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 Post subject: Nvidia VGAs with GPU-acceleration for Blu-ray 3D playback
PostPosted: 12 May 2010, 23:39 
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29 Apr 2010, 17:51
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Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

If you take a look at Nvidia's website at the list of GPUs that will support the playback (meaning GPU-accelerated playback) of the new Blu-ray 3D movies you can see that only a few of the newer cards are listed as compatible. These are the latest GeForce GTX 480 / GTX 470 (Fermi), GeForce GT 340 / GT 330 / GT 320 and the GeForce GT 240. And this seems to confuse some people into believing that they won't be able to watch Blu-ray 3D movies on their computer, unless they have one of the listed as compatible GPUs. The truth is that if you don't have any of the above GPUs in your video card, they you just won't be able to use the GPU for acceleration and thus the decoding of the Blu-ray 3D content using the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) compression will be done by the CPU (requiring a faster CPU of course). So even if you have an older graphics card (of course supporting 3D Vision!), but a fast multi-core CPU you should be able to play Blu-ray 3D movies without a problem with a software like Power DVD 10 Ultra or any of the other software Blu-ray 3D video player solutions.

The reason why only newer GPUs are supported for GPU-accelerated decoding is more of an architecture requirement... GeForce GT240 and the Fermi GTX470/GTX480 all have the new 4-th generation of PureVideo HD (VP4) where the GTX 295 for example still uses the older VP2 and the next VP3 is just a little bit of improved version of VP2 with no major changes.

So the VP4 is available in the following GPUs:
- GeForce 205, 210/G210, 310, G210M, 305M, 310M (GT210)
- GeForce GT 220, 315, GT 230M, GT 240M, GT 325M, GT 330M (GT 216)
- GeForce GT 240, GT 320, GT 340, GTS 250M, GTS 260M, GT 335M, GTS 350M, GTS 360M (GT 215)
- GeForce GTX 470, GTX 480 (GF100)

But of course the decoding process for Blu-ray 3D requires some level of minimum performance, probably comparable to that of the GT 240, so the slower models are not listed as compatible, because they probably can't decode the stream in real time...

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