Benchmarking Performance: CPU Encoding Tests

One of the interesting elements on modern processors is encoding performance. This includes encryption/decryption, as well as video transcoding from one video format to another. In the encrypt/decrypt scenario, this remains pertinent to on-the-fly encryption of sensitive data - a process by which more modern devices are leaning to for software security. Video transcoding as a tool to adjust the quality, file size and resolution of a video file has boomed in recent years, such as providing the optimum video for devices before consumption, or for game streamers who are wanting to upload the output from their video camera in real-time. As we move into live 3D video, this task will only get more strenuous, and it turns out that the performance of certain algorithms is a function of the input/output of the content.

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

7-Zip 9.2: link

One of the freeware compression tools that offers good scaling performance between processors is 7-Zip. It runs under an open-source licence, is fast, and easy to use tool for power users. We run the benchmark mode via the command line for four loops and take the output score.

Encoding: 7-Zip

WinRAR 5.40: link

For the 2017 test suite, we move to the latest version of WinRAR in our compression test. WinRAR in some quarters is more user-friendly that 7-Zip, hence its inclusion. Rather than use a benchmark mode as we did with 7-Zip, here we take a set of files representative of a generic stack (33 video files in 1.37 GB, 2834 smaller website files in 370 folders in 150 MB) of compressible and incompressible formats. The results shown are the time taken to encode the file. Due to DRAM caching, we run the test 10 times and take the average of the last five runs when the benchmark is in a steady state.

Encoding: WinRAR 5.40

AES Encoding

Algorithms using AES coding have spread far and wide as a ubiquitous tool for encryption. Again, this is another CPU limited test, and modern CPUs have special AES pathways to accelerate their performance. We often see scaling in both frequency and cores with this benchmark. We use the latest version of TrueCrypt and run its benchmark mode over 1GB of in-DRAM data. Results shown are the GB/s average of encryption and decryption.

Encoding: AES

HandBrake v1.0.2 H264 and HEVC: link

As mentioned above, video transcoding (both encode and decode) is a hot topic in performance metrics as more and more content is being created. First consideration is the standard in which the video is encoded, which can be lossless or lossy, trade performance for file-size, trade quality for file-size, or all of the above can increase encoding rates to help accelerate decoding rates. Alongside Google's favorite codec, VP9, there are two others that are taking hold: H264, the older codec, is practically everywhere and is designed to be optimized for 1080p video, and HEVC (or H265) that is aimed to provide the same quality as H264 but at a lower file-size (or better quality for the same size). HEVC is important as 4K is streamed over the air, meaning less bits need to be transferred for the same quality content.

Handbrake is a favored tool for transcoding, and so our test regime takes care of three areas.

Low Quality/Resolution H264: He we transcode a 640x266 H264 rip of a 2 hour film, and change the encoding from Main profile to High profile, using the very-fast preset.

Encoding: Handbrake H264 (LQ)

High Quality/Resolution H264: A similar test, but this time we take a ten-minute double 4K (3840x4320) file running at 60 Hz and transcode from Main to High, using the very-fast preset.

Encoding: Handbrake H264 (HQ)

HEVC Test: Using the same video in HQ, we change the resolution and codec of the original video from 4K60 in H264 into 4K60 HEVC.

Encoding: Handbrake HEVC (4K)

Benchmarking Performance: CPU Web Tests Benchmarking Performance: CPU Office Tests
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  • HollyDOL - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Ian hasn't failed us. Thorough review on day one. Now to read it whole :-) Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Results are still coming in for the 1300X, this will take another day or two and I'll add in the graphs but all the Ryzen 3 1200 data is in Bench.

    Each of the 3 GPUs still to go is about 5 hrs each to test, Chrome Compile and SYSMark is another 10 hr. I've still got results for the 7300 coming in as well on my second test-bed.
    Reply
  • srkelley5 - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Thank you! I know that it's more work, but is there any chance of getting charts that compare these results against Vishera cpu's? Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link

    Seconded.

    It is a shame that we still don't have a direct comparison between AMD's big CPU from last gen vs the current generation.
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link

    Can't compare my Sandy-Bridge-E 3930K either.
    Or the Phenom 2 x6...
    Reply
  • 0ldman79 - Wednesday, August 02, 2017 - link

    It looks like a lot of the information is already on the bench, just formatted differently.

    Shame.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Sunday, July 30, 2017 - link

    I've got a regression testing project ongoing which is taking most of my regular time to get sorted. More details soon. Reply
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Thanks for your hard work, Ian (and team?) We appreciate it. I must say, I'm impressed with what this 1300X can do - and for only $130 too!

    Correction on the last graph: the X-axis title says, well, "Title." :-)
    Reply
  • ddriver - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    You should do relative x scale for the price/performance charts. It will be more informative than absolute scale, besides, how many CPUs under 50$ are there, and how many go as low as 0$? Reply
  • coolhardware - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Agreed, thank you for the review Ian! I've been waiting for a nice Ryzen close to the $100 price point, the 1300X is close enough in price for me and I like what I read in the review.

    Especially interested to see how performance in my daily work compares to my trusty 2500K and some more modern i7 mobile CPUs.

    Excited to pick one of these up! :-)

    NewEgg shows 7/31 release:
    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N...

    Amazon usually ships faster for me so I plan on ordering from them:
    http://amzn.to/2v1fJqh (url shortened)

    PS Does MicroCenter usually have CPUs in store on launch day?
    Reply

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