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Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Review

The Phenom II easily bests Intel’s second-fastest Core 2 Quad (the fastest being the Q9650), but isn’t able to overtake the Core i7-920 running at its stock frequency. Losing one core and a ton of clock rate puts the fastest Phenom II X3 part way behind the rest of these quad-core contenders.

The results here scale well according to clock rate and architecture, as iTunes really only utilizes a single thread. Both of Intel’s offerings score similarly, tying for first place in this one.

TMPGEnc consists of DivX and Xvid-based transcoding workloads, the first of which is nicely optimized for threading, while the latter demonstrates consistent 25% utilization on today’s quad-core CPUs.

Intel’s Core i7 dominates the DivX test, followed by AMD’s Phenom II X4 965. If the Core i5 launch wasn’t imminent, this would be a compelling value win for AMD, since its offering is quite a bit faster than the Core 2 Quad. However, if you flip back to our simulated Core i5 results, you’ll see that the planned sub-$200 i5-750 maneuvers past AMD’s flagship.

In our Xvid test, the simulated Core i5 is even faster than the new Phenom II, though this chart shows AMD beating Intel’s Core 2 Quad fairly easily. The loss of a core doesn’t affect AMD’s Phenom II X3 as much, since Xvid doesn’t even fully utilize dual-core processors. Instead, dropping to 2.8 GHz is what causes the X3 to fall behind its higher-clocked family members.

Another single-threaded test, Lame makes the clock speed scaling in AMD’s Deneb design quite clear. Both Intel processors duck in under the conversation times of AMD’s fastest CPU. And in the case of Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q9550, at a price point $25 cheaper, too.

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