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
Our two X58s were in sync with each other, producing the exact same times for both the single-threaded and multi-threaded encoding runs. The Core 2 Extreme led the tandem of X58s by finishing 6 seconds faster using a single core, but only a mere second when all cores are getting utilized. Again we see the Core 2 Quad Q9400 falling behind the Core i7 920, even though the rated speeds are exactly the same.
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.
MSI's Eclipse held a slight advantage under both idle and load conditions, typically consuming from 2-5 Watts less than the ASUS Rampage II Extreme. Overall, not much to be concerned about, but over time that could result in some cost savings on your energy bill.