Single page Print

Video encoding and editing

VirtualDub and DivX encoding with SSE4
Here's a brand-new addition to our test suite that should allow us to get a first look at the benefits of SSE4's instructions for video acceleration. In this test, we used VirtualDub as a front-end for the DivX codec, asking it to compress a 66MB MPEG2 source file into the higher compression DivX format. We used version 6.7 of the DivX codec, which has an experimental full-search function for motion estimation that uses SSE4 when available and falls back to SSE2 when needed. We tested with most of the DivX codec's defaults, including its Home Theater base profile, but we enabled enhanced multithreading and, of course, the experimental full search option.

Obviously, the 45nm Intel CPUs with SSE4 are fastest here, as expected. The Phenoms, however, finish before the Core 2 Quad Q6600.

Windows Media Encoder x64 Edition video encoding
Windows Media Encoder is one of the few popular video encoding tools that uses four threads to take advantage of quad-core systems, and it comes in a 64-bit version. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to use more than four threads, even on an eight-core system. For this test, I asked Windows Media Encoder to transcode a 153MB 1080-line widescreen video into a 720-line WMV using its built-in DVD/Hardware profile. Because the default "High definition quality audio" codec threw some errors in Windows Vista, I instead used the "Multichannel audio" codec. Both audio codecs have a variable bitrate peak of 192Kbps.

Wow, this one's tight. The Phenom X4 9850 is just one second behind the Q6600—a virtual tie. With only two cores, the E8500 trails.

Windows Media Encoder video encoding

Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator

The virtual tie continues with Worldbench's Windows Media Encoder test, but the stalemate breaks in VideoWave, where the Core 2 processors take a decisive lead.