MPEG-2 Playback Test
Our MPEG-2 playback tests were done using CyberLink Power DVD version 7 with Video Acceleration enabled to get the best possible video quality. Playing back a documentary on the making of a movie (not going to say which nerdy movie it is), we measured with Throttle Watch over the course of a 20 minute documentary the average CPU usage as well as describe how the playback went, for a real-world summary.
VIA's CX700M2 chipset with its hardware MPEG-2 decoder engine really lightened the CPU load, in fact its down to the same level as that of the Sempron CPU.
Our thoughts were very good, the system played back without any lag, no stuttering audio or video; there were no skipped frames at all.
MPEG-4 Playback Test
MPEG-4 playback was done with Media Player 11. We used the same MPEG-2 video that was encoded to DivX 6.4 with our regular test bed so we could have the same 20 minutes run. Again Throttle Watch was used to measure the CPU usage over the 20 minutes and give us a percentage.
Here we got a huge surprise, CX700M2 also has an MPEG-4 decoder and it works to perfection.
In fact, it kept the CPU usage down quite a long way, right up with the Sempron CPU.