Media Encoding: x264
Our first real-world test measures video encoding performance using the excellent x264HD benchmark developed by graysky and updated by Adrian Wong & Dashken which can be found here: http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=520. X264HD is a free video encoding library that is very popular among video enthusiasts for its ability to produce high quality videos while maintaining reasonably small file sizes. The x264HD benchmark has been updated to version 4.0 and now includes an HD test clip. Video encoding processes are some of the most intense tasks a modern computer will complete, and they tend to be very sensitive to CPU core counts and memory bandwidth. The test repeats a 2-pass encode of a 720p MPEG2 source into a MPEG4 video file four times. The results of the test are reported in frames per second and here we present the average of the four benchmark runs.
The increased latency of the Corsair Vengeance kit translates into slower encoding speeds, particularly during pass 1, which is not as heavily dependent upon raw CPU horsepower compared to pass 2. Pass 1 appears to be quite sensitive to memory latency because even with a significant bandwidth advantage, the Ballistix kit fails to distance itself from the competition. Contrast this with the marked difference between the Vengeance kit and the Hyperx, which have the same clock speed yet are separated by the difference in command rate.
Next we will see how this kit performs in the popular Folding at Home application.