Intel's 900-Series Chipsets: PCI-Express and LGA775
Posted on: 08/13/2004 05:00 AM

RC5-72 v2.9008-490

As I said earlier, I was a big RC5-64 fan a few years ago, and that's probably why I chose it for a distributed computing benchmark. Granted RC5 performance isn't going to be indicative of any other distributed computing project performance, but we might learn something anyway.

Interesting. It seems that Intel has made some changes to the Prescott core that RC5 really, really likes. It must be an RC5 thing, because nothing else I've seen suggests that Prescott holds that kind of a performance edge over Northwood.

LAME 3.96.1

Mp3s rule the digital music world, and LAME rules at mp3 encoding. Even though CPUs are getting fast enough that mp3 encoding times are becoming a non-issue, we still like to take a look and see just how fast you can turn a directory full of wav files into a directory full of mp3s. The track I used for testing was Ditch's "Hey Johnny", from their album "The Sound of Liver Pigs Dancing". For those who are curious, Ditch is a local North Bay band that I don't mind the sound of, and their CD was the only one within reach when I wanted to run LAME benchmarks.

Again that 2.4 GHz processor gets smacked around. Note how the 915 and 3.6 GHz Prescott lags behind: the only explanation I can think of for that is the disparity in memory bandwidth that's being caused by the integrated video. One wouldn't expect media encoding performance to suffer too badly from that, but one would be wrong.

AutoGK v1.54 beta

While video encoding was as much of an art as anything else a few years ago, these days there are some excellent point-and-click tools that can save even a pro a lot of time and effort. AutoGK (Auto Gordian Knot) is a front-end for a number of free video encoding tools that are beloved by video encoding geeks everywhere, and feared by everyone else. It takes a DVD rip directory as input, and can give you a nicely encoded avi out the other end.

AutoGK is capable of encoding to either DivX or Xvid video formats, and either AC3 or mp3 audio. For this test I picked the formats that I'm most comfortable with - Xvid video and CBR mp3. Our test video was an episode of the excellent anime series Noir. I set AutoGK to produce a 175 mb file with 128 kbps CBR mp3 audio.

I'm getting tired of saying it, but the P4 2.4 gets wasted. Among the newer processors we see a nice bump in performance from the Prescotts and EE. In fact the Prescotts turn in an impressive performance, again suggesting that some of Intel's tweaks have paid off.

Okay, how about some gaming?

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