Audio and Video Encoding
We gave up the mp3 file speed encoding tests performed with the Lame codec in favor of Apple iTunes, because this application boasts quality optimization for multi-threading. Therefore, dual-core CPUs show their best here. If we do not take into account he results shown by the overclocked Presler processor, the leader here is AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+. By the way, I would also like to stress that Pentium D 950 turns out faster than Pentium Extreme Edition 955, which means that Hyper-Threading technology has a negative effect on iTunes performance.
The recently released version 6.1 of the popular DivX codec has been optimized nicely for multi-threaded environments. As a result, if the single-core processors could compete with the dual-core ones on equal terms before, now the situation has got completely different. The advantage of dual-core processors is indisputable. As for the performance of our today’s newcomer, Pentium Extreme Edition 955, we cannot help giving due credit to it. This processor managed to outperform AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ by about 7%, and this baby is the today’s fastest dual-core offer from AMD. The overclocked Pentium Extreme Edition 955 gets another 19% faster.
The current XviD codec version is not so well-optimized for multi-threading support. Therefore, only the overclocked Pentium Extreme Edition 955 can compete with single-core testing participants, because its working frequency is higher than that of Intel’s top-of-the-line single-core Pentium 4.
Since Windows Media Encoder can use dual-core quite efficiently by creating two computational streams, the corresponding processors can boast much better results in this test than their single-core fellows. The best result here belongs to Athlon 64 X2 4800+ and even the overclocked Pentium Extreme Edition 955 cannot catch up with it. By the way, in Windows Media Encoder, just as in iTunes, Pentium D 950 appears faster than Pentium Extreme Edition 955, which once again indicates the negative effect of the Hyper-Threading on the result.