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2. Performance with the proprietary driver; all settings at highest quality; Tear Free enabled; packages xvba-va-driver, libva-glx1, libva-egl1 and vainfo installed; (typical, all releases):
Web content performed flawlessly.
The .avi file, played across my LAN in SMPlayer, was flawless. Movement was smooth and consistent in both slow and fast moving portions of the video. No tearing or pixilation were noted.  Since the hardware acceleration packages installed, the GPU/CPU loads in my conky indicated that the GPU was loaded in varying degrees from about 10% to 30% (rarely) while the CPU was barely affected. This would indicate that the entire process was being handled properly by the GPU.
The DVD movie played in SMPlayer played the "chase" scenes with complex background movement flawlessly. Again, load on the GPU/CPU indicated that the load was being handled properly by the GPU. Load occasionally spiked to 100% momentarily, but not for a sustained period. The GPU load rarely exceeded 30%. Again, however, this would indicate that the entire process was being handled properly by the GPU.
Team Fortress 2 was also flawless, if the frame rate was a bit "slow". The GPU took the lion's share of the load, but I did note some increased load on the CPU. I don't know if this is just a function of how TF2 is designed.
GLMark2 performed flawlessly (but the frame rate was a "bit pokey") at 1920x1080, and even with all settings at highest quality and Tear Free enabled, it produced a consistent frame rate of 60 through all the tests. (The argument about FPS notwithstanding, 45 - 60FPS is about what it takes for most humans to perceive smooth motion on a monitor.) GLMark2 exercised the GPU pretty well, but it still did not even get close to 100% sustained load, but did spike there occasionally. Otherwise it was rarely above 50%. The highest observed temperature of the GPU was 59C and the highest observed fan speed was 36%. With regard to temperature and fan speed, it should be noted that this "Double Dissipation" model has two large, lower rpm fans rather than the single high rpm reference fan. This produces much better cooling and much lower noise.