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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  • Daeros - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Your Intel bias is showing again, Ian. You've pitted a very nice selection of midrange processors from AMD against some very nice, almost double the price chips from Intel. If you're going to include the i5-8400 and i5-8600k, why not the R7 2600x or 2700? They're price-point competitors. But then, Intel wouldn't be at the top of the charts in almost any of the tests, would they? Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    All the data is in Bench for those parts. I mention repeatedly (as I did in our buyer's guide) that Intel doesn't really have anything competitive from 8th/9th Gen in the $120-$200 range. I put some parts in that are at least offer thread parity, as explained on page one of this review, if you read that far. But then again, Intel's 8th gen chips are priced well above the usual price right now.

    Subsequently, your data bias is showing. It's not about being at the absolute top of the graph. It never has. It's about competing with what's around you and some context either side from major competitors. If you want to compare higher priced parts against higher priced parts, then there's either a benchmark database to look at, or the corresponding reviews for those chips.

    All quite apart from which, most of my analysis is comparing the AMD parts to other AMD parts because they're not sold at retail and where they would fit in if they did. That's one of the major points of this review.
    Reply
  • c4v3man - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Is Anandtech trying to acquire an Intel i3-8100 processor for testing? This would seem to be a fairly natural comparison point to these processors at it's $117 customer pricing level. Granted you can approximate the results off the i3-8350K, and assume it's roughly 10% slower, but having actual numbers would be preferred over manual re-calculations. Reply
  • HStewart - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    What about i5-8400T - according to ARC it price at $179 which will be in price range you stated

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/p...

    Big difference is that it does not have Hyperthreading, been 6 cores without hyperthreading it could be serious competitor to Ryzen 5 2500X - it does have lesser max frequency than normal 8400
    Reply
  • Korguz - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    HStewart...
    that price.. could be an intel suggested price, or the tray price....
    Reply
  • HStewart - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    It is the price on Amazon, and selling out

    https://www.amazon.com/Intel-CM8068403358913-Core-...
    Reply
  • MattMe - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    @Ian - Whilst not quite as militant as some other forum users, I do agree that the testing and comparisons you have used here are not the most appropriate or useful. A similarly priced Intel CPU like the i3 would demonstrate competitive value in the marketplace. If we are including the more expensive Intel CPUs (because of their similar thread count, which I understand) then the graphs should have the equivalently priced AMD alternatives, again to help consumers understand the value proposition from both sides.

    Regarding the games/GPU options, I feel the testing you have carried out is useful, and although it's unlikely these CPUs would be paired with such a high-end GPU, we are at least ruling out the GPU being the limiting factor until reaching 4k, where your graphs demonstrate that the CPU is no longer the bottleneck. Without doubling the number of tests and data presented in the articles, I feel you've presented the most useful benchmarks and information. You'll never please everyone, I suppose.

    Overall I think this is another fantastic write-up and appreciate the effort you put into the research and testing, but I can understand some people's frustrations when it comes to the comparisons you have chosen to demonstrate.
    Reply
  • mikato - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    Well said
    "If we are including the more expensive Intel CPUs (because of their similar thread count, which I understand) then the graphs should have the equivalently priced AMD alternatives, again to help consumers understand the value proposition from both sides."
    Reply
  • Phynaz - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Typical AMD - Hot and Slow Reply
  • formulaLS - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Typical Phynaz, quit the forums and said he won't be coming back and ended up flat out lying about it. Grow up dude. Reply

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