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.
These benchmark results are certainly not unexpected. The Intel Skulltrail is a multi-processing demon, and it came very close to hitting the 1-minute market, settling for a sub-1:20 time in our still-demanding MPEG2 encoding test. This is most impressive when compared to the Core 2 Quad Q6600, as the Skulltrail encoded the video in less than half the time.
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 showed the Intel Skulltrail with a very fast time, but not with the same type of performance gap.
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 Windows Media Video encoding benchmark tends to reward processor speed more than additional cores, and although the Skulltrail/dual QX9775 platform does post the fastest encoding time, it finishes in a dead heat with the QX9770 processor.
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 HD video testing gets the Skulltrail back on track, and this demanding test shows Intel's newest platform holding down the top encoding time.