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Compiling code in GCC
Our resident developer, Bruno Ferreira, helped put together this code compiling test. Qtbench tests the time required to compile the QT SDK using the GCC compiler. The number of jobs dispatched by the Qtbench script is configurable, and we set the number of threads to match the hardware thread count for each CPU.

As we switch away from gaming, the 6700K turns in a dominating performance versus the other quad-core processors in the bunch. Is this result the start of a trend among our other productivity tests?

TrueCrypt disk encryption
TrueCrypt supports acceleration via Intel's AES-NI instructions, so the encoding of the AES algorithm, in particular, should be very fast on the CPUs that support those instructions. We've also included results for another algorithm, Twofish, that isn't accelerated via dedicated instructions. (Yes, the TrueCrypt project has fallen on hard times, but these results will come in handy later, as you'll soon see.)

7-Zip file compression and decompression

JavaScript performance

The Skylake 6700K is the fastest Intel quad-core CPU pretty consistently, with the lone exception of the 7-Zip decompression test. Generally, though, it's only a smidgen quicker than the Haswell-based 4790K. The 5775C performs respectably in these productivity tests, but it doesn't continue the surprising excellence we saw in our gaming tests.

Video encoding

x264 HD video encoding
Our x264 test involves one of the latest builds of the encoder with AVX2 and FMA support. To test, we encoded a one-minute, 1080p .m2ts video using the following options:

--profile high --preset medium --crf 18 --video-filter resize:1280,720 --force-cfr

The source video was obtained from a repository of stock videos on this website. We used the Samsung Earth from Above clip.

Handbrake HD video encoding
Our Handbrake test transcodes a two-and-a-half-minute 1080p H.264 source video into a smaller format defined by the program's "iPhone & iPod Touch" preset.

One of the most notable outcomes in our video encoding tests is simply that the eight-core 5960X performs so well. Last time we checked, x264 didn't benefit much from having 8 cores and sixteen hardware threads on tap. This latest build certainly does.

The 6700K outperforms the other quad-core processors here, too.

Image processing

The Panorama Factory photo stitching
The Panorama Factory handles an increasingly popular image processing task: joining together multiple images to create a wide-aspect panorama. This task can require lots of memory and can be computationally intensive, so The Panorama Factory comes in a 64-bit version that's widely multithreaded. I asked it to join four pictures, each eight megapixels, into a glorious panorama of the interior of Damage Labs.

Sometimes, Skylake is clearly faster than Haswell. Other times, well, this happens.