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Sharky Extreme : CPU Reviews & Articles March 11, 2010

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    Intel Core i7-965 XE & Core i7-920 Review
    By Vince Freeman :  November 3, 2008

    TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress MPEG-2 Encoding Performance

    For our media encoding tests we use TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress and a selection of high-end video files. TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress not only provides real-world video encoding performance results, but also includes a host of specialized CPU support options. The program is fully multi-threaded, outlining the number of physical and logical cores, 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.

    In our first test, our 8-minute AVI file is encoded at 720x480 MPEG-2 DVD quality video using TMPGEnc 4.0 and the encoding time is recorded. The results are expressed in the form of time elapsed (minutes: seconds) and unlike many of our other benchmarks, a smaller bar denotes less time taken, and therefore better encoding performance.

    Although MPEG2 DVD encoding is not the most difficult test in our suite, we can still see the difference a Core i7 processor can make. These are the clear performance winners when it comes to MPEG-2 encoding, and the 1:26 time for the Core i7-965 XE is absolutely amazing. At this rate, the Core i7 is going to force us to upgrade our video file once again.

    TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress DivX Encoding Performance

    For the next test, we've taken the same video file, and encoded it to DivX (672x352) using TMPGEnc 4. This is about on par with the previous DVD authoring test, but uses a different 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 times are just as impressive, and the Core i7-965 XE manages to complete the entire test in an astounding 1 minute and 12 seconds. This may not seem like much of a gap, but try extrapolating it to a full 2 hour video file.

    TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress 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.

    Under Vista, our Windows Media Video encoding testing was more consistent in terms of multi-threading, and unlike under Windows XP, the fastest quad cores consistently showed the fastest encoding times. Here we find the Core i7 processors burning up the charts, easily posting the fastest encoding times, and hitting as low as 3:28 for the Core i7-965 XE.

    TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress 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 high-def video benchmarking can really separate the processor classes, but as we're already testing the very cream of the crop, it's closer than expected. The Core i7 processors are again the fastest performers, but not by an insurmountable lead.

    Page 1 The Core i7 Architecture
    Page 2 Test Setup and Benchmark Software
    Page 3 PCMark05 Pro Performance
    Page 4 PCMark Vantage Performance
    Page 5 SiSoft SANDRA 2009 Performance
    Page 6 Everest Ultimate Edition Memory Performance
    Page 7 CINEBENCH 9.5/10 and WinRAR Performance
  • Page 8 MPEG-2, DivX, WMV, and High-Def Video Encoding Performance
    Page 9 3DMark06 Pro, 3DMark Vantage and Crysis Performance
    Page 10 Company of Heroes, UT3, World in Conflict, & ET: Quake Wars Performance
    Page 11 Benchmark Analysis, Overclocking and System Power Consumption
    Page 12 Value and Conclusion

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