Handbrake Speed - Base i5 CPU versus 2.9 GHz i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by divergirl, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. divergirl macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2012
    My friend's Macbook Pro has (according to system info) a quad-core 2.9 GHz i7 CPU. I was happy with the speed that Handbrake encoded videos at on her Macbook. Relatively, how fast would Handbrake encoding be on her 2.9 GHz i7 versus the base iMac's 3.2 GHz i5? Since I was happy with that speed, if it would be close I see no reason to pay more for a faster processor. Sorry for the silly question; I just haven't been able to find any good benchmarks. :eek:
  2. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Handbrake is one of the few applications that will make full use of an i7 processor. Since the only 2.9GHz i7 MacBook Pro i found listed was from 2012, I am basing my answer on that.

    The current i5's in the iMacs will be slower for Handbrake than the 2.9GHz i7. To get something faster for Handbrake you'll need an iMac with an i7 processor.
  3. bp1000, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    I've just looked on geek bench

    As mentioned by the previous poster my hunch is, despite the lower clock speed and older architecture the i7 is likely to be faster in the task you picked which is handbrake. Handbrake will make use of the i7s ability to hyper thread.

    That said, the geek bench results show a modest 5-10% speed advantage in their test results in favour of the mbp i7. I would expect this to roughly translate to the advantage the mbp has.

    For a typical film encode you might only be talking a further 5 mins wait time. In fact the gap might be thinner if the mbp cannot dissipate it's heat as well as the cooler running roomier haswell i5 iMac.

    Unfortunately on the 27" iMac you have to go quite a way up in price to get an i7. On the 21.5" its just £160 in the UK. On the 27" you need to choose the 3.4, do the upgrade and get the bigger gpu, another £340 over the base, over twice the cost compared to the 21.5" upgrade.
  4. divergirl thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2012
    I figured the i7 would out-perform the i5 even with a lower clockspeed, but I guess I'm trying to get a feel of what percentage faster. If it's less than a 10% advantage, I might as well save 400 dollars and go with the 3.2 GHz i5. I don't game so the increased GPU does nothing for me.

    Mostly all I want to do is convert my 26 seasons of Classic Doctor Who (around 700 episodes, 25 minutes each, all in standard definition) to mp4's. Other than that, I'll be encoding maybe two HD movies a month.

    Do you mean a 5-10% speed advantage for the 2.9 GHz i7 versus the 3.2 GHz i5?
  5. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    Basing my assumption on the geek bench 64bit multi-core results yes, the mbp i7 2.9ghz is benching 5-10% quicker than the Haswell i5 on the same test.

    GB does primarily bench the CPU so it should be a guide. As i mentioned the compact space in a mbp might put it at a disadvantage as the CPU begins to reduce clock speed to thermally throttle so that gap might narrow on a lengthy encode.

    I'm fairly confident in saying that if i've read the GB results right the MBP won't be any more than 10% faster.

    If you took a 3.5ghz i7 it would be around 25% faster than the 3.2ghz i5.
  6. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I would say that the i7 is worth it in your case, due to all that rendering.

    Personally, I have the impression that the i7 really has had a major effect in Handbrake. For a normal 90 minutes DVD, I rip it in 20 minutes on my quad 3,4 Ghz i7 iMac from 2011. Of course, modern i5's will be more efficient I guess.
  7. mffl04 macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2011
    Would eyeTV, program that records OTA shows and converts them, take advantage of the i7 as well?

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