Real-world testing allows us to see how well a product will perform when used in the same manner as it would be in your house or office. It is an important side to performance testing as it can uncover hidden glitches in the way a product performs.
For real-world testing we use some common applications and functions. We test with LightWave 3D for rendering performance, AutoGK for Transcoding from DVD to AVI and two games for gaming testing.
Rendering of 3D Animation is a system intensive endeavor. You need good CPU, memory and HDD speed to get good rendering times. For our testing we use LightWave 3D. This software from Newtek is an industry standard and has several pre-loaded scenes for us to use.
LightWave 3D 9.6 shows pretty much the same story. The Core i5 661 as a dual core CPU (with Hyper Threading) can keep pace, and even out run many native Quad Core CPUs. Still, you can plainly see it is not what you would call a workstation or Prosumer CPU.
AutoGK stands for Auto Gordian Knot; it is a suite of transcoding tools that are compiled into an easy to install and use utility. It allows you to transcode non-protected DVDs and other media to Xvid or Divx format. For our testing purposes we use a non-DRM restricted movie that is roughly 2 hours in length. This is transcoded to a single Xvid AVI at 100% quality.
Sadly the Core i5 661 is also not very good at transcoding. It simply does not have the power (or the extra cores) to get the job done quickly. This is a potential problem as transcoding is very much a mainstream workload now. Even kids have multiple applications to transcode video for us in their iPods and or Zunes.