Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge-E CPU

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LAME MT and Mediashow Espresso

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 Conversion and Encoding

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV audio file 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.

The Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition tied with the Core i7-2700K for the best scores in our LAME MT benchmarks. Since this benchmark uses only two threads at a time, the chips are able to hit their peak Turbo frequencies. Couple that fact with the architectural advantages of Sandy Bridge and you've got one heck a performer here.

Video Encoding With Mediashow Espresso
Media Encoding and Conversion

Next up, we tested the video encoding performance of the Intel Core i7-3690X Extreme Edition using Cyberlink's MediaEspresso 6.5. Although this application is coded to take advantage of Intel Quick Sync technology and leverage GPU compute resources, we disabled hardware acceleration for these tests to ensure they were all run only on the CPU cores at play.

In this test, we took a 284MB AVCHD MTS file recorded using a Canon HD camcorder and converted it to an H.264 encoded MP4 designed for use on an iPhone 4 / iPad (or other portable media playback device).

Once again, the immense compute resources available in the Intel Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition allow it to take the top spot in our MediaEspresso benchmarks. Please note, however, that QuickSync was disabled on the Core i7-2700K; with it enabled that chip can churn through this test in 10 seconds flat.

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