AMD compares noise reduction between its ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT and NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT  (Source: AMD)

Visible ghosting on the NVIDIA offering with the noise reduction slider at 75%  (Source: AMD)
NVIDIA PureVideo HD causes ghosting in noise reduction tests, AMD alleges

Last week, AMD briefed members of the press regarding Silicon Optix’s HD HQV benchmark. AMD alleged its competitor, NVIDIA, cheated in the benchmark’s noise reduction section. The noise reduction test accounted for 25% of the overall score in HD HQV.

Avivo HD and PureVideo HD equipped offerings from both camps deliver perfect scores of 100 in the HD HQV benchmark. However, AMD alleges NVIDIA optimizes its drivers with an aggressive noise reduction algorithm that causes visible ghosting. AMD also claims its noise reduction algorithm reduces noise but does not leave any visible ghosting, preserving picture detail.

AMD’s internal testing with NVIDIA ForceWare 163.11 beta drivers revealed the ghosting in both noise reduction test scenes. AMD provided a side-by-side comparison showing the visual ghosting.

DailyTech contacted NVIDIA for an official response. The company denies the alleged cheating optimizations, citing the ForceWare 163.11 drivers are old and had a aggressive default driver setting that causes the ghosting, according to Rick Allen, Notebook and Multimedia PR manager, NVIDIA.

The latest ForceWare 163.44 beta drivers have a less agressive default setting. Users can also adjust the amount of noise reduction applied during post processing with the 0-100-percent noise reduction slider, he added.

“As we openly told reviewers, using aggressive noise reduction settings may cause ghosting depending on the content played so we recommend using moderate settings. We also recommend the improved 163.44 drivers release a few weeks ago which reduce this effect,” Allen said.

NVIDIA also fights back at the allegations, highlighting that the ForceWare driver allows users to adjust the noise reduction levels on their own, and even completely disable the feature. AMD’s noise reduction implementation is adaptive and applies varying levels of noise reduction, depending on the situation and what the driver deems necessary.

However, users cannot turn off AMD's noise reduction feature, which may be an issue in intentionally grainy movies such as 300, according to Allen.

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