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Test Systems And Benchmarks

The WinFast PxVC1100 Video Transcoding Card: Worth The Price?
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We chose a number of CPUs, from sub-$100 dual-core models to Intel's top-of-the-line Core i7. We benchmarked these CPUs with and without the WinFast PxVC1100 card in order to collect enough data for a thorough price/performance evaluation. We wanted to be able to conclusively prove whether or not the WinFast card is worth the asking price. We'd also like to see if the SpursEngine-equipped card requires a certain level of CPU prowess to perform at its best.

Note that we chose to benchmark the system with a GeForce GTX 260 graphics card installed. This is because we had originally hoped to compare the GeForce's CUDA abilities to the CPU and PxVC1100. Unfortunately, we learned that the CUDA enhancements in TMPGEnc. 4.0 Xpress are limited to video filters and cannot simply be employed to accelerate format-to-format video transcoding. Because if this, we left CUDA filter acceleration out of our testing as we're interested in focusing on hardware transcoding value.

As mentioned earlier, we couldn't get the WinFast card to work with our ASRock X58-based motherboard. On the bright side, the Core i7-920 CPU we're using represents the top-tier CPU, and still makes for a good comparison to show us if it will provide good value compared to a cheaper CPU paired with the SpursEngine.


AMD Test SystemIntel Test System A
Intel Test System B
CPU

Athlon II X2 250
(3.0 GHz, No Shared Cache)
Athlon II X4 620

(2.6 GHz, No Shared Cache)
Phenom II X4 965
(3.4 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)

Intel Core i5-750 2.66 GHz
Quad-core, 8MB L3 Cache

Intel Core i7-920 2.66 GHz
Quad-core, 4.2 GT/s QPI, 8MB L3 Cache

Motherboard

Asus M4A785TD-M EVO
AMD 785G, BIOS 0910

Gigabyte P55-UD4P LGA-1156
Intel P55-Express, BIOS F5

ASRock X58 SuperComputer
Intel X58, BIOS P1.90

Memory

Mushkin PC3-10700
  2x 2GB (4 GB Total)
CL 9-9-9-24

2 x A-Data 2.0GB DDR3-1333 Kit
2 x 2GB (4 GB Total)
CL 9-9-9-24

Kingston PC3-10700
3 x 1GB (3 GB Total)
CL 9-9-9-22

Graphics

GeForce GTX 260
Asus ENGTX260, 796MB DDR3 PCIe

Hard Drive

Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB
7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache SATA 3.0 Gb/s

Power

ePower EP-1200P10-T2
1,200W, ATX 12V, EPS 12v

Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit 6.0.6001, SP1
DirectX versionDirectX 11
Graphics Drivers

ForceWare 195.62

Encoding Software
TMPGEnc. 4.0 Xpress Version 4.7.3.292
SpursEngine Driver
1.5.2.5

Benchmark Configuration
Standard Encoding

MPEG 4 AVC, 720x480 Resolution, 23.976 FPS
Aspect ratio: 4:3, MPEG4 AAC Low Complexity 160 Kb/s Audio, GOP: 18 frames, Video Entropy Setting: CAVLC, Bitrate: 505.654 Kb/s

HD Upscale Encoding

MPEG 4 AVC, 1920x1080 Resolution, 29.97 FPS
Aspect ratio: 16:9, Dolby Digital 256 Kb/s Audio, GOP: 18 frames, Bitrate: 32,000 Kb/s

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