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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.07.06]
Manufactured by: Intel


Video Encoding

Video Encoding is one of the more CPU stressful tasks that is being used more and more all the time. Whether you're encoding your DVD's for backup, or re-encoding home videos to share, there's no question that you need a lot of horsepower to get this done quickly and efficiently.

To test video encoding performance, we use DVD2AVI to convert a single DVD .VOB file into a 780 kbps MPEG-4 AVI file, not including audio. The clip is a 45 minute clip from Groundhog Day.

DivX 6.2.6

Ever since DivX started supporting SMP processing, I've been absolutely amazed by the performance it offers. Encoding times have been cut by MORE than half, compared to versions prior to 6.1. If you are still using the more popular XviD codec and have a multi-core system (or even just HyperThreading), I highly recommend you switch now! (XviD is currently working on an SMP version of their codec, and a beta version is currently available).

DivX settings used were: Home Theatre Profile - 780 kbps - Balanced Encoding Mode.

Remember, we're looking for lower scores here. And things are no longer looking so good for the A64 X2 here. The similarly prices E6400 encodes half movie upwards of 3 minutes faster than the 4600+. That may not sound like much, but consider that an entire movie will take about 14 minutes to encode on an E6400, while taking around 20 minutes on the 4600+. It could be a real time-saver if you encode a lot of movies and videos at home. And that's not even taking into consideration improved audio encoding performance (which we'll be looking at on the next page).

XviD 1.1

We're using Koepi's binary for our XviD tests. XviD setting used was: Home Theatre NTSC Profile - 780 kbps - General Purpose Quality Preset.

Keep in mind we're encoding the exact same video clip as in the DivX test above! As you can see, an encoding time of 343 seconds on the X6800 becomes a 879 second session with XviD. As I mentioned before, Koepi have released a beta version of XviD which supports SMP. That might be worth checking out if you still prefer to use XviD (which so many people seem to).

Usually right now we'd include results from encoding a video to PSP format, but for some reason the Sony software I bought for $20 stopped supporting DivX avi files! A support request has been sent to Sony, so I'll just have to wait and see what the problem is. Hopefully they get back to me soon, so I can include it again in the next review.

Next Page: (Audio Encoding)