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Benchmark Results: Media

Intel Xeon E3-1275 Review: Sandy Bridge Goes Professional

Most of the transcoding apps in our benchmark suite are pure measures of CPU performance, optimized for threading though they may be. MainConcept 2.0 consequently fails to give us anything interesting to look at.

Now, you’re probably wondering why we didn’t just throw in some Quick Sync-enabled software to put up against Nvidia’s CUDA-accelerated card. Unfortunately, although Intel claims that its Xeon E3 parts feature full Quick Sync support, we couldn’t get the feature working. We gave the latest version of CyberLink’s MediaEspresso 6.5 a shot and discovered that only hardware-accelerated decode works. The encode functionality isn’t recognized at all.

The result isn’t terrible—our transcode job finishes in 38 second instead of the 22 seconds we saw in our Sandy Bridge review (and that’s still better than CUDA- or APP-accelerated GPU-based alternatives). However, it’s fair to say that if you’re going to be doing transcode work, the Core i7-2600K’s desktop-oriented feature set is currently better-supported than Xeon’s more professional list of capabilities.

HandBrake is similarly CPU-constrained, and shows all three configurations performing similarly.

Per Wikipedia: “In cinematography, match moving is a visual-effects technique that allows the insertion of computer graphics into live-action footage with correct position, scale, orientation, and motion relative to the photographed objects in the shot. The term is used loosely to refer to several different ways of extracting motion information from a motion picture, particularly camera movement. Match moving is related to rotoscoping and photogrammetry. It is sometimes referred to as motion tracking.”

The first step in match moving is identifying and tracking features—and that’s what our MatchMover 2011 benchmark does, using custom footage taken by Jon Carroll on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

We’ve established that this app is lightly threaded, if at all. It really seems to like the Sandy Bridge architecture, though. Compare the above graph to the one in Intel Xeon 5600-Series: Can Your PC Use 24 Processors?, where a 2P Xeon 5600-based setup takes more than seven minutes to complete the same task.

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