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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [06.19.04]
Manufactured by: Intel

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Content Encoding Performance

Probably one of the more important performance figures we'll give you in this review are the real-world content encoding numbers. Audio and video compression is hot among almost everyone who is into high end PC's, and having the latest CPU can really make a difference in the length of time it takes to create videos and music files.

First up is MP3 encoding; we used the LAME codec, set to "insane" quality. We encoded a 459MB WAV file, and timed it with dBPowerAMP's encoding utility.

Remember lower is better for these scores! And once again, the 550 and PT3.4 are right in line with each other, in this CPU-speed heavy test. The Northwood still kicks major ass in this test, thanks to its shorter pipeline.

For video encoding, we used the latest beta version of the XviD codec, along with DVD2AVI, encoding a 25 minute caption of "Rashomon" in 700 KBPS single pass. Final encoding time is given in seconds:

And once again the new chipsets perform about the same as the old ones. No surprize here really.

System Performance Preview

PCMark04 is used to determine an estimated system performance overview. While it doesn't use actual programs like SYSmark and ZDBench, it uses *parts* of those programs to determine performance. We'll look at true application performance later on in the review.

Performance of the following applications are considered:

File compression
File decompression
File encryption
File decryption
Virus scanning
Grammar check
Audio conversion
Image processing
Web page rendering
WMV video compression
DivX video compression
Physics calculation and 3D

Finally, we're starting to see the advantages of the new chipsets! Mostly it's the slightly increased memory bandwidth acting here.

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