http://media.hardwareanalysis.com/articles/small/10415.gif" alt="Hardware Analysis - Intel Pentium 4 2.40GHz" border=0>
We first tested the Pentium 4's audio encoding prowess. As can be seen, the 2.40GHz Pentium 4 can encode a ten minute audio file at nearly CD quality in a mere 35 seconds; almost a full three times faster than the Pentium III 800.
This is one example where, if you do a lot of this, a faster processor can actually save you a substantial amount of time. The Pentium 4 2.40GHz could encode an entire CD in just over four minutes, while the older Pentium III 800 would take almost eleven minutes to complete the same task. If you're going to be encoding a lot of CDs, that's a very tangible time savings. Just ask all those people that had to have 12X burners instead of their old 4X units.
Again, contrary to common belief about RDRAM and audio/video encoding, the extra bandwidth seems to help very little here.
http://media.hardwareanalysis.com/articles/small/10416.gif" alt="Hardware Analysis - Intel Pentium 4 2.40GHz" border=0>
We used Windows Media Encoder to encode a four minute video capture into WMV format at a bitrate of 250kbps. Here again we can see a tangible time savings -- if you plan to be doing a lot of video encoding, a faster processor could literally save minutes to hours. Further, streaming video could be encoded in real time at 2-3x the bitrate without dropped frames (or at the same bitrate, but with 1/2-1/3 the CPU utilization).
Here again RDRAM isn't helping too much, although the difference will increase at higher bitrates.