Media Encoding Performance

We'll start with our DivX test; this is the same benchmark we've been running for years, we've simply updated to DivX 6.7. The codec was set to Unconstrained quality, with the quality/performance slider at 5 and enhanced multi-threading enabled. The rest of the codec settings remained at their defaults.

DivX 6.7 w/ Xmpeg 5.0.3 - Video Encoding  

Despite the move to four cores and the improvements to the K8 architecture, the Phenom, even at 2.4GHz, is slower than the Core 2 Quad Q6600. Clock for clock, Intel has a 24% performance advantage here.

AMD did make some progress however, if we look back at some of our older numbers the gap at 3.0GHz between dual-core chips was almost 38%.

The situation gets even more bleak once you take into account that the Phenom 9700 will most likely ship when Intel's Q9450 is also available which extends Intel's lead to over 30%.

AMD has always been much more competitive at encoding using Microsoft's Windows Media Video codec:

Windows Media Encoder 9 - Video Encoding  

Windows Media Encoder performance is virtually identical between the Phenom and Core 2 Quad at the same clock speed. However, once you take price into account, Intel starts to pull ahead; the Q6600 is priced competitively with the Phenom 9600 and manages a 7% performance advantage over the 9600. It's not much, but the Q6600 is also cheaper.

Our final encoding test is an increasingly popular format: x264. We encode the same .avi file from our WME test but this time using the x264 codec and AutoMKV. We didn't encode audio and left all program settings at its defaults, the only thing we changed was we asked that the final file size be 100MB (down from 500MB).

AutoMKV x264 - Video Encoding  

Much like our WME results, clock for clock AMD's Phenom actually equals the performance of the Core 2 Quad. Take price into account and Intel is still the right buy; it's tough to say what will happen when the Phenom 9700 and 9900 eventually launch because they may be competing against Penryn at that time, which in this case would be the Q9450, a more formidable opponent.

General Application Performance 3D Rendering Performance


View All Comments

  • agello24 - Saturday, February 16, 2008 - link

    im still not ready to switch to intel. ill be buying my phenom shortly. Reply
  • GenoR32 - Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - link

    I still believe in AMD, and i know they will release a nice product line-up in the coming months, or probably 2009... i have a Core2 PC now b/c i cant deny the fact that they are really strong CPU's... but my DDR3 upgrade will be on an AM3 system... i think they will be really competitive.

  • JumpingJack - Sunday, September 21, 2014 - link

    Are you still waiting? Reply
  • TheCatOfWar - Monday, April 23, 2018 - link

    Not for the last year, ha Reply
  • Thatguy97 - Thursday, May 05, 2016 - link

    Can't believe socket am3 is still around Reply
  • eye smite - Monday, January 07, 2008 - link

    I didn't comment on this review when it first came out cause I didn't want to read the whole thing. It reads more like a rant on a blog than a review, he didn't want to go to Cali, so what. In the time since this article the phenom has proved to be a good cpu, I noticed in the last week that HP and Gateway have started selling systems in Best Buy and Circuit City with phenoms. This cpu was rushed out and it will take a bit of time to mature. It's the same thing we saw with the athlon64 from 2k3, had it been as developed as it needed to be, they would not have gone from socket 753 to 939 to am2 and so on. Amd should have made the smaller leaps to a quad core athlon64 til phenom was ready, but they have bad decision makers these days it seems. Reply
  • JumpingJack - Sunday, September 21, 2014 - link

    There was no rant in this article, there was a stern condemnation of an attempt by AMD to control the benchmarking and review process, to influence what should be independent and transparent review of a product to the marketplace. Reply
  • Hellrazor0628 - Thursday, January 03, 2008 - link

    Well I think that intel got the processing but i realy dont think at the first place that the phenom is ready they need time and money to be able to get rev. in good working and debuged intel had that money and time they realy took their time befor shoing up with core2 wonld say tow years almost. Amd had already a small part of the market enven whene they give the best performance for the price even compaired to the best intel. To say it I realy was hoping the truth native quad core phenom would be better proccesing too but in ther other hand there are a lot of technogie that need to be looking at about amd that poeple sould take a look at about the phenom that is key to all amd cpu that people are too stupid to look at and understand. like power comp. wtf man there is a bus and a memory controler my nvidie chip set coul burn and egg and it only have to run the pci and pci-x. Reply
  • hoelder - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    I remember to have to save food of my mouth to buy the first ill conceived Pentium or the 486. How Intel set those prices evades me. They maximized their profits with no competition. Yes I know Intel produces a faster chip, if faster is the right word. However, when it comes down to competition and the markets, AMD is the strategically right choice. Unless of course you think that the Walmart buy cheap toys from China idea is your consumer ideology then you should stick with Intel, that actually is going like Nixon to China or you believe in the consumer choices should keep competition open. Reply
  • mpholland - Friday, November 30, 2007 - link

    Maybe AMD just had to release these early to make a little capital this year. Personally I think that it is good that AMD let people know SOMETHING is close. I am hoping that with a little tweaking AMD and some MB partners can get performance up a little and be competitive with Intel sometime in 2008. I have seen just simple driver tweaks work wonders on other hardware, maybe just a little more time can help. Reply

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