Authour: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: April 7th, 2011
There are several important differences to note in the post-processing abilities and features between the cards. The 890GX's integrated HD 4290's Video section of AMD Vision Engine Control Center (VECC) shows far fewer options for video image processing than the HD 5450 and HD 6450. These post processing video effects are included to offer improved fidelity and options for fine tuning video appearance to your own tastes. Included in this is de-interlacing control, where you can override the automatic selection based on content by the driver to force different methods - weave, progressive scan (bob), adaptive, motion adaptive and vector adaptive modes. Vector adaptive is the highest quality option, when used without the 'enforce smooth playback' option, and so we tested all three GPUs performance using this mode in Cyberlink PowerDVD viewing the de-interlacing torture test known as cheese slices. PowerDVD was configured to use ATI Video settings rather than Cyberlink's enhancements.
Above you can see screenshots from the cheese slices test. The 4290 is unable to give a smooth image, offering unseemly flickering and judder in playback. This issue also exhibited back when we first tested the HD 5450, but was quickly fixed by a public driver update; since then, AMD has held the lead in interlaced video playback quality.
Additional effects found in the Video advanced section of VECC can now be applied at the same time as de-interlacing when using the Radeon HD 6450, thanks to the additional, improved, stream cores. Further post processing such as brighter whites and mosquito noise compensation can be applied, where on the HD 5450 these settings introduced a touch of stutter as the GPU load would cause frame rate to fluctuate. If you watch a lot of interlaced video, i.e. from analog cable or physical DVDs, or .vob files ripped straight from the disc, then the HD 6450 will help give you the best quality.
The video settings can also be applied to Internet media as well, meaning anything you're watching online - Hulu, Netflix, youtube, broadcast network websites, etc. GPU-accelerated browsers are now mainstream, with IE9 and Firefox 4 using Direct2D and Directwrite to render pages, plus support for HTML-5 and WebGL (via plug-in for IE9). Chrome also supports WebGL, rounding out the three major (by market share) browsers in use today. WebGL and Flash acceleration are important technologies as these will and are used for the most popular gaming segment - web-based occasional games like Farmville. Microsoft Windows 7 or Vista with SP2 and platform update is required to support Directdraw and Directwrite.
Below you can see the system power use between the three cards, while playing 1080p Flash video in IE9 with hardware acceleration of Flash video enabled.
The HD 6450 manages to claim lower idle power than the HD 5450 thanks to PowerPlay™, with the 5450 idling at 157MHz engine and 300MHz memory clocks vs. 100e/150m of the HD 6450.
To test the improved Anisotropic Filtering (AF) hardware, we tested the render back ends with 3DCenter.org's Filter Tester application, looking at x16 AF in the worst-case filtering scenario. Catalyst AI texture filter quality was changed from the default Quality setting to High Quality, which disables all optimizations.
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