The Business Winstone 2004 suite from PC Mag is an update to the application-based PC benchmark line we've been using for years. It still makes use of real-world application tests like word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing and formatting, as well as file compression, anti-virus scanning and email. A multi-tasking component has also been added, and the base requirements have been upgraded quite significantly. As usual, this suite of programs is run from a batch script that attempts to accurately emulate a business system load, and then supplies us with a final performance rating.
The Business Winstone 2004 results favor the AMD side by an overwhelming margin. This has always been an area that AMD performs well in, and with Business Winstone 2004, even the Athlon XP 3200+ takes it to the high-end Pentium 4 models. Once we add in the Athlon 64 models, the race turns into a route, and even though the Athlon 64 3400+ does finish a bit behind the FX-51, it's still a very impressive score.
Content Creation Winstone 2004 is another new addition to the Winstone line, and also updates the base requirements and applications. We're still looking at an application-based test suite, which includes hot programs like Photoshop, Macromedia Director, LightWave, Wavelab, and many others. This new version also includes Windows Media Encoder 9, which means the AMD and Intel processor features are fully recognized and supported. This is a very demanding system benchmark, and makes a great comparison tool for our high-end testing and when comparing component performance levels using the latest multimedia software.
The Content Creation Winstone benchmarking once again shows the top AMD64 processors taking the lead, with the Athlon 64 3400+ finishing in second, just behind the powerful Athlon 64 FX-51. This is a far cry from previous Athlon XP comparisons, where the Pentium 4 would reign supreme in the multimedia benchmark area.
TMPGEnc Plus is an extremely popular MPEG encoder, and a program that not only offers real-world MPEG performance results, but includes a host of specialized CPU support options. The program supports virtually all CPU multimedia features such as MMX/MMX-2, SSE/SSE2, 3DNow!, and even HyperThreading.
For the following test, we've taken a high-end, 3-minute AVI file, and then encoded it to MPEG-2 using TMPGEnc Plus 2.5. 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 higher performance.
The pure number crunching of the Athlon 64 3400+ doesn't come out as well in this specific test, and it's the Pentium 4-3.2 and 3.0 GHz out in the mainstream lead. The Athlon 64 FX-51 posts an impressive time, but still can't match the HT-powered 3.2 GHz Pentium 4.