CPU Performance: Encoding Tests

With the rise of streaming, vlogs, and video content as a whole, encoding and transcoding tests are becoming ever more important. Not only are more home users and gamers needing to convert video files into something more manageable, for streaming or archival purposes, but the servers that manage the output also manage around data and log files with compression and decompression. Our encoding tasks are focused around these important scenarios, with input from the community for the best implementation of real-world testing.

All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.

Handbrake 1.1.0: Streaming and Archival Video Transcoding

A popular open source tool, Handbrake is the anything-to-anything video conversion software that a number of people use as a reference point. The danger is always on version numbers and optimization, for example the latest versions of the software can take advantage of AVX-512 and OpenCL to accelerate certain types of transcoding and algorithms. The version we use here is a pure CPU play, with common transcoding variations.

We have split Handbrake up into several tests, using a Logitech C920 1080p60 native webcam recording (essentially a streamer recording), and convert them into two types of streaming formats and one for archival. The output settings used are:

  • 720p60 at 6000 kbps constant bit rate, fast setting, high profile
  • 1080p60 at 3500 kbps constant bit rate, faster setting, main profile
  • 1080p60 HEVC at 3500 kbps variable bit rate, fast setting, main profile

Handbrake 1.1.0 - 720p60 x264 6000 kbps FastHandbrake 1.1.0 - 1080p60 x264 3500 kbps FasterHandbrake 1.1.0 - 1080p60 HEVC 3500 kbps Fast

7-zip v1805: Popular Open-Source Encoding Engine

Out of our compression/decompression tool tests, 7-zip is the most requested and comes with a built-in benchmark. For our test suite, we’ve pulled the latest version of the software and we run the benchmark from the command line, reporting the compression, decompression, and a combined score.

It is noted in this benchmark that the latest multi-die processors have very bi-modal performance between compression and decompression, performing well in one and badly in the other. There are also discussions around how the Windows Scheduler is implementing every thread. As we get more results, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Please note, if you plan to share out the Compression graph, please include the Decompression one. Otherwise you’re only presenting half a picture.

7-Zip 1805 Compression7-Zip 1805 Decompression7-Zip 1805 Combined

WinRAR 5.60b3: Archiving Tool

My compression tool of choice is often WinRAR, having been one of the first tools a number of my generation used over two decades ago. The interface has not changed much, although the integration with Windows right click commands is always a plus. It has no in-built test, so we run a compression over a set directory containing over thirty 60-second video files and 2000 small web-based files at a normal compression rate.

WinRAR is variable threaded but also susceptible to caching, so in our test we run it 10 times and take the average of the last five, leaving the test purely for raw CPU compute performance.

WinRAR 5.60b3

AES Encryption: File Security

A number of platforms, particularly mobile devices, are now offering encryption by default with file systems in order to protect the contents. Windows based devices have these options as well, often applied by BitLocker or third-party software. In our AES encryption test, we used the discontinued TrueCrypt for its built-in benchmark, which tests several encryption algorithms directly in memory.

The data we take for this test is the combined AES encrypt/decrypt performance, measured in gigabytes per second. The software does use AES commands for processors that offer hardware selection, however not AVX-512.

AES Encoding

CPU Performance: Office Tests CPU Performance: Web and Legacy Tests
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  • Le Québécois - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Ian, any reason why more often than not, you seem to "skip" 1440 in your benchmarks? It's only present for a few games.

    Considering the GTX 1080, your best card, is always the bottleneck at 4K, as your numbers show, wouldn't it make more sense to focus more on 1440 instead?

    Especially considering it's the "best" resolution on the market if you are looking for a high pixel density yet still want to run your games at a playable levels of fps.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Some benchmarks are run at 1440p. Some go up to 8K. It's a mix. There's what, 10 games there? Not all of them have to conform to the same testing settings. Reply
  • Le Québécois - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    Sorry for the confusion. I can clearly see we've got very different settings in that mix. I guess a more direct question would be: why do it this way and not with a more standardized series of test?

    A followup question would also be, why 8K? You are already GPU limited at 4K so your 8K result are not going to give any relevant information about those CPUs.

    Sorry, I don't mean to criticized, I simply wish to understand your thought process.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    What exactly do you want to see there that you can't see at 1080p? Differences between CPUs are going to be muddied due to approaching the GPU limit, and that's it. Reply
  • Le Québécois - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    Well, at 1080, you can definitely see the difference between them, and exactly like you said, at 4K, it's all the same because of the GPU limitations. 1440 seems more relevant than 4K considering this. This is after all, a CPU review and most of the 4K results could be summed up by "they all perform within a few %". Reply
  • neblogai - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    End of page 19: R5 2600 is really 65W TDP, not 95W. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Doh, a typo in all my graphs too. Should be updated. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Im on phone on AT and truly see how terrible ads are now. AT straight up letting scam ads now being served because desperate for revenue. 😂 Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Is there a point in even mentioning that give how little control they now have over advertising? Just fire up the ad blocker or visit another site and let the new owners figure it out the hard way. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    Anandtech had Maleware/Viruses infect it's userbase years ago via crappy adverts.

    That was the moment I got Ad-Block. And that is the moment where I will never turn it off again.
    Reply

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