MPEG-4 With The New Flask 4.1: Almost DVD Quality

Concentrated PC Power Needed!

Support for CPU instruction sets like SSE2 or 3Dnow.

High-speed encoding with SSE2 expansion. However, only Intel Pentium 4 currently supports this instruction set.

We cannot stress this enough: to convert or create MPEG-4 files, a huge amount of CPU power is necessary. Otherwise encoding a single movie can take several days! For example: we often use an Intel Pentium 4/2000 clocked to 2300 MHz for MPEG-4 encoding, together with 512 MB of RAM and a fast Ultra-160-SCSI hard drive. That means that for full PAL resolution (720 x 576 dots) and sound with 128 kBit/s at 44 kHz, a frame rate of only about 19 images per second is reached, and the results should be similar for NTSC encoding too. However, we use the best iDCT mode, cut out the black frame and select the most efficient compression method in such a way that the processor load is increased by up to 50 percent. Flask 4.1 supports both the SSE2 expansions of the Pentium 4 processors and the 3Dnow instructions of the AMD Athlon CPUs. Even the new Athlon XP with its SSE expansions is supported, although, when it comes to MPEG encoding, the AMD CPUs generally pale in comparison to the Intel processors.