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

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

Again, AMD's 16-core Zen 2 hardware is breezing past Intel's 18-core Skylake-Refresh family. Even with the added frequency that Cascade Lake will bring, it would be hard to see it able to topple AMD here.

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

As a variable threaded workload, WinRAR also probes memory performance. Both the 3700X and 3800X beat the 3950X here.

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

Our AES benchmark seemed a bit off - I would suggest we're being memory limited here but the Ryzen 9 3900X scores a lot higher over the 3950X. More investigation needed.

CPU Performance: Rendering Tests CPU Performance: Web and Legacy Tests
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  • Devo2007 - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    First page "As we move into 2019" - should be "As we move into 2020" Reply
  • plp1980 - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    Is says as we move "through" not as we move "into" Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    It did originally say "into". We've since fixed it.=) Reply
  • Netmsm - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    Ryan, why isn't there any Cinebench test?! Reply
  • TheJian - Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - link

    Because nobody uses it as Intel said (nobody is 1% or less right?)? Nobody making money is using something that is far slower that PAID products. Pointless to benchmark this in every review, just like it's pointless to test 4k in all vid card reviews when nobody is using that either (ok, nobody here means less than 2%...LOL). Whatever. Surely Ryan is chomping at the bit now to tell me 4k is the new enthusiast standard...LOL. Yeah, wake me when 1440p is, as it still isn't LONG after you said that at 660ti article. Still not even 5% years later, heck, both added up don't hit 7% last I checked (month ago?). 1080p however? 65% of users of 130mil steam gamers (this is pretty accurate for the world elsewhere no doubt). Should test LOADS of 1080p games, and maybe benchmark 1/2 at 1440p, only 1-2 at 4k if at all (should be done once a year or in a separate review of 4k yearly?). Until people use it, quit wasting time.

    Anandtech (and many others) seem to do a lot of testing that is NOT how a user would do use their PC. Handbrake crap quality etc. Who uses FAST? FASTER? You blind already so blur doesn't matter? Cinebench freeware same story. Intel seems to have a point though they didn't mind before losing massively on all these things they are now whining about.

    https://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/Steam-Hard...
    Yep, still right, not even 5% yet for 1440p, 7% accurate total 4k+1440p still...LOL. Keep dreaming ryan ;)
    Reply
  • Netmsm - Sunday, November 24, 2019 - link

    impertinent words! These are not the answer.
    Everybody who works on editing films knows how helpful the Cinebench tests are in specifying which CPU will be faster.
    Reply
  • alysdexia - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    shall be swifter Reply
  • peevee - Monday, November 25, 2019 - link

    "Anandtech (and many others) seem to do a lot of testing that is NOT how a user would do use their PC."

    Absolutely. And all their tests get the same amount of space. Including those nobody can use or reproduce. BS all the time, like off-screen rendering, compute on Dolphin emulator, in-house 3DPM... Ancient codecs, irrelevant settings... Somebody needs to bring them back into reality.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - link

    There is. It's in our benchmark database. www.anandtech.com/bench Reply
  • asking - Sunday, July 5, 2020 - link

    @Ian Cutress there is significant doubt (in the form of harrasement) being expressed on the forums about your conclusion on page two of this article that the power consumption of Ryzen chips changed (went upward) between Zen+ and Zen 2. Would be interesting to see your further thoughts: https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/will-cpu-supp... Reply

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