HEDT 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

The 9980XE performs better than the 7980XE in our testing by a few percentage points, however these tests seem to benefit from fewer cores and a better turbo frequency profile.

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

The increase in performance in both compression and decompression over the 7980XE pushes the 9980XE to the top of the overall standings.

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

With WinRAR being a variable threaded and memory sensitive tool, while the 9980XE performs better than the 7980XE, having fewer Intel cores seems to work best.

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

AES encoding seems to prefer AMD's situation, although the way the >16 core TR2 parts are configured is more of a hindrance. As expected, the i9-9980XE is the best Intel performer here.

Our New Testing Suite for 2018 and 2019 HEDT Performance: Rendering Tests
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  • nadim.kahwaji - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Niceeee , keep up the great work Ian ‘:) Reply
  • AshlayW - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    In my opinion the entire Intel HEDT lineup is a joke. And the 9980XE: $180 more for literally just a bit over *half* the cores and threads. Sure it has better lightly threaded performance but surely that's not the intention of this processor, and surely it is not worth charging this insane 'Intel Tax' premium for it. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Intel is free to charge whatever they want for a device that I have zero intention of purchasing. Most professionals I know have stopped using desktop computers for their daily drivers. The Dell XPS 15 and Apple's 15" MacBook Pro seam to be the weapons of choice these days. These products surely have their uses, but in the real world, most users are happy to sacrifice absolute performance for mobility. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Most be a strange world you live on. Mobile won't ever be anything close to a desktop for daily tasks. I don't know any professional who have did that. They use mobile devices mainly to view items they did on desktop, not for working. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Really? I work in software development (WEB, C++, OpenGL, and yes our own ray tracing engine) We have one guy with a desktop, the rest of the developers use either an XPS 15, a MacBook Pro, and one guy with a Surface Book. All were given a choice...this was the result.

    Interesting story about how we got here... Windows used to be a requirement for developing browser plugins. But with the move to Web Assembly, we can now compile and test our plugin on the Mac just as easily as we do on Windows. While many fanboys will lament this change .. I personally love it!

    Reply
  • Endda - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Yea, for code development only. Mobility has been the choice for that for years.

    Not everyone is a coder though. Some need these desktops for rendering big animations, videos, etc. You're simply not going to do that in any meaningful way on a laptop
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Rendering and production work can indeed happen on laptop hardware. I don't argue that desktop hardware with fewer limits on TDP and storage aren't a faster way to accomplish the same tasks, but as Team noted, given a choice, a lot of people opt for mobility over raw compute power. Reply
  • nerd1 - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    It's a big joke to use XPS or Macbook GPU to do anything intensive. It's good for remote code editing though (except macbooks with absolute terrible keyboard) Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - link

    Define "intensive." Our software does real-time (WebGL) and photo-realistic (ray-tracing) rendering. I suppose that a Path Tracing engine would be MORE intensive. But the goal of our software is to be as ubiquitous as possible. We support the iPad and some Android tablets. Reply
  • linuxgeex - Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - link

    There's your answer: anything that runs on iPad and Android Tablets is not "intensive". I'll grant you that it's "intensive" compared to what we were doing on workstations a decade ago, and mobile is closing the gap... but a workstation today has 24-56 cores (not threads) at 5Ghz and dual NVidia 2080 GPUs. You can get a 12-core CPU and dual 1080 in the pinnacle gaming laptops but they don't have ECC or the certifications of a workstation. At best they have half to 2/3 the performance. If you're paying your engineers by the hour you don't want them sitting on their hands twice as long. But I can see how they might make that choice for themselves. You make an excellent point there, lol. Reply

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