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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles December 22, 2006

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    Athlon 64 FX-60 Processor Review
    By Vince Freeman :  January 10, 2006

    TMPGEnc Xpress 3.0 MPEG-1 Encoding Performance

    TMPGEnc Xpress 3.0 is a new revision to this popular MPEG encoder, and a program that not only provides real-world MPEG 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!, and even support for dual core and Hyper-Threading technologies.

    For the following test, we've taken a high-end, 3-minute AVI file, and then encoded it to MPEG-1 using TMPGEnc. The test 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.

    MPEG-1 encoding is an area where the Athlon 64 X2 has demonstrated an aptitude for, and the Athlon 64 FX-60 is now officially the fastest MPEG-1 processor we've tested. None of the Pentium EE or Pentium D dual core models can touch it, and AMD continues to work at the 1-minute barrier with each new release. The single core Athlon 64 FX-57 and Pentium 4-3.73 GHz EE are simply no competition, and in terms of media encoding, dual core is definitely where it's at.

    TMPGEnc Xpress 3.0 MPEG-2 Encoding Performance

    For the next test, we've taken the same high-end, 3-minute AVI 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.

    MPEG-2 encoding is much a tougher test for our dual core processors, and the Athlon 64 FX-60 faces stiffer competition in this area. MPEG-2 encoding also gives a performance boost to the hybrid dual core/Hyper-Threading design, and although the new AMD dual core processor does manage to outpace the Pentium EE 840, it cannot match the time of the Pentium EE 955. Once again, the single core Athlon 64 FX-57 and Pentium 4-3.37 GHz EE bring up the rear, and clearly show the advantage of dual core, as even the entry-level, 2.8 GHz Pentium D 820 takes them to town.

    XMPEG DivX 6.1 Encoding Performance

    We have also added in a few different media encoding tests, starting with XMPEG and its DivX encoding benchmark test. The same 3 minute video file is used, and the time to encode the first 5K+ 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 6.1 codec, which features new optimizations for dual processor (SMP), dual core, and Hyper-Threading-enabled systems.

    The XMPEG DivX encoding times provide us with another tight battle, and overall, the encoding times are more competitive than in previous tests. The Athlon 64 FX-60 posts another record-breaking encoding time, but the gap is a bit smaller than usual, not to mention that the DivX 6.1 update does not seem to reward multithreading with the same vigor of TMPGEnc Xpress 3.0 or even Windows Media Encoder. There is still a benefit, as evidenced by the faster times of the 2.4 GHz Athlon 64 X2 4800+ compared to the 2.8 GHz Athlon 64 FX-57, it is just muted.

    Windows Media Encoder 9 Performance

    Our last multimedia test measures basic Windows Media Encoder performance using the 3-minute DivX file we produced above, and using the Windows Media Encoder 9 to convert it into .wmv format. WME 9 offers support for multi-threading and CPU optimizations, which makes it another great media encoding test for our high-end processors.

    Windows Media Encoder 9 benchmark testing gets the dual core processors back on track, and we see the Athlon 64 FX-60 posting its third record time in media encoding tests. The Athlon 64 dual core performance is extremely strong in this benchmark, and the Athlon 64 FX-60 only solidified the lead. There are also no real surprises here, and the single core AMD and Intel models are well back in the pack, where we expected them to be.

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    Page 1 The Athlon 64 FX-60 Processor
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark04 Pro Performance
    Page 4 PCMark05 Pro Performance
    Page 5 SANDRA 2005, ScienceMark 2 & CINEBENCH 2003 Performance
  • Page 6 MPEG-1/2, DivX 6.1 and WME Encoding Performance
    Page 7 Quake 3, UT 2003 & UT 2004 Performance
    Page 8 DOOM 3, FarCry and Half-Life 2 Performance
    Page 9 3DMark 2005, AquaMark 3 & Halo Performance
    Page 10 Quake 4, Painkiller and CoR Performance
    Page 11 Benchmark Analysis, Overclocking, and Power Consumption
    Page 12 Value and Conclusion

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