We were pleased to see Clone DVD 2 transcoding a huge DVD9 format file to a more manageable DVD4.7 format in around seven and a half minutes, but the difference between the fastest and slowest motherboards was only around 1%.
If single-sided DVDs seem a bit outdated, perhaps one of the high-compression "MPEG4" formats will be more to your liking. DivX 6.6 ran faster than real time, compressing five minutes of video in just over three. Gigabyte led the race here, its X48T-DQ6 beating the MSI X48 Platinum, but by a mere 2%.
Movie buffs who prefer not to use the commercial DivX codec can instead choose the open-source Xvid alternative - notice that Xvid is DivX spelled backwards. Unlike DivX, Xvid hasn't been optimized much over the past few years, so users are still stuck encoding videos at approximately real-time speeds. While the MSI X48 Platinum trailed the leader by around 2% in DivX, it led the loser by around 2% in Xvid.
With all motherboards set to the same memory speed and 5-5-5-15 latencies, only the "automatic" settings of the extended timings can separate Sandra Memory Bandwidth scores. The DDR2-equiped Gigabyte X48-DQ6 fell only slightly behind the DDR3-equiped Asus P5E3 Premium, with less than 4% separating the best and worst performers.