interested, here are my test results :

http://mapage.noos.fr/manamba/purevideo/acceleration.html

I welcome critiques to my testing method : indeed I'm looking for other ways to test this issue.

cheers

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting, I'm right now downloading a movie (legally) in 720p. Haven't seen much in the way of PureVideo since I switched to the 8 series.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm personally very interested in video performance/acceleration, but I've never seen a good explanation of exactly what is included in PureVideo. Does it accelerate all video formats, or just the various MPEG flavors (or DirectShow formats)? I've seen others try to nail this stuff down, but they seem to come up with conflicting answers.

Then there's the whole VMR thing. Presumably, the latest VMR version produces the best image, at least according to the specs, but it also generates, by far, the highest CPU load - more than many laptops can handle without stuttering. What's up with that? Does it mean VMR bypasses video acceleration and relies on the CPU instead?

Microsoft and nVidia say that smooth video requires AGP FastWrites to be enabled, yet most laptop drivers disable it by default. Is this for stability? Power savings? Force of habit?

Any answers you (or others) can provide will be a great help to the laptop community. Thanks!

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm personally very interested in video performance/acceleration, but I've never seen a good explanation of exactly what is included in PureVideo. Does it accelerate all video formats, or just the various MPEG flavors (or DirectShow formats)? I've seen others try to nail this stuff down, but they seem to come up with conflicting answers.

Then there's the whole VMR thing. Presumably, the latest VMR version produces the best image, at least according to the specs, but it also generates, by far, the highest CPU load - more than many laptops can handle without stuttering. What's up with that? Does it mean VMR bypasses video acceleration and relies on the CPU instead?

Microsoft and nVidia say that smooth video requires AGP FastWrites to be enabled, yet most laptop drivers disable it by default. Is this for stability? Power savings? Force of habit?

Any answers you (or others) can provide will be a great help to the laptop community. Thanks!

:)

Well, if I had the answer I wouldn't have appealed to the community.

So I'll just post my meager quest for info. First of all, let me cite my sources :

http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia_purevideo.html

http://www.nvidia.com/object/purevideo_hd_faq.html

http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo.html

http://www.nvidia.com/page/nb_6100_tech_briefs.html

http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_hd.html

http://www.nzone.com/object/nzone_purevide...quirements.html

http://www.nvidia.com/page/purevideo_support.html

when you cut out all the blah blah, what is left is (pasted from different pages) :

"

- Programmable video processor accelerates H.264, WMV, and MPEG-2 high-definition movies.

- Native HDTV support drives high-definition televisions at resolutions up to 1920x1080p through Component, DVI and HDMI interfaces.

- Equip your desktop or notebook PC with a PureVideo compatible video CODECs and Software:

PureVideo?s MPEG-2 decode acceleration and post-processing effects are available through the Microsoft DirectX VA application programming interface (API). It can be experienced with DirextX VA compatible video applications such as InterVideo WinDVD, and CyberLink PowerDVD.

- NVIDIA also offers an MPEG-2 decoder that is optimized for PureVideo technology. NVIDIA® PureVideo? Decoder ...

- PureVideo's decode acceleration for unprotected H.264 (also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC) content is available through a special application programming interface (API). The following applications feature the PureVideo H.264 decode acceleration:

* CyberLink PowerDVD Ultra

* InterVideo WinDVD 8 Platinum

Note:

Microsoft® Windows® XP and Windows® XP Media Center Edition already contain a WMV video CODEC ? No additional codec are required in order to experience PureVideo?s WMV decode acceleration.

"

OK, so if I take this to the letter, VLC does not access Nvidia's "special interface", so it does not accelerate my x.264 files.

Problem is, empirical tests show that it does. Or am I getting something deeply wrong ??

The closest one gets to a tech explanation from the people who bestowed PureVideo onto us is the Technical Brief PDF (referenced in one of the above links) :

"Technical Brief - PureVideo : Digital Home Theater Video Quality for Mainstream PCs with GeForce 6 and 7 GPUs"

Even though it dates 29sept2005, it does give enough semi-technical gobbledeegook to get an idea of what PureVideo does.

But it makes no mention of H264 !!!

So, one has to get the PDF with the PureVideo support by card to get a finer picture :

"

High-Definition Content

- H.264 Decode Acceleration

- H.264 Decode Acceleration with IDCT and CAVLC/CABAC

- VC-1/WMV Decode Acceleration

- VC-1/WMV Decode Acceleration with IDCT

- MPEG-2 Decode Acceleration

- High-Quality Scaling

- MPEG-2 Spatial-Temporal De-Interlacing

- MPEG-2 Inverse Telecine

Standard-Definition Content

- H.264 Decode Acceleration

- H.264 Decode Acceleration with IDCT and CAVLC/CABAC

- VC-1 Decode Acceleration

- VC-1/WMV Decode Acceleration with IDCT

- MPEG-2 Decode Acceleration

- WMV9 Decode Acceleration

- High-Quality Scaling

- Spatial-Temporal De-Interlacing

- Inverse Telecine *

- Noise Reduction *

- Edge Enhancement *

Resolution Independent

- Video Color Correction

- Integrated TV Output

"

But this still wont tell me *what* it considers to be H264 ? any output of any H264 encoding application ? Any stream conforming to a certain profile ? which one ?

more later, but further comments are welcome

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like we've arrived at pretty much the same point - except you expressed it better than I did.

:)

I'm still not convinced that DIVX, XVID, MPEG4, etc are getting the full benefit of PureVideo. Quicktime isn't mantioned anywhere. Neither is Adobe Flash Video, which used by most amateur video sites.

And what's with the PureVideo decoder? The last update was June, 2006. Have there really been no advances since then?

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And what's with the PureVideo decoder? The last update was June, 2006. Have there really been no advances since then?

:)

Well I started investigating this subject after installing the Decoder and finding it does not ever recognize .mp4 files on the file system, let alone play them.

It's merely a MPEG2 decoder plugin for Windows Media Player in fact. Let me assure you I uninstalled it 3 hours later ;-)

Of all the playback soft I tried (MPC, QuickTime, Zoom, MPlayer, WMP w/ffdshow), VLC is by far the lightest on the cpu. But here I'm saying nothing new I guess.

The most technical discussion on this subject I've found is on doom9 : http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?p=1019018#post1019018

It actually is more technical than I can follow, as I am not familiar with the finer niceties of VMR/EVR/Haali (whatever that is) etcetera.

But that's a bottom-up approach, ie starting the inquest from the bowels of a subject.

My top-down approach seems to show that there is some form of hardware acceleration.

But my knowledge in this domain stops here.

Does anyone have the possibility of opening a ticket with NVidia support with a simple request for info ??

cheers

envydyauser

Edited by envydyauser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But this still wont tell me *what* it considers to be H264 ? any output of any H264 encoding application ? Any stream conforming to a certain profile ? which one ?

Hoping to find the the answer here :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NVIDIA_PureVideo

"

Purevideo HD is a label which identifies NVIDIA products certified for HD-DVD/Bluray playback, to comply with the requirements for playing Bluray/HD-DVDs on PC:

1. end to end encryption (HDCP) for digital-displays (DVI-D/HDMI)

2. realtime H264 high-profile L4.1, VC-1, or MPEG-2 MP@HL (1080p30) decoding @ 40Mbit/s (Blu-ray discs only)

3. realtime dual-video stream decoding for HD-DVD/Bluray Picture-in-Picture (primary-video @ 1080p30, secondary-video @ 480p60)

"

I encoded 2 versions of my test stream, setting the level to 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1 (x264 's default) respectively.

Regretfully the CPU usage graph shows no difference in playback.

@RangerXML, any results with your (legal) 720p movie yet ?

cheers

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Hello to all

although this thread is a near-monologue, I am happy to report that the 163.71 XP driver (WHQL, not the Beta) gives dramatically better H264 playback performance than 162.18.

I have no time to post graphics now, but testing with Apple trailers (F4/Silver Surfer, Iron Man) at 720p, plus my own stuff shows a dramatic decrease in CPU usage.

My own x264-encoded 720x576 material plays using less than 10% CPU (20% under 162.18).

Good job nVidia !!!

PS : tested with VLC 0.8.6c using driver from NVIDIA's site and my own modded inf on my Go7300

cheers

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can't say I'm not stubborn !

If this wont convince some people, nothing will :

162.18

162.18_IronMan_v2.jpg

163.71

163.71_IronMan.jpg

More graphs here :

http://mapage.noos.fr/manamba/purevideo/163.71.html

Feedback welcome, as usual.

cheers

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Havent looked at your graphs, but I am interested (?), Strange I know. Anyway I have a laptop with 8400m GS which I read had hardware acceleration. I also have PowerDVD Ultra. What I would like to know is if x264 rips *ahem* are accelerated or only HDDVD and BD disks?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Havent looked at your graphs ...[omissis ]... What I would like to know is if x264 ...[omissis ]... are accelerated ... ?

You obviously haven't read the previous posts either.

That is exacly what I'm trying to figure out (with a little help from the community possibly).

All I can say is that all my knowledge on the matter is contained in my posts in this thread.

Why dontja do some testing and post your own results ? I'd love to doublecheck mine against someone else's testing methodology.

For instance, does PowerDVD even play back x.264.MP4 files (let alone provide GPU acceleration for them ?).

cheers

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You obviously haven't read the previous posts either.

That is exacly what I'm trying to figure out (with a little help from the community possibly).

All I can say is that all my knowledge on the matter is contained in my posts in this thread.

Why dontja do some testing and post your own results ? I'd love to doublecheck mine against someone else's testing methodology.

For instance, does PowerDVD even play back x.264.MP4 files (let alone provide GPU acceleration for them ?).

cheers

envydyauser

Actually PowerDVD can playback x264 files. Just rename them to .avi or .mp4 for example then it plays them. 720p plays very well. 1080p plays without choppyness if I disable haali spliter which means Im using whatever PowerDVD uses. But when I play the 1080p on my LCD monitor then its a little choppy again. But none of this is accelerated. Im averaging around 50% CPU utilisation for both 720 and 1080.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But none of this is accelerated. Im averaging around 50% CPU utilisation for both 720 and 1080.

http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=127376

read carefully though the entire thread, you should be able to configure your PowerDVD to do hardware acceleration.

Even there they couldn't pinpoint down the x264 issue though.

cheers

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience is that PowerDVD with a 8400/8500/8600 chipset does BluRay/HD-DVD HW decoding (Purevideo HD)

however it does not play seperate h264 files

VLC uses his own engine, which seems efficient at first, but is clearly sacrificing picture quality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What will and won't take advantage of hardware acceleration via the video card definitely depends on the file type and the program being used to play it, not to mention the GPU driver. With the right configuration, it should be offloading the CPU and using the GPU for most video files, including H.264 files, and not just HD-DVD/Blu-Ray content. How much the GPU offloads from the CPU is probably different for every file, not to mention every system configuration.

I'd actually be happy to just get ANY kind of VMR acceleration, but it's always missing from the control panel in every driver I try. I do believe this was intentional to get many people to buy the original PureVideo decoder. I mostly see 50-60% CPU usage (Nero AVC software decoder), but sometimes it goes as high as 70-75% for H.264 content.

It sounds like the newer version of hardware acceleration is already built into the more recent drivers. I'm hoping this really is the case and the full video acceleration capabilities of the 6800go will be realized at last.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of people mix up Purevideo (MPEG2 decoder) codec available voor all videocards, with limited acceleration on Nvidia cards AND Purevideo HD only available on 84/85/8600 (not on 8800) which supports HW decoding of BluRay and HD-DVD (x264 encoded material in that matter)

Where x264 is again something totally different than a h264 (Matroska) container format.

So let's all make sure that we understand what we are talking about here. What card, content and codecs you have. And WHAT you can expect form your specific combination.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

VLC uses his own engine, which seems efficient at first, but is clearly sacrificing picture quality.

I take your word for it, as I passed directly from QuickTime player to VLC when I started doing x264. I've tried, but not really tested, other players.

Since 99% of my videos are my own DV/PAL handheld captures, I dont bother splitting hairs when looking for encoding quality, ergo, I cant tell the quality difference from player to player with my crappy content.

re: general public confusion - I perfectly agree with you : I noticed many Xvid users havent even come to grips with MPEG4p2 vs p10.

a reminder for everyone, in support of Anime Crush's comment : an nVidia pseudo-tech diagram I got off their site earlier this year (can't find it anymore) :

HDVidProc.jpg

cheers

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of people mix up Purevideo

Absolutely.

It does not help that NVIDIA also mentions hw acceleration capability for SD content. For if we agree that the term "PureVideoHD" implies H264 content, and "PureVideo" implies MPEG2 content, the term "SD" implies neither, or rather, both.

To resume :

PureVideo = 6- 7- 8-series = MPEG2 acceleration

PureVideoHD = 7- and 8-series = H264 and VC1 acceleration (partial on 7-series, full on 8-series see diagram in my previous)

PureVideo Decoder = a plugin for Windows Media Player giving access to a PureVideo-capable card's MPEG2 acceleration

wikipedia's page is worth a glance : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NVIDIA_PureVideo

cheers

envydyauser

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, that's an excellent summary.

Purevideo codec can be utlilized by any Directshow capable filter (i.e. Fddshow) or player which supports directshow.

you then still have to make sure that you are using the right codec, especially when you install multiple codecs, the right one might reside on your system, but the player might pick another one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK it looks like I have FINALLY got acceleration working. I just downloaded the latest patch (see cyberlink website) for PowerDVD Ultra 7.2 and its now 7.3.

Just played Spiderman 1080p with the CPU hovering around 20%. I checked and it shows the DVXA (in use) Yay!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just played Spiderman 1080p with the CPU hovering around 20% ... shows the DVXA (in use)

Lucky you !

Just to doublecheck, you are playing a x264-encoded file in an mp4 container ? (because I understand that PDVD doest not handle .mkv, and I'd never put _264 into an .avi) ?

Also, what's your CPU ??

cheers

envydyauser

Edited by envydyauser
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry about the previous message mess. Here it is again!

OK. Ive got a 2Ghz Dual Core 2 laptop with 2GB RAM on Vista Home Premium running 8400m GS

Two things.

1. I played a 1080p TS file, coz this file was the one I had jitters with. 720p MKV stuff I can play all day no sweat even without acceleration.

2. In order to play a .mkv just rename the extension to .avi and PowerDVD will play this. Im now playing a .mkv and the CPU is hovereing again between 7% and 20% maximum, averaging around 10%.

Hope this helps

Np, CDX

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not hard to have confusion about PureVideo, or what's supported.

The main nvidia PureVideo page just states PureVideo HD is only supported on the series 7 and 8 GPUs, apparently what's supported is just certain features with the 7-series and full features with the 8-series as shown in the diagram envydyauser posted.

nvidia's PureVideo (not PureVideo HD) page lists it as capable of accelerating SD H.264, MPEG-2, and WMV, BUT the PDF linked from the PureVideo page showing nvidia GPUs and supported features shows the 6-series as supporting most if not all of the same acceleration of high definition content (H.264, MPEG-2, WMV) features supported by the 7-series GPUs. I would take this to mean either PureVideo is supported on 6, 7, and 8 series cards for decoding SD and HD content, with PureVideo HD being an improvement for the 7 and 8-series only.

I can't tell if I'm getting any acceleration, and I'm probably not, since my driver doesn't have the option to enable VMR, I can't get the NV CP to work on newest drivers, and checking the "enable VMR option" in nvTweak doesn't bring up anything in the NV CP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And just to further clarify matters.

- The MKVs are H264 encoded coz I checked.

- I find that for a 1080p TS source

- When running PowerDVD I get down to 7-15% occasionally peaking at 20% CPU utilisation.

- When I use Windows MCE (via Cyberlink codecs) that goes up to 20% occasionally peaking at 30%

- When running without HW Acceleration, CPU hovers around 30 to 45% mark and film is a little jerky

- When running a h264 MKV source

- When running PowerDVD I get down to 2-10% occasionally peaking at 15% CPU utilisation.

- When I use Windows MCE (via Cyberlink codecs) that goes up to 20%

- When running without HW Acceleration, CPU hovers around 30 to 45% but it perfectly watchable.

Bottom line is that even without HW acceleration, on XP most 4GB/8GB MKV rips are playable on a 2Ghz Core Duo laptop with 1GB or RAM without much trouble. Add CoreAVC (alpha version) and you are laughing (as we say). VISTA the same pretty much applies except that maybe 2GB RAM and CoreAVC is more of a requirement for completely smooth playback

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...