Here we are going to see how well Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 can unload the video streams decoding routine from the processor.
As usual, Nvidia solutions were a little slower than ATI Radeon when working with VC-1 streams. However, GeForce GTX 460 breaks this tendency by showing better results than the competition. The GF104 graphics processor has obviously been somehow modified and these modifications have noticeably improved the VC-1 decoding efficiency (at least as we can see on the graph).
The results of our tests in H.264/MPEG4-AVC movies confirm our supposition that GF104 provides way more efficient video decoding. In fact GeForce GTX 460 of all testing participants requires least of the CPU during video playback.
Just like with widely spread codecs, such as MPEG4-AVC and VC-1, GeForce GTX also copes perfectly fine with an older MPEG2 HD.
At the current moment, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 features the most advanced video playback capabilities among all Nvidia GPUs.
It supports hardware decoding of all popular formats including MPEG2, MPEG4, MPEG4-AVC/H.264, MPEG4-MVC, VC-1, WMV-HD, and Adobe Flash 10.1 and will be able to play Blu-ray 3D movies as soon as they become available! Protected Audio Path has been implemented in the new chip, so it can bitstream audio in the Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio formats for an external receiver to decode.
Finally, the GF104 is currently the most effective GPU in terms of offloading the central processor when decoding HD video. Perhaps not a crucial advantage today, it may become important in near future as video bit rates grow up and movies get three-dimensional.
Notwithstanding its excellent DVD playback quality, the GeForce GTX 460 is not ahead of its opponents in terms of Blu-ray playback but this may be due to some driver flaws.