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AMD vs. Intel: The best CPU for MPEG-4.

CPU Load During MPEG-4 Playback

Having examined the processor-intensive task of creating MPEG-4 videos, we will now take a look at the ability of the individual CPU's to play back MPEG-4 videos. In comparison to the somewhat overhauled MPEG-1 format which was most often used for video CD's, the CPU load for MPEG-4 playback is especially high. Whereas MPEG-1 sequences could be played back on PC's or notebooks with relatively slow processors, it's a completely different deal with MPEG-2 and MPEG-4. In order to measure the CPU workload during MPEG-4 playback realistically, we analysed all the processors under Windows 2000 with the help of the Task Manager.

The processor with the lowest clock rate in the test was the Pentium II/450 and the fastest one was AMD's Athlon 1100.

Average CPU workload of the individual processors during MPEG-4 video playback at full PAL resolution: whereas the Pentium II/450 was heavily loaded (80 percent) the load on AMD's Athlon 1100 was only about 30 percent.