Legit Processor Reviews
Intel Core i5-661 Clarkdale Processor Review
|Date:||Sun, Jan 03, 2010 - 09:00 PM|
|Written By:||Brian Wallace -|
Media and Blu-ray
Media performance has quickly become on of the most important roles of a PC. Whether it is playing media from iTunes, watching a DVD/Blu-ray, or watching high-definition content from You Tube and Hulu, our PC’s must be able to handle any number of these things and still be to run other programs without slowing down significantly. With 4 available threads, the Clarkdale CPU can handle just about anything you can throw at it.
Blu-ray and other high def playback on the PC is surging. HTPC’s are becoming more and more common, and with Blu-ray ROM’s for PC’s dropping below $75 it should continue. The latest hurdle for a HTPC was being able to support Blu-ray/HD DVD audio in the form of Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio bit streaming. Until today, the ATI HD 5000 series GPU’s, and the ASUS Xonar 1.3 sound cards were the only devices capable of passing those audio streams to a receiver, but we can now add Intel Clarkdale CPU’s to the list. With the integrated GPU, you can now enjoy bit streaming audio of your favorite Blu-ray/HD DVD’s.
Another upcoming technology that many of us enjoyed recently when watching the movie “Avatar” is 3D. In mid December, the 3D Blu-ray specification was finalized so we should expect to see hardware capable of displaying this in our homes. HTPC’s, are not going to be excluded this round either, both ATI and NVIDIA have both stated that their hardware will be capable of providing this playback. After going through our documentation, we found no information regarding 3D support. When asked, Intel responded by saying “Intel is working with key software players to enable Blu-ray Stereo 3D on Intel graphics.” Frankly, I expect to see it happening this week at CES.
As far as Blu-ray performance goes, we were provided with a build of Arcsoft’s Total Media Theater 3. This build supports HD audio bit streaming through the on die Intel HD Graphics processor. Note that both PowerDVD and WinDVD also support the Intel HD graphics processor for bit streaming as well. After the install of TMT3, we fired up Battlestar Galactica: The Plan and were pleased to see that were getting DTS-HD Master audio.
Click on the screen capture above to see the 15 minute task manager capture.
While playing back The Plan, we looked at task manager for CPU usage and found that it required between 3-7% which is very impressive. We also took power consumption readings with our Kill-a-Watt and found that it ranged from 65W-67W for the system to playback The Plan. Considering that idle power usage is right around 49W, it needs less than 20W of power to play back a Blu-ray movie. If you were looking to build an HTPC soon, it doesn’t get much better than that!
With an expected addition of Blu-ray 3D support along with HD audio bit streaming and very low power consumption, the Clarkdale CPU’s look to be in an incredibly strong position in the world of HTPC’s.
Next Page - Intel DH55TC and Test System
Page 1 - Intel Core i5 661 Benchmarking
Page 2 - Clarkdale: A Closer Look
Page 3 - Intel 5 Series Chipsets
Page 4 - Media and Blu-ray
Page 5 - Intel DH55TC and Test System
Page 6 - SiSoftware Sandra 2010c
Page 7 - iTunes 9
Page 8 - Cinebench R10
Page 9 - x264 HD Encoding
Page 10 - PC Mark Vantage
Page 11 - Stalker: Call of Pripyat
Page 12 - Colin McRae: Dirt 2
Page 13 - 3D Mark Vantage
Page 14 - Overclocking & Power Consumption
Page 15 - Conclusion