Handbrake Video Transcoding
I like media encoding benchmarks for several reasons. One, most of them are “real world” benchmarks rather than synthetic benchmarks that are only good for comparison with other scores from the same benchmark. Second, media encoding is one of the very few things that can really use all the threads and horsepower a modern CPU can provide. Unless you’re upgrading from a really old machine, that spiffy new CPU won’t play your games any faster, nor make your web browsing any smoother. But when you’re ripping that DVD to watch on your phone or tablet, then yeah, nobody ever said their transcoding was too fast.
For this test I used Handbrake 0.96 to transcode a standard-definition episode of Family Guy to the “iPhone & iPod Touch” presets, and recorded the total time (in seconds) it took to transcode the video.
Handbrake will spawn a transcoding thread for every CPU core it can find, real or virtual, so this is a best-case test for the FX chips– the Intel CPU is badly outmatched here, soundly trounced by even the stock-clocked FX-8320E. Overclocking the test processor drops transcoding times by about 25%.
OK, at this point I think we’ve a pretty good handle on the strengths and weaknesses of each of these CPUs. I’ll discuss my overclocking methodology in the next section, and follow up with my final thoughts and conclusion.