Performance in Data Encoding Applications
Before we pass over to the actual results discussion, I would like to remind you that AMD processors have never been really fast in this type of tasks. NetBurst architecture, which is specifically optimized for streaming data processing proves much more efficient in the applications of this kind.
The performance in WinRAR is very dependent on the memory subsystem performance. As we saw during the synthetic benchmarks discussion, Athlon 64 FX-51 is much faster than its predecessors and sometimes even than the competitors here. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that Athlon 64 FX-51 manages to outpace Pentium 4 3.2GHz. However, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz with a large L3 cache also boasts improved performance during data compression compared to its predecessor. As a result, Athlon 64 FX-51 doesn’t manage to become the winner here letting Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz outpace it by 4.7%.
MP3 files encoding loads the computational units of the CPU including SSE/SSE2 in the first place. Since the times when Intel started implementing Hyper-Threading technology in its Pentium 4 processors, these CPUs has been much faster in MP3 encoding than the competitors. As we see, Athlon 64 FX-51 failed to change this situation in any way. The architecture of its computational units remained almost unchanged compared with Athlon XP, the clock frequency didn’t grew any higher, and the memory subsystem performance doesn’t matter that much for the LAME codec. By the way, forced enabling of SSE/SSE2 instructions for Athlon 64 FX-51 doesn’t have any positive effect on its performance, unfortunately. As we have already mentioned, Athlon 64 cannot boast fast processing of SSE2 instructions, to our regret.
During video decoding from AVI into MPEG2 format the leadership went over to Athlon 64 FX-51. SSE2 instructions support acquired by the new processor alongside with a significant improvement of the memory subsystem performance pushed the results of the newcomer 13.3% higher than those of the Athlon XP 3200+. This performance growth ensures very stable leadership of the new AMD solution over the competitor, which large L3 cache is of no help here at all.
NetBurst architecture of the Pentium 4 processors, their fast 800MHz bus, Hyper-Threading technology and SSE2 instructions support have always left no chances for the Athlon XP processors in this benchmark. With the launching of Athlon 64 FX-51 featuring SSE2 instructions and faster memory subsystem, the situation got absolutely different. As a result, AMD’s new solution managed to almost catch up with Pentium 4 3.2GHz here. However, a feather in Intel’s cap – large L3 cache – ruined the vague hopes for the victory of Athlon 64 FX-51. As a result, Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz is about 3.6% faster here.
The situation in Windows Media Encoder 9 is somewhat worse for Athlon 64 FX-51. although it works about 11% faster than the predecessor, it still fails to catch up with Pentium 4 3.2GHz, not to mention the Extreme Edition processor, which is 2.1% faster than the regular one.