Encoding Performance

These new dual core CPUs are supposed to usher in a new era of media rich application usage models. They are supposed to enable us to do things that we were never able to do before.  Let's find out if that's true or not...

First, we start off with iTunes to test MP3 encoding performance.  We took a 12MB .wav file of our own creation and encoded it to a 192kbps MP3 file, measuring how long it took to encode the file. 

MP3 Encoding Performance

Once again, we see that the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 is able to offer equal performance to the 3.73EE at 29 seconds.  What's truly interesting is that the Pentium D running at 3.2GHz actually offers better performance than the Extreme Edition. We can only assume that 4 threads in iTunes begins to reduce performance, with 2 concurrent threads being the optimal point. 

But once again, the performance gains aren't impressive.  So far, dual core isn't looking too good.

DivX Encoding Performance

Our DivX tests from previous CPU reviews have shown a pretty sizeable improvement due to Hyper Threading, so we expected a similarly impressive gain due to dual core:

DivX 5.2.1 Encoding Performance

...and we were not disappointed.  The Pentium Extreme Edition 840 offered more than a 20% increase in performance in our DivX encoding task when compared to the 3.73GHz single core P4 Extreme Edition. 

We also see another example of four threads offering no performance improvement over being able to execute two concurrently, as the Pentium D running at 3.2GHz offers equal performance to the 840. 

XviD Encoding Performance

XviD Encoding Performance

The XviD tests show no real improvement due to dual core, but also don't seem to show much of an improvement due to Hyper Threading either.  This just goes to show you that not all encoding tasks will show tremendous benefits. 

Windows Media Video 9 Encoding Performance

Once again, we see extremely strong performance from the new dual core chips, offering around a 30% performance improvement at 85% of the clock speed of the current king of the hill. 

Windows Media Video 9 HD Encoding Performance

So, overall encoding performance is pretty strong on the dual core chips from Intel.  Let's have a look at one more multi-threaded application before we get to the more interesting tests.

Multimedia Content Creation Performance 3D Rendering Performance
POST A COMMENT

141 Comments

View All Comments

  • hosto - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    #110 - did you notice better performance on the p4 that you used to have? because on single instance of firefox, the amd chips blow the p4's away....yet, when i have multiple panes open with my a64 it chugs quite nastily if there is flash content. Is there some way that macromedia have optimised the flash player for the P4 for firefox? i wonder if the same slowdowns would be noticeable with internet explorer, or if it is specific to the player in firefox/mozilla? Reply
  • xsilver - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    #106
    I hope you mean in multithreaded apps, as has been said many times before... single threaded apps run the SAME, therefore no benchies were included

    #108
    So true --- its the only reason why I wish I still had my p4HT over the amd64
    Reply
  • xsilver - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    ANAND ... for your gaming benchmarks I recommend a scattering of commonly used programs

    1) the lot of antivirus, trillian, firefox, spyware running in background
    2) gaming related stuff like teamspeak or an audio cd playing in the background (to drown out the crappy game music :)
    any other gaming related stuff would be good too....

    if dual core proves itself, there should be no performance drop, whereas the single core will drop somewhat
    Reply
  • hosto - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    thats funny the comment about the flash going slowly in firefox on the AMD processors in the benchmark..ive noticed the same on my athlon64 3200+ that i cannot have too many flash sites opening without it chugging. Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    this would be funny, but if simply having another core helps out with responsiveness and nothing else, I'm getting the dual VIA C3 mini-itx board hahahahaha!

    OK, not dual core, but hell, it's still small enough and they take only 7w each.
    Reply
  • ksteele - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    I would like to see some "apple to apple" benchmarks by removing the clock speed disparities.

    Pentium D 820 2.8Ghz versus Pentium 4 520 2.8Ghz
    Pentium D 830 3.0Ghz versus Pentium 4 530 3.0Ghx
    Pentium D 840 3.2Ghz versus Pentium 4 540 3.2Ghz

    This will allow us to see the true benefit of dual cores without the speed differences.
    Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    sorry for some typpo's Reply
  • mino - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    #101 and some others
    You'are mistaken, Inquirer is NOT to be compared to AT. Is is solely news/romours/opinions site and THAT IS THEY ARE BEST AT ! The practical(not theoretical as at CNN...)non-existence of censorship makes them what they are.
    One thing for sure: they make biased and wrong stance against AT on this, but this is what they do almost all the time.

    The beauty of The Inquirer's approach to journalism is that it let's the reader choose which report is to be taken seriously. They even state it in articles regularly.

    I just hate those juornalists that usurp the right for correct judgement just for themselves.

    Just to make clear: I'm in no relation to The Inq. except readeship.

    To Anand:
    This is one of the best articles(at all) a have read so far. And it looks like it's going to be even better when it's completed. Keep up the good work.

    To topic: One thing should be noted. That is that the VERY poor performance at the singlecore(AMD & intel HT off) scenarios is NOT to be atributed to their inferiority but mostly to the incredibly crappy windows scheduler. Availability of multiple CPU's to it just partly hides its inefficiencies. Let's face it. HT is mainly a Windows baby. No way Intel would make the trouble developing it *NIX system were the main ones.
    Reply
  • ksteele - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    I noticed the dual core's have 1MB L2 cache. Does this mean they are 5xx based? Do they support Intel EM64T, XD Bit and Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology? Reply
  • Gatak - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    #83 So you do not think that a game can utilize two CPUs? Run physics and I/O on one Core and render 3D and textures on the other.

    Also, Even though a game is single threaded, you still have the OS in the background, you have the video and audio card drivers running in separate threads. harddisk I/O and interrupt handling is also spread out on multiple cores.
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now