LameMT MP3 Encoding and Power Consumption
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. We created our own 223MB WAV file and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in both single and multi-threaded modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance
Typically, we rarely see any major differences when testing boards of the same chipset paired with the same CPU. So, we were a bit surprised when both of Gigabyte's boards fared better in both the single and multi-threaded encoding tests. We suspect the performance boost option in the BIOS had an effect ehre - when one or more of the cores aren't being used, the ones being used can get a boost in the form of a higher multiplier. That boost in speed allows these two boards 1-2 seconds faster than the competition.
We'd like to cover a few final data points before bringing this article to a close. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our test systems consumed using a power meter. Our goal was to give you all an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling and while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the processors alone.
We also found that the power consumption of each board was much less at idle than the competition - on the range of 10-14 Watts. Power consumption under load conditions, however, was much more on par, with only the ASUS Rampage II Extreme eclipsing 250W.