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 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 video encoding benchmark, it is a very popular test, and one that the Phenom II seems adept at. One interesting facet of this chart is that the triple-core Phenom II X3 720 outpaces the Phenom II X4 810, proving that in some cases the higher clock speed can make up for the lower number of cores.
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 test results are also very impressive, and the Phenom II X4 810 almost matched the Core 2 Quad, while the Phenom II X3 720 makes mincemeat out of the Core 2 Duo E7300. As in all our tests, the gaps may seem small, but try extrapolating the 8-minute video to a full 2-hour file.
TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress Windows Media Video Encoding Performance
Now 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 offers enhanced multi-threading support, and shows off the advantages of a quad core design compared to the dual and triple-core models. Once again, the Phenom II X4 810 is pushing the Core 2 Quad Q9400, and while the Phenom II X3 720 is well back of the quads, it makes similar work of the dual core E7300.
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, and while most of the encoding times were expected, the Phenom II X3 720 has dropped back into contention with quad cores like the Phenom 9950.