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!, along with 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.
Now that we're concentrating exclusively on dual core performance, the media encoding results have moved much closer together, as even an entry-level dual core processor can outperform a high-end single core model in multi-threaded tests like this. Even so, the Core 2 architecture once again shows its clear superiority, and Intel posts the top three fastest encoding times. These time gaps may not seem like much, remember we're only talking about a 3-minute file, and relative positioning is still the most important factor.
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.
The MPEG-2 encoding is much a tougher test for our dual core processors, and the Core 2 Extreme and Duo processors really get a chance to shine. The Core 2 Extreme X6800 posts a very impressive encoding time, and the Core 2 Duo E6700 and E6600 also finish ahead of the competing AMD and Intel processors. This represents serious media encoding performance, and so far, the new Intel Core 2 architecture is proving to be a multimedia powerhouse.
Along with standard MPEG tests, we also use a few different media encoding tests, such as 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 moved to the DivX 6.1 codec, which features new optimizations for dual processor (SMP), dual core, and Hyper-Threading-enabled systems.
The XMPEG DivX encoding times once again show the Core 2 processors well in front, while the Core 2 Extreme X6800 and Core 2 Duo E6700 are the first to break the 1-minute barrier with this particular benchmark. Score another victory for the Core 2, this time with DivX 6.1.
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.
The Windows Media Encoder 9 benchmark results, while still impressive, are the first that don't show the Core 2 Extreme and Duo processors annihilating the entire field. The Core 2 Extreme X6800 still posts the top time, but the Core 2 Duo E6700 falls back even with the Athlon 64 FX-52. This is still a serious performance improvement compared to the Pentium D 900 series, but AMD is no slouch in this department either.