FiringSquad checks out PureVideo on NVIDIA's new GeForce 8500 and 8600 graphics cards:
With some of today’s ultra high-bitrate content, even an Intel Core2 Duo 6600 is stressed to close to 100% CPU utilization when running a full software decode of Blu-Ray/HD-DVD. Enthusiast-grade software such as CoreAVC can help to minimize the CPU utilization, however this comes at the expense of image quality (even compared to ffdshow) and CoreAVC lacks the ability to work with protected content. As a result, OEMs have been slow to adopt high-definition optical media.
Last November, NVIDIA demoed PureVideo HD. With the latest drivers, the H.264 acceleration was finally enabled for HD-DVD and Blu-Ray PCs. With the PureVideo Video Processor, those same movies that brought a Core 2 Duo E6600 to the limit, now only required 60% utilization… With PureVideo HD, it was finally possible to have high-quality HD-DVD and Blu-Ray playback on the PC – you just needed substantial CPU power.