Intel Quad-core: Clovertown Performance Reviewed
Posted on: 11/11/2006 06:00 AM

TMPGEnc Plus v2.524.63.181
TMPGEnc Plus is a high quality MPEG-1/2 encoder that can be used by both beginners and professional users. With TMPGEnc Plus you can convert your files to DVD, Super Video CD (MPEG-2) and VideoCD (MPEG-1) format.

TMPGEnc is one of the best encoders available and is being used as a professional tool for many different solutions.
TMPGEnc is not the fastest MPEG encoder on the market, but in my experience it has proven to be the best balance of affordability and quality. It is also optimized for Xeon/Opteron class processors and SMP/SMT, so it is only logical to include it in our testing. For this test I converted a 1 minute 46 second (87mb), 1080p WMV file to NTSC DVD quality MPEG2. I used the NTSC DVD (16:9) template defaults with a 2-pass VBR encode and VBR PCM audio.

Watching Task Manager during the TMPGEnc runs was enlightening. TMPGEnc touts its support for SMP/SMT, but in reality I never saw utilization of more than four cores on any of the machines. Obviously, Clovertown's slower clockspeed per core handicapped it in this test, and here is another instance where an upgrade from dual-core to quad-core would be money wasted. Since quad-core is the wave of the future, maybe it's time for me to find a new encoding test that can take advantage of more than four cores.

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