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Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding

Phenom II X4 955: AMD's Dragon Platform Evolves
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The Phenom II X3 720 sticks out like a sore thumb in this threading-aware transcoding test. The Phenom II X4s perform well, though, outpacing the Core 2 Quad Q9550 and approaching Intel’s Core i7 920. Intel’s Nehalem design continues to exert its A/V-oriented dominance, but AMD is in the ballpark at least.

iTunes is decidedly not threaded, responding most readily to raw clock speed and micro-architecture (the Core i7 920’s loss in clock speed versus the Core 2 Quad is almost enough to normalize the two). AMD trails behind though, even if we see solid scaling from 2.8 to 3.0 to 3.2 GHz.

Running the latest versions of DivX and Xvid, TMPGEnc gives us two benchmarks in one. Naturally, we enabled everything up through SSE4 for the Intel processors and SSE/SSE2/3DNow! for the AMD chips (this one supports CUDA acceleration, too).

DivX is thread-aware, and we see the Phenom II X3 again drop off performance-wise versus the quad-core models. The Phenom II X4 955 bests Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q9550, but is, in turn, walloped by the Core i7 processors.

Xvid is not able to take advantage of the quad-core CPUs, and instead reacts to clock speed. The latest Phenom II and Core 2 Quad go head-to head, both getting bested again by the Core i7s.

We’re running the 64-bit version of Lame, but that doesn’t seem to affect performance much, when we compare these numbers to our old 32-bit results. Again, we see the effects of core clock manipulating performance rather than threading. All of the AMD processors are outmaneuvered by Intel’s Core 2 and Core i7 lineups.

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