With these tiny Mini ITX boards everything is about features and performance. However, the key feature is, of course, the embedded GPU with video processor. The combo of the video processor and some additional shader processors inside that chipset allows for high-definition 1080P content playback, acceleration, and though limited... enhancement of overall picture quality.
Now for your regular Blu-ray content, just use PowerDVD or WinDVD and you are good to go with the latest updates/revisions. For those that use other content like the immensely popular MKV / x.264 container formats, please download Media Player Classic Home Cinema. This free open source software will accelerate and enhance your MKV content even at 1080P.
We have written an article on Media Player Classic Home Cinema and how to set up that software to make this happen, please read that here (recommended article albeit it needs an update). Examples:
First test -- above Foo Fighters, MKV 720P. Runs absolutely flawless. So let's up it a notch.
Example of 1080P Avatar Extended Edition Trailer in MKV x.264 format. You'll notice a CPU load of roughly 25% overall here, power consumption at this stage is roughly 30 Watts. That last CPU peak was me fiddling in the background with a screen-grabber BTW.
So the CPU load is only 20% to 30% on average. However it does not show the Intel HD graphics GPU utilization and with added shader optimizations it will run out of juice pretty fast. But I had some additional shaders enabled like image sharpening and darkened black levels. It really helps out. That's the beauty of this design.
The reality is that it provides a pretty flawless playback. The dropped frames BTW is me shifting through content, there aren't any drops in real time playback issues.
So this solution makes it a sweet alternative to build a cheap power consumption aware platform. I'm not saying it's the very best alternative, it's however is sufficient enough at the very least if you are willing to stick to software like Media Player Classic or anything that can support DXVA.
Intel 847 with NM70 review We test Intel Celeron 847 with NM70 today with the ECS NM70-I2 mini ITX motherboard, have a look at some of its performance on the CPU and GPU side of things but most of all, we'll discuss features as what these products bring to the table is just downright impressive.