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 Hyper-Threading.
For the following test, we've taken a high-end, 3-minute AVI file, and then encoded it to MPEG-1 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 TMPGEnc Plus MPEG-1 scores are right where we anticipated, with the Pentium 4-3.4 GHz EE (LGA775) posting results on par with the i875P, and the new Pentium 4 560 scoring in tune with the 200 MHz core speed increase. The Prescott core is a real demon with video encoding, and the times posted by the Pentium 4 560 are a new record, and it's easily the top pick for video aficionados. The Pentium 4-3.4E GHz was the first processor to break the 2 minute barrier, and now the Pentium 4 560 is the first to dip below 1:50.
For the next test, we've taken the same high-end, 3-minute AVI file, and encoded it to MPEG-2 using TMPGEnc Plus 2.5. 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.
When we increase our settings to basic MPEG-2 encoding, our TMPGEnc benchmark times increase, but we still have the same basic rankings. The Prescott core still posts the fastest encoding times, and the Pentium 4 560 once again sets a new record. We also see a bit of impact coming in on the video card side, as the X600 takes a slight penalty compared to the Radeon 9800XT and GeForce 6800GT.
This next test ups the MPEG-2 ante in terms of overall stress levels, by increasing the Motion Search Precision to High, and really giving the processors a work out. Enabling this feature will allow higher quality MPEG-2 image output, but it does significantly increase processing times, and can help us further identify which processors are the true video processing workhorses.
The higher-end MPEG-2 (High Precision) rankings are about on par with the previous results, and the Pentium 4 560 impresses once again with its high-end performance. The 925X vs. i875P comparison is another draw, but the extra 200 MHz of core speed allows the Pentium 4 560 to drop below the 7:30 mark.
Also keep in mind that these TMPGEnc Plus encoding tests were performed with a 3-minute AVI file, so if real-world differences could be extrapolated to a 2-hour AVI file encoded to MPEG-1 or -2, then the end result could be an overall difference of 10 minutes or more, even with these high-end processors. In the MPEG-2 tests with High Motion Search Precision Enabled, the gap between the Pentium 4 560 and the Pentium 4-3.4C GHz would be a whopping 2 extra minutes for every 3 minutes of encoded video.