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

Video encoding is a little varied, based on the variable threaded nature. Certain encoding tests can be more memory sensitive here, or accelerated in different ways, or not scale well with more cores. Either way, TR3 performs a lot better than TR2, but the 3950X seems the best choice.

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

Easily parallel puts the TR3 well ahead of TR2 and Intel.

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

WinRAR is a variably threaded application, and both TR3 processors perform in the same ballpark as anything from Intel. Ideally we should have seen them streak ahead, but we seem to be at a point where CPU frequency or core counts are the limiting factor. At least with Zen 2, there are no issues as there was with Zen 1/Zen+.

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: System Tests CPU Performance: Web and Legacy Tests


View All Comments

  • plonk420 - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    it may be small, but they're now fighting Intel in that same small market with these Threadrippers, and, well AMD has the winning product in use cases i'm looking at (simultaneous video encoding streams and Blender, with enough cores to do that while gaming).

    AV1 is currently so slow to encode, i have to split a movie into 8 parts (probably more with one of these Zen2 TRs to get it done quicker) for a doable encode. took about 41-48 hours per part save for the credits to encode at 720p on a 16c32t 1950X
  • DavyJones - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    AMD curbstomps Intel at every price point, from $50 all the way to $7000+. How much lower should AMD price their CPU's exactly? Should they give them away for free?
    And yes, Intel has a vastly larger marketshare. They were on top for well over a decade, & for a large portion of that, AMD was completely irrelevant. Their server marketshare was statistically insignificant just 3 years ago & now they're knocking on the door of 10%. Their stock has skyrocketed in that time. Again... How cheap should AMD go when they have an objectively superior product?
  • jabber - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    Indeed at the end of the day Dell and HP etc. are taking all the i3/i5 chips the Corporate market can buy.

    Intel are probably still outselling AMD 10 to 1?
  • maxxbot - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    I would absolutely bet that more of these TR3 are going to be sold to professionals than consumers, I waited in line for the 3950X yesterday and even for that part half of the people in line were buying it for work. Reply
  • Teckk - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    In this segment could be, but in laptops Intel is what is selling. AMD needs Zen2 + 7nm there Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    That's my issue... I can't find any of these Threadripper, Ryzen 3950X, or Cascade Lake X in stock anywhere. But I can order 16" MacBook Pro right now and have it here tomorrow. Desktop CPU's are OLD SCHOOL. I would rather have a mobile solution that I can take .. anywhere. Reply
  • Korguz - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    must be just where you are.. i can go to one store and buy the Threadripper 3960X now, but the 3970x is special order, for the intel 10xx series, not showing anything for these, yet Reply
  • imaheadcase - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    Did Csutcliff not even look at benchmarks or even look at price difference for a setup? Reply
  • tygrus - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    News of Intel's death have been greatly exaggerated. It would take more than 20 years of bad performance (<20% market share) for Intel to burn it's cash reserves. Reply
  • Oliseo - Tuesday, November 26, 2019 - link

    I've seen bigger companies fail faster. Reply

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