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.
Because of the increasingly high performance of quad core processors, we now use a higher-end, 8-minute AVI reference video 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.
We expected a Core 2 landslide in the media encoding tests, but the Phenom 9900 starts off with a very impressive score in the MPEG-2 section. In fact, all the Phenom processors do very well in this test, and the 2.6 GHz Phenom 9900 finishes with the second-best time, just back of the 3.0 GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6850. The Phenom also shows its quad core supremacy over its dual core counterparts, as the 2.6 GHz Phenom 9900 almost cuts the encoding time of the 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 X2 5600+ in half.
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 is almost an exact repeat of the MPEG-2 encoding, but now we have the Phenom 9900 posting the fastest time. Its 1-second victory is certainly not a huge margin, but any victory over the 3.0 GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6850 is a good one.
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.
The Phenom 9900 does very well in the Windows Media Video encoding test, finishing with the second best time, but it cannot match the performance of the Core 2 Extreme QX6850. The overall core speed is very important in WMV encoding, and the higher-clocked Athlon 64 X2 and Core 2 dual core models are able to make up the difference.
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 Phenom Quad core processors all do very well in the HD video testing, far outpacing their dual core brethren, but we still see a slight weakening against the Core 2 quad core models. The Phenom 9900 still manages to outperform the 2.4 GHz Core 2 Quad Q6600, but the Core 2 Extreme QX6850 remains well ahead.