Simply put, it is a reproducible measure of how fast your machine can encode a short HD-quality video clip into a high quality x264 video file. It’s nice because everyone running it will use the same video clip and software. The video encoder (x264.exe) reports a fairly accurate internal benchmark (in frames per second) for each pass of the video encode and it also uses multi-core processors very efficiently. All these factors make this an ideal benchmark to compare different processors and systems to each other.
We scaled this chart to the second pass (red) which is the more CPU intensive of the two. x264 HD benchmark shows that its performance is just as dependent on memory speed as CPU speed. The Corsair Vengeance 8GB kit at 1866MHz has excellent performance here, with less than 4 fps difference between the Kingston HyperX 4GB 2133MHz.