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

Summary: Duron Has The Best Price-to-Performance Ratio

Summing up we can say that the creation of MPEG-4 videos and their playback demands a high-performance CPU. In comparison to the old MPEG-1 format, which allowed even old socket 7 PC systems to playback videos without any frame drops, MPEG-4 is a real challenge for many computers.

The processor itself is subject to the highest workload during MPEG-4 encoding: the conversion of a four-minute MPEG-2 sequence (test object) depended heavily on the used CPU and lasted between 10 minutes (AMD Athlon 1100) and 20 minutes (Intel Celeron 667).

AMD's Duron 650 has the best price-to-performance ratio, especially because it can be overclocked to 800 MHz without problems and then even beats Intel's expensive Pentium III/800. Our test results prove this beyond doubt.

At this stage all that remains to be done is to wait until software for MPEG-4 encoding is available which supports the ISSE streaming commands of Intel's processors with a Coppermine core.

Still, the MPEG-4 video format is one of the hottest topics around. After all, it means that DVD films can be saved on CD-ROM's without a noticeable loss in quality. Note that we're not talking about creating a copy: during encoding the data is not duplicated but transformed into a different data format using various computing algorithms. The widespread use of MPEG-4 is just about to begin, but it's certainly about to have a landslide effect!

Even while many magazines and Internet sites are still discussing MP3, MPEG-4 is well on its way.