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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles April 20, 2009

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    Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Processor Review
    By Vince Freeman :  September 13, 2007

    TMPGEnc Xpress 3.0 MPEG-1 Encoding Performance

    TMPGEnc Xpress 3.0 is a very popular and powerful MPEG encoder, and a program that not only provides real-world video encoding performance results, but also includes a host of specialized CPU support options. The program supports virtually all CPU multimedia features such as MMX/MMX-2, SSE/SSE2/SSE3, 3DNow!, along with multi-core and Hyper-Threading technologies.

    Due to the increasingly high performance of quad core processors, we have switched our reference video to a new higher-end, 7-minute AVI file. In our first test, this file is then encoded it to MPEG-1 using TMPGEnc and the encoding time is recorded. The results are expressed in the form of time elapsed (minutes: seconds) and unlike our other benchmarks, a smaller bar denotes less time taken, and therefore better encoding performance.

    As the ultimate in enthusiast-level processors have already broken the 1-minute barrier, the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ isn't going to be setting any new speed records. We expected this, but its encoding time is right there with the Core 2 E6600, and is still impressive given its price. These time gaps may not seem like much, but remember we're only talking about a 7-minute file using basic MPEG-1 encoding, and relative positioning is still the most important factor.

    TMPGEnc Xpress 3.0 MPEG-2 Encoding Performance

    For the next test, we've taken the same 7-minute video file, and encoded it to MPEG-2 using TMPGEnc Express 3.0. This is more stressful on the system than our previous MPEG-1 encoding, and is the standard for DVD authoring. The performance results are expressed in the form of time elapsed (minutes: seconds) and as with the MPEG-1 results, a smaller bar denotes less time taken, and therefore higher performance.

    The MPEG-2 encoding is much a tougher test, stressing even multi-core processors, and it's much easier to get a handle on the relative performance of the various models. We don't see much new here, and again the Athlon 64 X2 5600+ finishes just back of the Athlon 64 X2 6000+, while the Core 2 Duo E6600 extends its lead slightly.

    XMPEG DivX 6.4 Encoding Performance

    Along with standard MPEG tests, we also use a few other media encoding tests, such as XMPEG and its DivX encoding benchmark test. The same 7-minute video file is used, and the time to encode the first 12K+ frames is displayed in the chart below. As with the previous encoding tests, these are time-based and a smaller bar denotes higher performance. We have also upgraded to the latest DivX 6.4 codec (home theatre setting), which features optimizations for dual processor (SMP), dual core, and Hyper-Threading-enabled systems.

    Given its 2.8 GHz clock speed and consistent architecture, we didn't expect any surprises in the XMPEG DivX encoding benchmarks, and we didn't get any. The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ once again posted a score ranking between the Core 2 Duo E6300 and E6600 processors.

    Page 1 The Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Processor
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark05 Pro Performance
    Page 4 SANDRA XI, CINEBENCH 9.5 and WinRAR Performance
  • Page 5 MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and DivX 6.4 Performance
    Page 6 3DMark06 Pro, DOOM 3 and FarCry Performance
    Page 7 Quake 4, F.E.A.R. and CoR Performance
    Page 8 Company of Heroes, Prey and Splinter Cell: CT Performance
    Page 9 Benchmark Analysis and System Power Consumption
    Page 10 Value and Conclusion

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