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Editor: Julio Franco

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Encoding Performance

Using HandBrake we converted a 560MB mkv file to the mp4 format and measured the frame rate each processor was able to achieve. The Core i5 750 and Phenom II X4 965 delivered the same performance with 61fps each. The Core i5 650 was the next fastest tested processor with 53fps, while the Athlon II X4 635 and Phenom II X4 925 both rendered 51fps. This made these budget AMD processors around 4fps faster than the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 and Q8400 processors.

The Core i3 540 and Phenom II X3 720 processors delivered similar results, though the Core i3 540 was a single frame faster. Finally the Phenom II X2 555 was able to match the Core 2 Duo E8500, while the E7500 was the slowest processor tested.

The x264 HD Benchmark 3.0 is used to measure the performance of a 2-pass 1280x720 encoding, again displaying the results in a frame per second format. The Phenom II X4 965 was the fastest tested processor here, beating the Core i5 750 by a 4.5% performance margin of 3.2fps. The Phenom II X4 925 and Athlon II X4 635 were next in line, with an 11% performance margin over the Core 2 Quad Q9400, which only matched the Phenom II X3 720.

This meant that the ultra cheap Phenom II X3 720 also beat the Core i5 650 and Core i3 540 processors, while the Phenom II X4 555 defeated both the Core 2 Duo E8500 and E7500 processors.

Using TMPGEnc 4.0 Xpress we converted a 715MB avi file to the mpg format and measured the time it took for each processor to complete this task. The Core i5 750 climbed back on top here, beating the Phenom II X4 965 by an impressive 9% margin, as it shaved 49 seconds off the conversion time.

The Phenom II X4 965 was then found to be 12% faster than the Core i5 650, as it took 76 seconds off the conversion time. The Phenom II X4 925 was just 10 seconds slower than the Core i5 650, while it was 5 seconds faster than the Athlon II X4 635.

This meant that the relatively cheap Athlon II X4 635 was faster than the Core 2 Quad Q9400 and Q8400 processors, beating them by 32 and 54 seconds respectively. The Core i3 540 out muscled the Phenom II X3 720 by 27 seconds, while the Core 2 Duo E8500 was considerably slower than both these processors with a conversion time of 14 minutes and 31 seconds. This made the E8500 exactly 69 seconds faster than the Phenom II X2 555.