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Will AMD's XvBA Beat Out NVIDIA's VDPAU?

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  • Will AMD's XvBA Beat Out NVIDIA's VDPAU?

    Phoronix: Will AMD's XvBA Beat Out NVIDIA's VDPAU?

    Going back to last year we have exclusively been reporting on AMD's new HD video decoding interface, which is called XvBA. This interface for use with UVD2 GPUs is properly known as X-Video Bitstream Acceleration, which we have already described at length...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=NzM2OA

  • #2
    NVIDIA's headstart will definitely help here. Some competition will be nice, though, giving incentive to add performance and features.

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    • #3
      I think they got some money from ATI/AMD ....
      They used a totally outdated graphic card versus a rather new one.
      According to the NVIDIA documentation (at http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree8...ppendix-h.html ), VC-1 support on this card is only partial, while most new cards (even cheap ones) has total support.
      If the card has total support in VC1, I guess results will be exactly the same as H264: VDPAU will totally beat XvBA

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      • #4
        I'm not a big fan of competition when it's one vendor-specific API against another; that just means app developers have to either do more work to support both APIs or alienate a big chunk of the user base by choosing one API. Hopefully this will all get unified behind one open API (which seems to be the direction VA API is headed) and they can compete purely on implementation quality.

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        • #5
          Video decode acceleration with XvBA on Linux doesn't work very well over here. It's probably vaporware for anything but embedded solutions anyway.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by phoronix View Post
            [b]Going back to last year we have exclusively been reporting on AMD's new HD video decoding interface, which is called XvBA.
            Yes, for over a year you've been hyping the vaporware that we all knew was there (it works on Windows, right?) but that there's no commitment that will ever be released for Linux, and with a snowball's chance in hell for the open source drivers which is IMO the only reason you would want an AMD card under Linux anyway, except dual booting for games.

            Of course they picked a card with only partial decoding support for VC1 - the whole idea of full decoding support is that you push it to fixed function hardware and that handles the rest which means you can do it on the lowest of low-end. Like in your own "HD Video Playback With A $20 CPU & $30 GPU On Linux" article. The question of this article is like "What CPU runs notepad faster?"

            It's been the same tone now in pretty much every article since nVidia released VDPAU, that "AMD is right behind, XvBA is coming any day now, just stay tuned." And every article about more and more support for nVidia has become a little more desperate, and this one is just approaching embarrasing. nVidia has mature, well supported and excellent acceleration in all video backends that matter and AMD got nothing.

            Nothing.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
              I'm not a big fan of competition when it's one vendor-specific API against another; that just means app developers have to either do more work to support both APIs or alienate a big chunk of the user base by choosing one API. Hopefully this will all get unified behind one open API (which seems to be the direction VA API is headed) and they can compete purely on implementation quality.
              Well vdpau is open. Even Via's chrome now supports it. And ya take the VC-1 comparison with a grain of salt. They are using a old 8600 card vs one of the 8 or 9 series IGP's or cards like the newer 8400 cards which have PureVideo support that does do full VC-1 acceleration. The two vc-1 example's play great at < 1% CPU usage here on a nvidia IGP that has PV Gen 3 support. There is also the fact that while he is using the latest official drivers the recently leaked Cuda drivers have many vdpau improvements as well. Another thing is he could have at least used the two discreet cards in the same system.

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              • #8
                1. XvBA isn't vaporware, because it hasn't even been announced yet. Vaporware requires something to be hyped up first, and AMD hasn't said a word about it yet. And no, it won't be available for the open source drivers, just like Nvidia won't allow VDPAU to be used by open source drivers either.

                2. This article kept mentioning that XvBA was supported by the drivers, which is flat out FALSE. It isn't supported at all, it hasn't even been announced yet, as mentioned above in point 1. Phoronix is really doing a disservice to AMD here and riling people up over nothing. An initial post when the library was first added is OK, and maybe 1 more every few months with a quick status update (no new news) is fine, but you shouldn't seem to be putting words in AMD's mouth that they have never said.

                3. The benchmarks linked to are pretty useless. The systems the 3 cards are running on are completely different, and you can't compare any of the results between them beyond a basic 'yes, it seems to work pretty well' check that all 3 easily passed. If anything, Intel's VAAPI support seemed the most impressive of the 3, because it was running on an Atom CPU.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                  2. This article kept mentioning that XvBA was supported by the drivers, which is flat out FALSE. It isn't supported at all, it hasn't even been announced yet, as mentioned above in point 1. Phoronix is really doing a disservice to AMD here and riling people up over nothing. An initial post when the library was first added is OK, and maybe 1 more every few months with a quick status update (no new news) is fine, but you shouldn't seem to be putting words in AMD's mouth that they have never said.

                  ...
                  If I'm not mistaken, the extension has been present in the driver for a while now.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Melcar View Post
                    If I'm not mistaken, the extension has been present in the driver for a while now.
                    "Supported" is very, very different from "present." I believe Micheal is a native english speaker who should know this. AMD could easily remove XvBA from their next driver like it never existed, because they haven't ever said they would support it. I don't believe they've ever even acknowledged it's existence.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Melcar View Post
                      If I'm not mistaken, the extension has been present in the driver for a while now.

                      But not Announced by AMD/ATI.


                      Originally posted by phhusson View Post
                      I think they got some money from ATI/AMD ....
                      They used a totally outdated graphic card versus a rather new one.
                      According to the NVIDIA documentation (at http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree8...ppendix-h.html ), VC-1 support on this card is only partial, while most new cards (even cheap ones) has total support.
                      If the card has total support in VC1, I guess results will be exactly the same as H264: VDPAU will totally beat XvBA
                      The fanboy has spoken.
                      Last edited by Nille; 07-06-2009, 09:06 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Supported means it can be used, and the driver can technically use it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                          1. XvBA isn't vaporware, because it hasn't even been announced yet. Vaporware requires something to be hyped up first, and AMD hasn't said a word about it yet. And no, it won't be available for the open source drivers, just like Nvidia won't allow VDPAU to be used by open source drivers either..
                          WTH? VDPAU is free to implement in any driver. Free or closed. It's up to the driver guru's to add support for the API. Nvidia's and Via's drivers have support for it, intel has also considered supporting it and nvidia welcomes all who wish to use the API.

                          Originally posted by smitty3268 View Post
                          3. The benchmarks linked to are pretty useless. The systems the 3 cards are running on are completely different, and you can't compare any of the results between them beyond a basic 'yes, it seems to work pretty well' check that all 3 easily passed. If anything, Intel's VAAPI support seemed the most impressive of the 3, because it was running on an Atom CPU.
                          Guess you didn't read the ION reviews, they too are powered by atoms.
                          Last edited by deanjo; 07-06-2009, 09:20 PM.

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                          • #14
                            We did apparently acknowledge its existence once (a marketing guy in Europe IIRC) but for use in embedded systems only.
                            Last edited by bridgman; 07-06-2009, 09:56 PM.

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                            • #15
                              This thread makes me a sad panda.

                              XvBA will not be pulled from drivers; there are big-name buyers that use it. However, there are no public headers nor any kind of specification that states its X protocol implementation.

                              It's discrete, not discreet. You make me want to give kittens to nVidia every time you misspell it.

                              Out of VA-API, VDPAU, and XvBA, at least three of us (ymanton, marcheu, and I) agree that VDPAU will be the least painful to implement. Haven't talked with anybody else, mostly because at this point very few of the Gallium3D/Tungsten devs actually care about video, and they've got other things to work on anyway.

                              Supported means it can be used, and the driver can technically use it.
                              No, it can't. It's only there because they don't build two different versions of the driver, apparently; if they did, then XvBA support would just be compiled out of the publicly available driver.

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