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
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  • kjohnson - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    I now put the Inquirer on the same level as CNN. Fox News is a better comparison. Reply
  • slatr - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    Sorry.. how about a lightwave scene rendering at the same time as running a filter on a large image in photoshop. Reply
  • slatr - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • slatr - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    Can we see Lightwave benchmarks again please?




    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    As always, I appreciate the comments and support, but let's not let this get too off topic. Keep the requests for tests and new scenarios coming, I can't promise I'll get all of them included but I'll do my best to incorporate as many ideas as possible.

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • Son of a N00b - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    ANAND!! lol...shoot to bad you already finished part to, but for all those whiners, who want games, i have to say this...

    The only gaming benchmark that would make sence is running a game while having a firewall and antivirus running....most TRUE(not you wannabe's who run firefox in the background to induce lag in fps) gamers(including me) turn off their firewalls and antivirus to get the very best possible performace, because it matters...no one multitasks with games...

    Now when you all flame about how you multitask with games, and "speak for yourself shit" let me just say, are you really going to shrink a DVD while playing Counter Strike??? YOU'D GET OWNED....

    I do not see any point in benchmarking games as thesse people mentioned...they failed to read your explanation of not including games and rush to critizise....utilize the time you have on the system running more important tests....

    /my 2 cents :-))

    and again great job with the article and the site, and I am very impressed with how you handle the BS'ers who talk ablut your integrity...i have and probably never will question this sites validability...dont come here if you just want to complain about it....
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    #92, that is a huge understatement. I have been coming here for 7 years, AT has been my start page for the last 6 years... This is 100% due to the totally unbiased and thorough reviews posted here. To compare to some trashy RAG website like the inquirer is totally inacurate. Thats like comparing CNN news to the Inquirer (magazine) LOL Reply
  • paulsiu - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    Great article. You were one of the first to review, too.

    I am looking forward to see AMD's take on dual core. Whether hyperthreading make sense now that you have two real processors.

    In the real world, I am looking for dual core to be use in a home server at a price that will hopefully be cheaper than a dual cpu machine.

    Even if dual core won't make our single threaded application run faster, it may make your machine more responsive. How much crap is running in the background these days: virus checker, spyware blocker, personal firewall, drive indexer and checker. Pretty soon, we'll all need Dual Core just to keep our machine responsive.
    Reply
  • Detrius - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    An excellent application for testing would be VMware Workstation. For me, this is by far the most demanding application that I use on a regular basis. For those of you who do not have experience with this software and have a need to stage multicomputer systems but are (like me) hardware limited this is the bomb application. Plus, it makes an great multitasking load. Reply
  • kjohnson - Tuesday, April 5, 2005 - link

    I stand corrected Anand. My research indicates your reputation far exceeds that of the Inquirer. Reply

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