Results: Media Transcoding
The following audio- and video-oriented transcoding benchmarks are tied to processor performance. There are definitely differences in how they utilize CPUs with multiple cores, though. Our iTunes and LAME tests employ a single thread, giving us a good look at the per-core performance of each CPU. Meanwhile, TotalCode Studio and HandBrake leverage as many cores as they can get.
The first two benchmarks run on a single core at maximum Turbo Boost clock rate, yielding performance that reflects their respective stock and overclocked settings. There's little difference between the Core i5 and Core i7 in either instance.
In contrast, HandBrake and TotalCode Studio are highly responsive to a jump up to four cores, and then the addition of Hyper-Threading support. As a result, the Core i5 is at a disadvantage to last quarter's multiplier-unlocked Core i7.