Encoded Time on Intel System: 470 Minutes
Encoded Time on AMD System: 30 minutes
Means that during the test, the Intel has been able to encode 470 mintues of a DVD data, when the AMD X2 could only do 30 mintues.
The AMD X2 is bottlenecking the Divx encode, so if it was force to equally do tasks then the other results would probably be vastly different. The signs are that the X2 maybe a great single task CPU but a bad multitasking CP Unit.
Actually, the way I read this review, well, lemme quote from the review itself, on this page: http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20050603/stresstest-10.html
James Bond DVD Compression. We count the total minutes since commencement of the stress test.
It seems that they're counting the amount of time it takes to compress the entire movie "Die Another Day" into the Divx format. It takes the AMD processor 30 minutes to do this, and the Intel processor 470 minutes. It's illogical to assume it's the other way around on the sheer basis that there's not 470 minutes of stuff on a single DVD to encode, so this is likely the correct interpretation, which means that it is Intel
that is having its butt handed to it on a plate.
I can even explain this discrepancy rather easily: They're using the dual-core P4 "Extreme Edition", with Hyperthreading enabled. This means there are two physical cores and two "virtual" cores, and the OS and multithreaded programs aren't really at the stage where they can efficiently discriminate between the two, so they just kind of throw things at the first and then second "core" they see, whether it's physical or virtual. I'm betting that this was a dual-threaded app, and that the first "core" being fed was the first physical core, and the second "core" being fed was the "virtual" HT core on that same first physical core. This would leave the second physical core unused while the first core continually conflicts with itself trying to process two threads simultaneously.
While HT offers some performance benefits, those benefits come from scenarios where data is not
being fed to the CPU in a continuous stream. In things like video encoding, HT tends to be a hindrance, sometimes a major one. This is exactly the kind of horrific performance I'd expect to see on the P4 dual-core with HT enabled, and thanks to this page, we're sure it is: http://www.tomshardware.com/cpu/20050603/stresstest-09.html
So I think this is actually revealing a well-known flaw in the dual-core P4 EE, that being the inability for the OS to discriminate between physical and virtual cores. The only way to get around this "flaw" is to disable HT on the processor altogether, which means losing the benefits of HT in situations where it would actually benefit, or rebooting every time you switch applications on your computer so you can reset the HT enabled/disabled toggle in the BIOS.
Thanks, Porkster, for bringing this gaping flaw in a $1000 Intel processor to our attention!