Encoding Performance

The AMD processors fair pretty well in HandBrake with the Phenom II X6 processors delivering an exceptional level of performance given their price. The Phenom II X4 970 was less than 1fps faster than the 965, matching the performance of the Core i5 750.

Although it wasn't much faster than its predecessor, the Athlon II X4 645 offers exceptional value to those using video transcoder software such as HandBrake. For just $99 the Athlon II X4 645 is not a great deal slower than the Phenom II X4 and Core i5 processors while it outperformed the Core i5 650. The Athlon II X3 445 matched the Core i5 540 while the dual-core Phenom II X2 560 and Athlon II X2 265 were competitive with the Pentium G9650 and Core 2 Duo E8500 processors.

The AMD processors also perform well when testing with the x264 HD Benchmark which is a synthetic program. That said, this test does not utilize more than 4-cores when running the 2-pass 1280x720 encode test and therefore the Phenom II X6 and X4 processors deliver similar performance when operating at the same clock speeds. The Phenom II X4 970 stole the performance crown as the fastest AMD processor, while the ultra expensive Core i7 980 XE remained the fastest overall.

The Phenom II X6 1075T outpaced the Core i5 750 while it was slightly slower than the Core i7 930 and again this placed it directly between the 1055T and 1090T processors.

The Athlon II X4 645 displayed strong performance and at half the price of the Core i5 750 it almost delivered the same level of performance in this test. The Athlon II X3 445 was also very impressive, outpacing the old Core 2 Quad Q9400. The dual-core processors tend to struggle when looking at encoding performance and the large L3 cache of the Phenom II X2 560 does not help it against the Athlon II X2 265 which is running at the same frequency.

The AMD processors don't perform as well in the TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress conversion test. In addition this program fails to utilize more than 4 cores placing the Phenom II X6 processors at a disadvantage. The Phenom II X4 970 was the fastest AMD processor despite only improving on the conversion time of the 965 by a mere 6 seconds. The Athlon II X4 645 was again impressive beating the Core i5 650 with a total conversion time of 10 minutes and 32 seconds.

The dual-core Phenom II X2 560 and Athlon II X2 265 were again found way down the bottom of our graph delivering a similar level of performance to the Pentium G6950 while the Core 2 Duo E8500 was slightly faster.