March 22, 2004
We took another
look at Video Encoding performance with Windows Media
Encoder 9. Windows Media Encoder 9 is both SSE
optimized and makes use of Hyperthreading.
Windows Media Encoder 9
Digital Video Encoding Test
In this test, we
took a 416MB Digital Video file and encoded to WMV9 format.
Times were recorded in minutes and seconds. Lower
times indicate better performance.
Encoder is one of those tests that simply runs better on an
Intel processor obviously. The Athlon 64s can't
compete and the 3400+ is simply out classed by a spread of
over 30 seconds versus a Prescott P4 at 3.4GHz. This
test is simply optimized better for SSE on the P4 and
perhaps the enhanced Hyperthreading performance of Prescott
or its larger caches size is giving it a slight edge over
the Northwood cores in this test.
Cinebench 2003 Performance Tests
Modeling and Rendering Tests
2003 benchmark is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test,
based on the commercially available Cinema 4D application.
This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark
that renders a single 3D scene. The time it took each
test system to render the entire scene is represented in the
graph below (listed in seconds). We ran two sets of
numbers, one in single thread mode and one in the
benchmark's multi-threaded mode, for our Hyperthreading
capable P4 test systems.
certainly didn't fair well in this test, but comparatively
neither did the Athlon 64s. It seems the deeper
pipeline of Prescott is hampering overall performance, as
the CPU can't compete with Northwood at the same clock
speed. In the Multi CPU test, the times represented
there are times it took to render the exact same scene that
was used in the single CPU test, only on the P4s two threads
were used, one for the top and one for the bottom half of
the scence. Our Athlons 64 test systems couldn't run
the multi CPU test. We would have needed dual Opterons
for that. Obviously the gap widens nicely for the P4s
with Hyperthreading enabled.
Modeling and Rendering Performance
Getting down to
more "industrial strength" testing we have SPECs Viewperf
series of benchmarks. Viewperf 7.1 draws performance
metrics on many data-points in several different OpenGL
based applications from various ISVs (Independent Software
Vendors). The SPECopc (SPEC OpenGL Performance
Characterization) project group is comprised of companies
like 3DLabs, Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, ATi,
Dell, IBM, SGI, Sun Micro as well as others, and
helps define and endorse what application viewsets are used
in the SPECviewperf test.
Currently, there are six
standard SPECopc application viewsets:
on SPECapc for 3ds max 3.1 configured with the Open GL
driver, includes three models containing an average of 1.5
million vertices each, and tests performance of scenes
with different levels of lighting.
dx-08, based on
IBM's Data Explorer application, has 10 different tests.
drv-09, based on
Intergraph's DesignReview model review package, has five
on Discreet's Lightscape radiosity application, has four
proe-02, based on
SPECapc for Pro/ENGINEER 2001, measures two models in
three modes - shaded, wireframe and hidden-line removal (HLR).
ugs-03, based on
SPECapc for Unigraphics V17, tests performance based on an
engine model containing 2.1 million vertices.
There's a lot to
digest here and this is a very busy graph, so we'll break it
down a bit for you. The lead position was split nearly
down the middle over all test runs, with the Prescott 3.4GHz
processor taking some and the Athlon 64 FX-53 taking others.
Unigraphics and Design Review seem to be strong points for
the Athlons, while Lightscape and Data Explorer seem to
favor the P4s. Interestingly enough, the P4EE's extra
2MB of L3 cache didn't afford it any real performance
advantage but there's definitely something within Prescott
CPUs that powers these benchmarks more efficiently for the
P4, since clearly clock for clock they lead the pack for
Intel's offering here. We've asked Intel about this
and haven't gotten a formal response but we suspect Viewperf
likes fast low latency L2 cache.
Gaming Benchmarks - Wolfenstein ET, 3DMark 2003, Comanche 4