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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles October 7, 2008





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    Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Preview
    By Vince Freeman :  November 19, 2007

    TMPGEnc Xpress 4 MPEG-2 Encoding Performance

    Since the release of the Intel Yorkfield, we've totally revamped our media encoding tests, upgrading to TMPGEnc Xpress 4, and changing our default video file. TMPGEnc Xpress 4 not only provides real-world video encoding performance results, but also includes a host of specialized CPU support options. The program is full multi-threaded and supports virtually all CPU multimedia features such as MMX/MMX-2, SSE/SSE2/SSE3, 3D Now!/Enhanced 3D Now!, along with a Core 2 Duo/Extreme mode.

    Due to the increasingly high performance of quad core processors, we have again upgraded our reference video to a higher-end, 8-minute AVI file. In our first test, this file is encoded to 720x480 MPEG-2 DVD quality video using TMPGEnc 4 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.

    Although MPEG2 DVD encoding is not the most difficult test in our suite, the quad core processors again show their superiority. The previous top dog Core 2 Extreme QX9650 was the first to break the 2-minute encode, and the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 drops the time a bit lower and hits 1:45. These time gaps may not seem like much, but remember we're only talking about an 8-minute file, and relative positioning is still the most important factor.

    TMPGEnc Xpress 4 DivX Encoding Performance

    For the next test, we've taken the same video file, and encoded it to DivX (656x336) using TMPGEnc 4. This is about on par with the previous DVD authoring test, but uses a difference codec. The performance results are expressed in the form of time elapsed (minutes: seconds) and as with the MPEG-2 results, a smaller bar denotes less time taken, and therefore higher performance.

    The DivX encoding test shows us eerily similar results, and even the two 45nm Yorkfield processors are in similar positions, with the 3.0 GHz QX9650 dropping below the 2-minute barrier, and the 3.2 GHz QX9770 shaving that down to 1:40.

    TMPGEnc Xpress 4 Windows Media Video Encoding Performance

    This time out, we're switching to Windows Media Video (WMV), and encoding the same video file as a 672x352 .wmv file. As with the previous tests, these are time-based and a smaller bar denotes higher performance.

    There are no real surprises in the Windows Media Video encoding test, as while the Core 2 Extreme QX9650 showed us how fast a 3.0 GHz Yorkfield is, the Core 2 Extreme QX9770 gives us the 3.2 GHz account. One interesting aspect of WMV encoding is how important core speed is compared to dual vs. quad core performance.

    TMPGEnc Xpress 4 High-Definition Video Encoding Performance

    Our final media-encoding test ups the ante considerably, this time forcing the processors to handle a high-definition video job, taking the end resolution to 1440x1080, with a 25000 Kb/s CBR. This test forces many systems to their literal knees, and is certainly not for the faint of heart.

    The benchmark chart says it all; quad core is where it's at if you're processing HD video files. The Core 2 Extreme QX9770 raises the bar in terms of HD encoding, not only dropping its overall time below 7-minutes, but down to under 6 minutes, 30 seconds.



    Page 1 The Core 2 Extreme QX9770 Processor
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark05 Pro Performance
    Page 4 SiSoft SANDRA XII Memory and Multi-Core Performance
    Page 5 Everest Ultimate Edition 4.2 Performance
    Page 6 CINEBENCH 9.5/10 and WinRAR Performance
  • Page 7 MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, and High-Def Video Encoding Performance
    Page 8 3DMark06 Pro, DOOM 3 and FarCry Performance
    Page 9 Quake 4, Prey and Splinter Cell: CT Performance
    Page 10 Company of Heroes, F.E.A.R. and Supreme Commander Performance
    Page 11 Benchmark Analysis and Power Consumption
    Page 12 Real-World Usage, Value and Conclusion

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