AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 & Athlon 64 4000+
Windows Media Encoder 9 & LAME MP3 Encoder
We continued our testing of the Athlon 64 FX-55 and Athlon 64 4000+ with a video encoding benchmark using Windows Media Encoder 9. In this test, we took a 416MB Digital Video file and encoded to WMV9 streaming format. The encoding times were recorded in minutes:seconds, with lower times indicating better performance.
Video encoding has historically been one of the Pentium 4's strong suits, and in the Windows Media Encoder 9 test, the P4s were able to outpace the fastest Athlon by a minimum of nine seconds. And the Pentium 4 560 was faster than the FX-55 by a full 12 seconds. When comparing just the Athlons to each other, all of the 2.4GHz chips finished the encoding process within a second or two of one another, but the FX-55 was over 10 seconds faster than 4000+, FX-53, and 3800+.
Next, we did some audio encoding with LAME MP3. LAME MP3 is relatively new to our test suite, but we thought it was an important component to include as a performance metric. Converting audio files to MP3 format is a very common task that many end users perform on a regular basis to facilitate portability and storage of their digital audio content. In this test, we used a large 223MB WAV file (a never-ending Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format. Processing times are recorded below in minutes:seconds, and once again, shorter times equate better performance.
There are a couple of interesting things to note in this graph. First, notice that although the 3.6GHz Pentium 4 560 was faster than the 3.4GHz Extreme Edition in the WME9 video encoding test, it was a full seven seconds slower than the 3.4GHz EE here. Secondly, the 200MHz clock speed boost over the other Athlons we tested gave the Athlon 64 FX-55 the extra horsepower it needed to pull into the lead, ahead of the Pentium 4s. At 2:9, the Athlon 64 FX-55 was the fastest of the bunch, besting the 3.4GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition by one second.