Media Encoding Performance

What was once reserved for "professional" use only has now become a task for many home PCs - media encoding. Today's media encoding requirements are more demanding than ever and are still some of the most intensive procedures you can run on your PC.

We'll start off with a "quick" conversion of a DVD rip (more specifically, Chapter 40 from the Star Wars Episode I DVD) to a DiVX MPEG-4 file. We used the latest DiVX codec (5.02) in conjunction with Xmpeg 4.5 to perform the encoding.

We set the encoding speed to Fastest, disabled audio processing and left all of the remaining settings on their defaults. We recorded the last frame rate given during the encoding process as the progress bar hit 100%.

MPEG-4 Encoding Performance - Xmpeg 4.5/DiVX 5.02
Conversion Frame Rate (higher is better)
Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz

Intel Pentium 4 2.4BGHz

Intel Pentium 4 2.26GHz

Intel Pentium 4 2.40GHz (400MHz)

AMD Athlon XP 2600+ (2.13GHz)

Intel Pentium 4 2.20GHz (400MHz)

AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2.00GHz)

AMD Athlon XP 2200+ (1.80GHz)

Intel Pentium 4 2.0AGHz (400MHz)

AMD Athlon XP 2100+ (1.73GHz)

AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (1.67GHz)

71.5

68.2

65.0

64.3

61.4

60.4

58.7

56.8

56.6

54.2

53.2

|
0
|
14
|
29
|
43
|
57
|
72
|
86

MPEG-4 encoding has always been a very memory bus intensive task in that it greatly benefits from high bandwidth memory subsystems, which is one of the reasons why the Pentium 4 does so well here. It is worth pointing out that the move to a 533MHz FSB only gives the Pentium 4 around a 6% performance improvement.

The Athlon XP 2600+ is not able to keep up with the Pentium 4 here, other than its close proximity to the 2.40GHz part.

MP3 audio encoding is another great CPU test, although this sort of an application is much less platform intensive than the MPEG-4 test from above. Raw computational power is mostly stressed in the following MP3 encoding test; we encoded a 170MB wav file into a VBR (Variable Bit Rate) MP3 using the highest quality settings (-V 0) allowed by the LAME 3.91 MP3 encoder.

MP3 Encoding Performance - LAME 3.91
Time in Seconds to Encode 170MB .wav File
AMD Athlon XP 2600+ (2.13GHz)

Intel Pentium 4 2.53GHz

AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (2.00GHz)

Intel Pentium 4 2.4BGHz

Intel Pentium 4 2.40GHz (400MHz)

Intel Pentium 4 2.26GHz

AMD Athlon XP 2200+ (1.80GHz)

Intel Pentium 4 2.20GHz (400MHz)

AMD Athlon XP 2100+ (1.73GHz)

AMD Athlon XP 2000+ (1.67GHz)

Intel Pentium 4 2.0AGHz (400MHz)

90

95

96

101

101

106

106

110

110

114

121

|
0
|
24
|
48
|
73
|
97
|
121
|
145

When the high-bandwidth Pentium 4 platform isn't of much use, the Athlon XP can pull slightly ahead of its bigger competitor. The new 2600+ is able to outpace by Pentium 4 2.53GHz by about 5% here. Note that the 2400+ is also very competitive with the Pentium 4 2.4B, outperforming it by around 5% as well.

Content Creation Performance 3D Rendering Performance - 3ds max 5

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