|AMD FX-8350 Vishera Desktop Processor|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 22 October 2012|
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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 thing 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 0.96 video transcoder is an example of a program that makes full use of the computational resources available-- in other words, it'll keep all available cores saturated. 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.
Video transcoding is one of the things that really makes good use of a multi-core processor. Thus the 8-core FX CPUs turn in better results than the 4-core 2500, with the stock-clocked FX-8350 being 25% faster than its Intel competition.
x264 HD Benchmark 5.0
Tech ARP's x264 HD Benchmark comprises the Avisynth video scripting engine, an x264 encoder, a sample 1080P 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.
Video transcoding applications show the AMD FX-8350 processor to its best advantage, keeping all eight cores busy. Still, it's telling that at stock clock speeds the 8350 is only marginally faster than the four-core 2500K, which is also running at a lower clock speed.