Dual-Core Versus Quad-Core: Part 2

Performance: Video Benchmarks

Converting five minutes of the Terminator 2 Special Edition DVD into the DivX 6.8.3 format doesn’t show a huge difference between the two processors, but Intel again is faster. It takes 6 minutes and 19 seconds for this workload, while the Phenom X4 9350e takes almost one minute more.

For some reason, video transcoding into the popular XviD format (version 1.1.3) takes far less time on the Core 2 Duo E8500—the difference is significant.

We used Nero 8 Recode to shrink an 8.5 GB DVD9 video disc to fit onto a 4.7 GB DVD5—Nero is popular, and often comes bundled with DVD recording devices. This process is faster on the Core 2 Duo E8500 at 3.16 GHz than on the Phenom X4 9350e quad core running at 2.0 GHz. Again, clock speed matters, especially when the Intel architecture is superior.

The Mainconcept 1.5.1 benchmark converts MPEG2 FullHD video into the H.264 format. The benchmark scales well with as many as eight cores—we used an Intel Skulltrail system to try this— and indeed the 2.0 GHz quad core edges past Intel’s 3.16 GHz dual core.

Pinnacle’s Studio 12 video editing suite requites quite a bit of processing power to transcode video and add transitions and other effects. Again, the Core 2 Duo at its 3.16 GHz clock speed is the much faster solution.