Though the DivX scores clearly show some optimizations for threading, XviD can only take advantage of two cores.
Depending on the software you’re running, video encoding is one of those typical usage scenarios very likely to showcase the reasons to pay for an extra couple of cores. Of course, on a business workstation, media may not be a concern. But it’s at least good to know where the hardware can improve your computing experience.
Here we see the dual-core Core 2 taking a first-place finish in an application optimized for two threads. It’s somewhat enlightening that a dual-core configuration could out-perform a quad-core setup at a comparable clock speed.
Threaded or not, PowerDVD 8 illustrates the importance of hardware acceleration if you’ll be watching high-definition content during downtime. Both the AMD Phenom X4 9850 and Athlon X2 4850e are able to play through our Casino Royale sample without stuttering, but at the cost of being able to perform background tasks in the case of the 45 W dual-core chip. The solution? Drop an inexpensive Radeon HD 3450 or 3470 into the 740G’s PCI Express slot and enjoy the card’s high-def support.
Or simply buy a platform with one of AMD’s higher-end chipsets in it. We fired up our 780G system with an identical hardware configuration (using the Phenom X4 9850) and achieved 1.5% CPU utilization with PowerDVD. That’s even lower than the Intel scores we see here.
Meanwhile, Intel’s G45 keeps utilization down to about six percent—not bad.