LAME MT and 3DMark06:CPU
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.
In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenically-induced 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. Once again, shorter times equate to better performance.
Once again, please note that the Intel Atom has HyperThreading enabled and can process two threads at once, which accounts for the multi-threaded result above. Although the Atom has the ability to use HT to increase performance with some workloads, the Nano still completed the test much faster than the Atom. According to the two audio encoding tests we've run, it's clear the Nano's out-of-order design is much better suited for this type of task.
3DMark06's built-in CPU test is a multi-threaded DirectX gaming metric that's useful for comparing relative performance between similarly equipped systems. This test consists of two different 3D scenes that are processed with a software renderer that is dependent on the host CPU's performance. Calculations that are normally reserved for your 3D accelerator are instead sent to the CPU for processing and rendering. The frame-rate generated in each test is used to determine the final score.
3DMark06's CPU benchmark also had the VIA Nano finishing well out in front of the Intel Atom, to the tune of about 20%.