When it comes to audio media encoding, multiple cores and high clock speeds are both very desirable. It looks like iTunes and lame prefer the Reactor’s higher clock speed, while Windows media encoder prefers the 942IL’s four CPU cores.
We’re seeing a massive CPU utilization difference here, most likely caused by the fact that the 9800 GTX in the iBuypower system sports an HD decoding engine, while the 8800 GTX in the Reactor does not. What the chart doesn’t tell you is that the iBuypower system is also enhancing video quality while it’s providing the lower CPU utilization! This is a major benefit of using newer graphics card technology with HD video decoding capabilities.
Clock speed vs. more CPU cores seems to be a neck and neck battle when it comes to CloneDVD and TMPG Express. It looks like the Mainconcept h.264 prefers the quad-core CPU in the 942IL over the dual-core CPU in the Reactor, however. We shouldn’t forget that the Reactor’s lower memory latency is also a factor.