|ASUS P9X79 Pro Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles & David Ramsey|
|Sunday, 20 November 2011|
Page 13 of 17
Handbrake Media Encoding
It's a truism that consumer-level computer performance reached the "fast enough" point years ago, where increases in system performance don't make things any faster for most people. Web browsing, e-mail, word processing, and even most games won't benefit dramatically from a super-fast CPU. There are some exceptions, though, and media encoding is one of them: transcoding video, especially high-definition video, can bring the strongest system to its knees. Fortunately, media transcoding is one of those things that (depending on the design of the code, of course) scales really well with both clock speed and the number of cores, so the more you have of both, the better your results will be.
The free and open-source Handbrake 0.95 video transcoder is an example of a program that makes full use of the computational resources available. For this test I used Handbrake 0.95 to transcode a standard-definition episode of Family Guy to the "iPhone & iPod Touch" presets, and recorded the total time (in seconds) it took to transcode the video.
Handbrake's encoding code seems to benefit from both number of cores as well as core efficiency, but there's still less difference here between the Intel CPUs than I'd expect. The Sandy Bridge Extreme CPU is 22% faster than the 2600K and 19% faster than the 980X.
x264 HD Benchmark 3.19
Tech ARP's x264 HD Benchmark comprises the Avisynth video scripting engine, an x264 encoder, a sample 720P video file, and a script file that actually runs the benchmark. The script invokes four two-pass encoding runs and reports the average frames per second encoded as a result. The script file is a simple batch file, so you could edit the encoding parameters if you were interested, although your results wouldn't then be comparable to others.
The first two runs see the AMD Bulldozer FX-8150 matching the performance of the 2600K, but both are dominated by the six core CPUs. The 3960X beats the 2600K by 52% in both runs, which works out nicely given that is has 50% more cores.
Oddly, the 2600K drop far behind the other processors in this part of the benchmark, and the two six-core CPUs leap far ahead. The 3960X frames-per-second are double those of the 2600K.