HD decoding CPU usage shootout: ATI vs nVidia

While around here you're more likely to see a flame war erupt about Blu-ray versus HD DVD, on many computer gaming websites the war is over ATI and nVidia, with the two major video card manufacturers constantly leapfrogging each other in an attempt to benchmark the highest scores on games like Unreal Tournament and Doom. Ars Technica has a head-to-head comparison on how well the their latest offerings perform decoding high-definition content, using an Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on drive and some prerecorded 1080p and 1080i content. While both camps did similarly well, ATI was better at playing back VC-1-encoded HD DVD content, and nVidia held a slight edge on 1080i recordings. The benefits to both allow even older video hardware to take a load off the CPU, meaning home theater PC builders can pair a cheaper CPU and video card for playing back HD on the cheap.