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ASUS EN9400GT-1GB Geforce 9400GT Half-Height Videocard Review

ASUS EN9400GT-1GB Geforce 9400GT Half-Height Videocard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: If you've been keeping up with PCSTATS you'll know that in the Asus EN9600GT videocard review we mentioned that there are other, more affordable graphics cards better suited to playing movies on a HTPC. As luck would have it, one of them magically appeared in the PCSTATS labs this week.
 70% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Jul 10 2009   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ASUS EN9400GT-1GB

nVidia Geforce 9400GT - Mainstream Graphics and HD Playback Tests

nVidia Geforce 9400GT Technology

The nVidia 'G96' GPU inside the Geforce 9400GT contains 16 stream processors, eight texture units, and eight raster operators. The core clock for the EN9400GT GPU is 550MHz, and for some reason Asus have paired that with 1GB of GDDR2 memory running at 800MHz instead of the typical 512MB.

The expanded memory cache likely won't impact performance by any significant degree. The graphics card is PCI Express x16 2.10 compliant and supports OpenGL 2.1, nVidia Physx, nVidia CUDA, Hybrid Power HD, Windows Vista's Aeroglass interface and DirectX10 / SM4.0. Translation - this videocard is suitable for desktop applications but not so much the modern 3D gaming.

Like most graphics chips of late, the nVidia Geforce 9400GT will handle dual monitors, and support digital resolutions up to 2560x1600 and anlog monitors to 2048x1536 pixels. The DVI ports are dual link, HDCP compliant. On the up side, this GPU is so power efficient no extra power connectors are required!

PCSTATS Benchmark Report Blu-Ray 1080p High Definition Content Playback Tests


With the success of Blue Ray, today's mainstream media center PCs need HD decoding acceleration like never before. Normally PCSTATS runs these HD playback tests in our IGP motherboard reviews, like the ASUS M4A78T-E, but today we'll toss them at this videocard since it is being sold as a quick and cheap way to bring HDMI into an older media PC system.

Blu-Ray High Definition content demands a lot of PC processing resources during playback, if CPU load becomes too high that can lead to jittery video quality or other artifacts. Many integrated graphics processors now feature Blu-Ray and High Definition H.264, VC1 and M-PEG2 content acceleration decoders to offload this processing from the CPU, freeing up system resources for other tasks.

The PCSTATS Blu-Ray HD content playback test scenario monitors average CPU utilization. Lower CPU utilization values are best, provided video playback remains smooth and stutter free.

How PCSTATS Tests: Each IGP graphics chip or videocard is connected to an ASUS MK241 wide screen 1920x1200 (1080P) resolution LCD display with an HDMI cable.

The Blu-Ray movie "10,000 BC" (VC1 encrypted) is then played back from Chapter 22 on an ASUS BC-1205PT Blu-ray combo drive, using WinDVD Platinum software and the average fluctuation of CPU load recorded.

Motherboard

Core Logic IGP

Blu-Ray Playback
CPU Utilization

Video Playback
@ 1080p Quality

Intel DG45ID (Intel G45) Intel GMA X4500HD 32% - 38% No issues
ASUS P5Q-EM (Intel G45) Intel GMA X4500HD 38% No issues
Biostar Tpower N750 (nVidia nForce 750a) Nforce 750a 18% - 20% No issues
ASUS EN9400GT Videocard Geforce 9400GT 15-20% No Issues
ASUS EAH 4550 Videocard AMD HD 4550 7% - 10% No issues
ASUS M4A78T-E (AMD 790GX) AMD HD 3300 6% - 9% No issues
ASUS M3A78T (AMD 790GX) AMD HD 3300 6% - 9% No issues
Foxconn A7DA-S (AMD 790GX) AMD HD 3300 14% - 24% No issues

Playback on the Asus EN9400GT was pleasantly uneventful. The overall system resource usage is well within reason, taking the majority of video processing load off of the CPU and shunting it onto the GPU. This means you can get away with a pretty old CPU in your HTPC, provided your video codecs have support for hardware acceleration.

Hard Drive 720p/1080i Video Playback

Playing high definition content on current generation PCs can bog down even the fastest processors because there is more data to handle. To test the integrated graphics processor's capabilities at HD content accelerating capabilities, we played the High Definition video clip, "The Discoverers" at 720P and 1080i from the hard drive while monitoring the percentage of CPU utilization through Task Manager. Lower CPU utilization is best.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportHDD 720p/1080i Video Playback (Discoverers Video Clip)
720P (Avg): Percent CPU Utilization Ranking
Intel DG45ID (Onboard G45 ) 17
ASUS P5Q-EM (Onboard G45 ) 9
ASUS EN9400GT Videocard 7
ASUS EAH 4550 Videocard 12
ASUS M4A78T-E (onboard HD 3300 video) 17
ASUS M3A78-T (onboard HD 3300 video) 17
Foxconn A7DA-S (onboard HD 3300 video) 30
ECS A780GM-A (Onboard HD 3200 Video 30

Foxconn A690GM2MA-RS2H (X1250 video)

35
Biostar Tpower N750 (onboard nF 750a video) 24
1080i (Avg): Percent CPU Utilization Ranking
Intel DG45ID (Onboard G45 ) 20
ASUS P5Q-EM (Onboard G45 ) 12
ASUS EN9400GT Videocard 10
ASUS EAH 4550 Videocard 19
ASUS M4A78T-E (onboard HD 3300 video) 20
ASUS M3A78-T (onboard HD 3300 video) 22
Foxconn A7DA-S (onboard HD 3300 video) 49
ECS A780GM-A (Onboard HD 3200 Video 53
Foxconn A690GM2MA-RS2H (X1250 video) 49
Biostar Tpower N750 (onboard nF 750a video) 18

Overall system resource usage is low enough that the CPU can be doing other tasks while the Asus EN9400GT decodes video. Playing videos off the hard drive is no more taxing for this videocard than playing video off of a Blu-ray disc.

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Contents of Article: ASUS EN9400GT-1GB
 Pg 1.  ASUS EN9400GT-1GB Geforce 9400GT Half-Height Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — nVidia Geforce 9400GT - Mainstream Graphics and HD Playback Tests
 Pg 3.  Overclocking, Test Specs & Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 4.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark06
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, Stalker Clear Sky
 Pg 6.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 8.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 10.  AA/AF Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry 2, Crysis
 Pg 11.  Entry level videocard for all your HDMI needs?

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