Articles: CPU

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Audio and Video Transcoding

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

Apple iTunes is an example of yet another application that favors Intel CPU architecture. Here All Pentium processors outperform any Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2 CPUs. However, junior Celeron processors cannot repeat the success of their elder brothers, because of a too small L2 cache.

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.

Like in any other application optimized for multi-core architectures, triple-core Athlon II X3 processors show the best results among other value processors during video encoding tests. All other testing participants line up according to their price. There is only one exception: the LGA1156 Pentium G6950 loses to the top Pentium CPUs for LGA775 form-factor, which, however, cost considerably less.

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 results obtained during video encoding in Adobe Media Encoder are not that much different from what we have just seen during x.264 tests. However, in this case AMD processors improved their results and now the top Pentium can only catch up with Athlon II X2 255.

Mathematical Calculations

We launch standard MathematicaMark7 test from Wolfram Mathematica suite to measure the systems’ performance here.

We see right away that large cache is important for high scores in Mathematica suite. That is exactly why Phenom II X2 is the number one here, as it has not only L2, but also L3 cache. As for Athlon II X2 processors, they don’t do too good: they fall behind top Pentium CPUs. The Celeron processors with significantly reduced L2 cache become real outsiders against the background of other testing participants.

Final Rendering

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

The more cores the processor has, the faster it is. We can see it clearly in rendering tasks, so the superiority of the triple-core processor over its dual-core fellow shouldn’t be surprising to you. other than that, there was nothing unexpected here: the CPUs lined up on the diagram in accordance with their price.

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

As we see from the results obtained in 3ds max 2011, processors with Core microarchitecture cope better with final rendering in this application. However, Athlon II X3 still manages to rip the victory out of top Pentium’s hands due to their third core. I have to say that this third core is a very strong argument in a number of benchmarks, and not just here.

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