|MSI 990FXA-GD80 AM3+ Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Wednesday, 19 October 2011|
Page 12 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) that 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 is one of the best "scales with number of cores" benchmarks out there, but AMD's win is by a pretty thin margin. Here the ASUS and MSI boards are virtually equal at both stock and overclocked speeds.
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 2500K wins here, but what's really strange is that the six core 1100T and eight core FX-8150 return identical scores. I'd guess this part of the benchmark only uses a fixed number of threads, and that that number is less than eight.
The AMD procs jump into the lead here, and the eight core FX-8150 has a noticeable advantage over the six core 1100T. The MSI motherboard posts a slight performance win over the ASUS motherboard.