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 30 October 2007
 Technology Report
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NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Technology Report
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Second-Generation PureVideo Engine

NVIDIA upgraded the PureVideo HD processor in the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT with the new VP2 video processor. Even the GeForce 8800 Ultra does not come with this newer video processor.

The enhanced PureVideo HD processor allows the GeForce 8800 GT to completely take over the processing of HD video content, dramatically reducing CPU usage during playback. The PureVideo HD processor actually consists of three separate engines - the Video Processor 2 (VP2), the Bitstream Processor (BSP) and the AES128 encryption engine.

The Video Processor 2 (VP2) is used to accelerate the decoding of video codecs like MPEG-2, VC-1 and H.264 at bitrates of up to 40 Mbps. By offloading the processing of these video content from the CPU, the VP2 also greatly reduces CPU usage during playback.

The Bitstream Processor (BSP) is a dedicated engine that is used to accelerate H.264 CABAC (Context Adaptive Binary Arithmetic Coding) and CAVLC (Context Adaptive Variable Length Coding) coding schemes. Again, it offloads this process from the CPU.

The AES128 encryption engine accelerates the decoding of AES128-encrypted content. This further reduces CPU usage when decoding encrypted HD content.


Thanks to the new PureVideo HD processor, the NVDIA GeForce 8800 GT boasts significantly lower CPU utilization than the first-generation PureVideo processor in the GeForce 7 series of GPUs. Here's a performance comparison showing CPU utilization during a H.264 decode using an Intel Core 2 Duo (software decode) or when accelerated by a GeForce 7900 GT and the new GeForce 8800 GT.

By taking over 100% of the H.264 decoding process, the PureVideo HD processor essentially guarantees full HD video playback even with a slow processor like the Intel Celeron.


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