There are four tests in PPBM just as in the previous version, but they are significantly different. The timeline has been modified in comparison to PPBM5 to better reflect system load in all aspects and to improve statistical accuracy.

  1. Export the Disk I/O timeline to a Microsoft DV AVI file.
  2. Export the H.264 timeline to a H.264 file.
  3. Export the MPEG2 timeline to a MPEG2 file with hardware MPE.
  4. Export the MPEG2 timeline to a MPEG2 file with software MPE.

These tests were selected because they fully test the performance of the disk subsystem and the CPU, memory and GPU system.

The Total Time score is the sum of all individual tests. Not all systems are built equally, some may have a super fast CPU, others may compensate a slower CPU with a faster video card or more memory and still others may have multiple disks or raid configurations. To get a feel for real-life performance, a performance index has been added, which will show you your system's performance relative to the top-ranking machine in daily life. Using weights for the four different tests, normalized scores for each machine are calculated and indexed to the top-ranking system to show the difference in performance.

DISK I/O test:

The overriding factor is disk speed here.  The test uses many small reads and a large sequential write (around 37 GB). Number of cores makes no real difference (it is not well multithreaded), but clock speed does.

MPEG2 DVD test:

Next to hardware MPE, the two overriding factors here are amount of memory and number of cores. More is better here. Additionally the location and speed of the pagefile can be important especially if you have a small amount of RAM. The software-only run of this test is highly CPU (Clock Speed and Core-count) dependent

H.264 test:

Here the speed of CPU/RAM communication is king. Number of cores, clock speed and the amount of CPU cache are very important. Dual processor systems are somewhat hampered by the 2 chip communication, but mostly by their clock speed.

CPU / GPU Test Result:

This is almost solely based on the video card and whether hardware or software MPE is used.

MPE Gain:

This shows how much faster hardware MPE rendering is than software only rendering. The minimum score is of course 1, since if there is no hardware MPE available, there is no performance gain.

CAVEAT:

A high score does NOT mean better. If the memory or CPU is relatively slow, the MPE Gain is bigger and vice versa, if the CPU and memory are very fast, the MPE Gain is lower. So interpret with care.

Second CAVEAT:

On export hardware MPE uses maximum quality, which results in much better scaling than software only, so the MPE Gain is not only speed, but also quality.

Total Time:

The Total Time is the sum total of the individual test scores, where only the lowest of the MPE scores is counted, as shown in the CPU / GPU Result column.

Relative Performance Index:

To avoid a heavy impact of any single test on the total time, the four test results each have a performance weight attached and each result is normalized against the top ranking machine. In this way each test has the same impact on the RPI, despite the sometimes large differences in measured speed. Simply said, the RPI shows how much slower a system is than the top-most system we have encountered.

On a properly balanced system, both the Total Time and the Relative Performance Index will show around the same distance from the top machine. So a Total Time slower by 20% and a RPI of 120 means well balanced.