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.
Video transcoding using x264 codec is one of those few tasks where the number of processor cores matters a lot. That is why here Core i7-2600K turns out as much as 33% slower than Core i7-990X Extreme Edition. The top LGA1155 Intel processor also falls behind the junior six-core CPU from Intel – Core i7-970. However, it is important to point out that it is nevertheless faster than the fastest six-core processor from AMD – Phenom II X6 1100T, which looks very weak in this test anyway.
The performance in Adobe Premiere Pro is determined by the time it takes to render a Blu-ray project with a HDV 1080p25 video into H.264 format and apply different special effects to it.
We see the same picture in Adobe Premiere Pro. Six-core Gulftown processors manage to retain their leadership in video processing and transcoding applications.
We use special Cinebench test to measure the final rendering speed in Maxon Cinema 4D.
The more cores - the better the performance. This principle works great in Cinebench, that is why processors with old microarchitecture – Core i7-970 and Core i7-990X Extreme Edition – win the race here.
Rendering speed in Autodesk 3ds max 2011 with both, Scanline as well as Mental Ray, was measured using SPECapc test.
This is another rendering application, but the results are again almost the same: six-core Core i7-990 Extreme Edition outperforms quad-core Core i7-2600K by about 9%. So, even though Intel has already rolled out more progressive microarchitecture, six-core Gulftown processors remain the better choice for 3D modeling and CAD applications, just like for video processing.