NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide


NVIDIA CUDA Applications

I’ve written a number of articles about Badaboom (here, here and here if you’d like a detailed look at it) as it is a quick and easy application that helps you get a wide number of movie file types converted over to some of today’s most popular devices and formats.


Running Badaboom v1.2.1.7 on the NVIDIA Ion platform is ideal as it offloads much of the workload from the CPU and places it on the GPU. Here we are GPU encoding a movie file to be placed onto my Apple iPhone 3GS. Notice that the CPU load while this is taking place is only ~20%, which gives you some horse power to do other things while encoding.


It took the NVIDIA Ion platform just under one hour twenty minutes to complete the transcoding of Dodgeball. The application averaged 28.5FPS, which is about what we expected as I saw the NVIDIA Ion reference system doing 25FPS with older drivers and software versions.


TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress gives you the freedom to take almost any video file and encode it to your desired file format including DivX HD, AVI, QuickTime, MPEG 4-ISO, H.264, DVD-Video, DVD-VR, HDV camcorder, Blu-ray Disc and much more. This powerful software provides you with functions and features ranging from a simple cut-editor tool to multiple powerful video filtering and effects. It also has NVIDIA CUDA support! I gave this application a try and it worked, but I didn’t see any performance improvement with CUDA support enabled/disabled.


The CoreCodec CoreAVC High Definition H.264 video codec is based on the MPEG-4 Part 10 standard and is the video codec used in AVCHD, Blu-Ray and in HD-DVD. H.264 is the next-generation standard for video, and CoreAVC is being recognized as being the world’s fastest H.264 software video decoder. The efficiency of CoreAVC in ‘software’ is often compared to be faster than other solutions that try to rely on ‘hardware’ to increase playback performance of H.264 video. Since the NVIDIA Ion GPU is being used on this system you can enjoy NVIDIA CUDA accelerated video decoding, which is pretty slick and something that can’t be done on an Intel Atom platform that doesn’t have the NVIDIA Ion GPU.

NVIDIA has numerous CUDA applications available and they will all run on the Ion platform, it will just be a little hit and miss if they actually improve performance or not by offloading the workloads.

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