Dedicated graphics cards from ATI and Nvidia used to be critical just for gamers and pros, but now they do a lot more than make splattered guts look good. Like make video transcoding really fast.
PC Perspective compared GPU-powered video transcoding programs from ATI and Nvidia—Avivo and Badaboom, respectively, which work exclusively with their own graphics cards.
The Nvidia Badaboom transcoder wins on interface, looks and ease of use, though you need an Nvidia card that supports CUDA, limiting it to relatively recent GPUs. ATI's Avivo uses a crappy wizard format and is kind of ugly, but it has a wealth of options and outputs that Badaboom simply doesn't offer. It's also faster, though it does use more CPU action than Badaboom. And you know, it's free, while Badadoom is $30 if you don't want that gross watermark.
Avivo slightly edges out Badaboom as PCPer's favorite because it's faster and more powerful, though one potential downfall is that it has some problems with "video garbage" during WMV and iPod video file playback. Still, both pretty impressively show off the power of GPU-accelerated apps versus standard CPU-driven fare. Either way, it can't hurt to check out Avivo—it's free. [PCPer]