Intel Arrandale Core i5 and Core i3 Mobile Unveiled

LAME MT and H.264 Encoding

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content.  LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications.

Audio Encoding

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a painfully long Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.

Thanks to its relativley high clock speed and Nehalem-derived architecture, which offers more performance than the Core 2 clock-for-clock, the Core i5 540M leads the pack in multi-threaded mode, though in the single-threaded run it hangs on to the second spot.

x264 Video Encoding Benchmark
H.264 HD Video Encoding

The x264 benchmark measures how fast a system can encode a short, DVD quality MPEG-2 video clip into a high-quality H.264 HD video clip. The application reports the compression results in frames per second for each pass of the video encoding process.  The test is also multi-threaded, so it can take advantage of the additional resources afforded by multi-core processors.

Here the Core i5 540M shows a bunch more muscle over its Core 2 Duo ancestor.  The 2.53GHz Arrandale-based Core i5 is 35 - 38% faster than the Core 2 Duo Penryn chip. The Core i7 920XM is anywhere from 18 to a wopping 51% faster in this test over the Core i5 540M but the Core i7 is a true quad-core with hyperthreading and thus has up to 8 threads of processing resources available to it.

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