Multitasking: Gaming while transcoding video
A number of readers over the years have suggested that some sort of real-time multitasking test would be a nice benchmark for multi-core CPUs. That goal has proven to be rather elusive, but we think our latency-oriented game testing methods may allow us to pull it off. What we did is play some Skyrim, with a 60-second tour around Whiterun, using the same settings as our earlier gaming test. In the background, we had Windows Live Movie Maker transcoding a video from MPEG2 to H.264. Here's a look at the quality of our Skyrim experience while encoding.
Well, good news and bad news here, I suppose. On the positive front, the FX-8350 outperforms any prior AMD CPU in this test scenario and delivers a fairly smooth Skyrim experience while encoding video in the background. On the downside, the FX-8350's eight cores do not deliver a superior multitasking experience compared to the quad-core competition from Intel. Even the two-generations-old Core i5-760 is faster.
Civ V will run this benchmark in two ways, either while using the graphics card to draw everything on the screen, just as it would during a game, or entirely in software, without bothering with rendering, as a pure CPU performance test.
Either way you cut it, the FX-8350 remains true to what we've seen in our other gaming tests: it's pretty fast in absolute terms, easily improves on the performance of prior AMD chips, and still has a long way to go to catch Sandy Bridge, let alone Ivy.
|The SSD Endurance Experiment: Only two remain after 1.5PB||25|
|Friday night topic: Conspiracy theories||1|
|GeForce 344.11 WHQL drivers support new cards, new games, G-Sync||3|
|Deal of the week: A 23'' IPS monitor for $150, a 200-mm fan for free, and more||19|
|GeForce GTX 970, 980 cards already widely available||10|
|Curved VA panel powers 27'' Samsung monitor||14|
|Android L to encrypt devices by default||6|
|Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980 and 970 graphics cards reviewed||245|
|Thursday Night Shortbread||17|