Intel Core i7-2600K and i5-2500K Processors Debut

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Quick Sync vs. Discrete GPU


As we've mentioned, the new Sandy Bridge-based Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K processors feature and integrated media encoding engine, dubbed Quick Sync, that's enabled when the integrated Intel HD graphics core is used. We tested the Intel Quick Sync encoder using a pre-release version of Cyberlink's MediaEspresso 6, which was coded to take advantage of Intel Quick Sync technology.

Intel Quick Sync Technology vs. Discrete GPU
Media Encoding

In this test, we took a 256MB AVCHD MTS file recorded using a Canon HD camcorder and converted it to an H.264 encoded MP4 compatible designed for use with an iPhone / iPad (or other portable media playback device).

The Quick Sync engine within the new Sandy Bridge processors offers exceptional encoding performance in terms of speed and quality. In our tests, enabling Quick Sync within MediaEspresso resulted in performance increases of 3.7x to 4.1x, smoking everything else we tested. It's a shame that Quick Sync can't be used when a discrete GPU is installed in a system with a single monitor though. Many of the users who build high-end systems with media encoding in mind aren't going to want to settle for integrated graphics, and may not run dual monitors. And since Windows 7 allows for multiple GPU types to be installed in a system, and Intel will allow Quick Sync to function in notebooks / laptops equipped with discrete GPUs with switchable graphics, we hope they figure out a way to enable it on the desktop as well.

1080P Flash Video Clip From YouTube (Full Screne)

SD Flash Video Clip from HULU (Full Screen)

We also played back numerous video types on the new Core i5-2500K and Core i7-2600K while using their integrated Intel HD 3000 series graphics core, including DVDs and a myriad of SD and HD clips of varying file types. All of the local content played back perfectly with very low CPU utilization. High resolutions Flash videos streamed from the web, however, were a bit more stressful on the system, however. We never lost frames or anything along those lines, but CPU utilization was relatively high in comparison to a discrete GPU. Using the latest Adobe Flash plug-in beta that's compatible with Intel's new graphics core, we saw CPU utilization in the mid-20% to high-30% range when playing back high-res Flash video, whereas utilization hovered in the 5% to 8% range with a GeForce GTX 570 installed in the test rig.


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