DivX 6.1, Windows Media Encoder 9 and Final Thoughts

Update (06/22/06): We have a full review of the Conroe Core 2 Duo E6700 processor available now!!  Click over to read that!

DivX 6.1 and XPMEG 5.03

Along with a few gaming tests that Intel provided for us to use, they also had some standard media encoding applications on the test beds in order to show that the Core architecture wasn’t a one trick pony, so to speak.

Using the DivX 6.1 codec that takes advantage of a multithreaded encoding engine and XMPEG 5.03 as the front end, we encoded a large 1080p resolution HD video file down to much more reasonable bit rate.  Our results are shown in the amount of time the conversion takes in seconds, lower is better.

Intel Conroe Processor: A Performance Preview - Processors 14

Intel Conroe Processor: A Performance Preview - Processors 15

The Intel Conroe system was able to encode the video file nearly 30 seconds faster than the overclocked AMD system, a difference of more than 23%. 

Windows Media Encoder 9

In a similar video encoding exercise, Intel had the Windows Media Encoder 9 application installed with a standard definition video file at 720×480 as the source.  The file was converted to a 282 Kb/s constant bit rate 320×240 resolution video using the advanced WME profile that enables multiple threads for encoding. 

Intel Conroe Processor: A Performance Preview - Processors 16

Intel Conroe Processor: A Performance Preview - Processors 17

The Intel Conroe has only a nine second lead in this test, but that is still a healthy 13% performance advantage in the total encoding time.

Summary and Final Thoughts

Even though I only showed you four benchmarks running on Conroe against AMD’s overclocked FX-60 processor, the results are simply amazing.  By pitting Conroe against a 2.8 GHz dual core Athlon, Intel was able to compare their next generation parts with a close approximation of AMD’s next generation parts.  And given that Intel is telling me that they will have a Conroe core processor with the Extreme Edition moniker at launch that will be running at 2.8 GHz or above, these results actually might swing more in Intel’s favor.

Of course, as I already mentioned once before, until I have complete control over the testing environment and system being benchmarked, these results are still considered under review.  But I would find it hard to believe that Intel would be willing to try to pull one over on a crew of sophisticated and technical journalists like the ones that sat inside that room this week.  Skewing the results and being found out would have been a huge PR nightmare for a company that is still struggling to get back on top in the enthusiast market. 

Intel looks to be well on the right track towards over passing AMD again in CPU performance.  These benchmarks numbers are already pumping new life into the excitement for the upcoming Intel products, and I can’t wait for the competition to heat up!

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