Articles: CPU
 

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Audio Processing

We use Apple iTunes utility to test audio transcoding speed. It transcodes the contents of a CD disk into AAC format. Note that the typical peculiarity of this utility is its ability to utilize only a pair of processor cores.

Apple iTunes utility that uses only two processor cores, should have been affected by the implementation of Turbo Mode in Core i5-2500, Core i5-2400 and Core i5-2300 processors. But even though their frequency didn’t increase as aggressively as the frequency of LGA1156 processors, it didn’t have any dramatic outcome. Yes, Core i7-870 outperformed Core i5-2300, but it is Pyrrhic victory, since Core i7 is a higher-priced CPU anyway.

We also ran a few tests in Cakewalk Sonar X1, which included measuring the time it took to finalize a short test track.

Again CPUs with new microarchitecture worked much faster. The relatively inexpensive LGA1155 platform was obviously good not only for games but also for professional activities.

Video Transcoding

In order to measure how fast our testing participants can transcode a video into H.264 format we used x264 HD benchmark. It works with an original MPEG-2 video recorded in 720p resolution with 4 Mbps bitrate. I have to say that the results of this test are of great practical value, because the x264 codec is also part of numerous popular transcoding utilities, such as HandBrake, MeGUI, VirtualDub, etc.

x264 codec is one of those few tasks where AMD processors can really shine. Even with the launch of Sandy Bridge in Core i5, the six-core Phenom II X6 1100T manages to retain its leading positions. The same is true for Core i7 supporting Hyper-Threading. However, new Core i5 get extremely close to the leaders in this test, because besides higher clock frequencies, the new microarchitecture delivered a 28% performance boost over the last-year’s Core i5-760.

The performance in Adobe Premiere Pro is determined by the time it takes to render a Blu-ray project with HDV 1080p25 video into H.264 format and apply different special effects to it.

The situation here is different and it is fully in favor of the new processors. neither six-core structure of Phenom II X6, nor virtual multi-core organization of Core i7 help them retain their leadership: Core i5 take over.

Final Rendering

We use special Cinebench test to measure the final rendering speed in Maxon Cinema 4D.

The more cores there are, the faster the performance. This is totally true, as we can see from the obtained results, and it is only due to this principle that Phenom II X6 and Core i7 manage to avoid defeat. However, if we compare the Core i5 processors from the new Sandy Bridge and old Nehalem generations, we will see a definite advantage of the newcomers reaching 38%.

Rendering speed in Autodesk 3ds max 2011 with both, Scanline as well as Mental Ray, was measured using SPECapc test.

This is a different rendering application, and the results are also different. The new processors remain undefeated leaders, even six-core Phenom II X6 or more expensive Core i7 CPUs cannot compete with them.

 
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