nForce 4 SLI Motherboard Round-Up
XMPEG & LAME Encoding
For our next set of benchmark scores, we did some video encoding with all three of our NF4 SLI powered test systems. To get the scores listed below, we took a standard MPEG 2 format video clip and converted it to the DivX format using version 5.2.1 of the CODEC with XMPEG. The results below are reported in frames per second; higher scores equate to better performance. From this point forward, we've included reference scores from a 3.73GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition / i925XE test-bed, just for an additional reference point.
Encoding has always been one of the Pentium 4's strong points, as you can see by its impressive performance in the graph above. If we shift our focus, and concentrate on the performance of the NF4 SLI based systems though, we see that the DFI board eked out a close contested victory, followed by the Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI and then the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI.
In our custom Lame MP3 encoding test, we convert a large digital audio file to the MP3 format, which is a very popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis, to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content. In this test, we chose a large 223MB WAV file (a never-ending Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format. Processing times are recorded below. Shorter times equate to better performance.
Total encoding times didn't vary much in our custom LAME benchmark. Here, all three of the nForce 4 SLI powered motherboards completed the encoding process within 1 second of each other. The margin of victory was quite small, but the DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR and MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI tied for first place (among the SLI boards), followed by the Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI.