Our multi-threaded CPU-bound tests split into two groups: media processing, and 3D and image processing. Media processors first. We use a version of LAME - 3.97 - that's compiled with Intel's multi-threading C compiler.
The FX-60 ties with 955XE in this test, 840XE further tying with X2 4800+. Intel processors with HyperThreading active see their performance scale with CPU frequency after it scales with the number of possible threads. This test shows that the compiler and software application itself has a strong bearing on overall performance from a processor.
DivX 6.1 Pro lets us encode a large DV file into a 1.7Mbps DivX video stream, using the encoder's Insane profile. It supports AMD and Intel multi-core, Intel HyperThreading, and supports more than two execution threads.
Our video encoding test shows the same pattern. 955XE is competitive with FX-60 and 840XE holds off the X2 4800+, while the single core CPUs bring up the rear. It's clear that a hardware multi-core CPU is a benefit to media processing tasks.
It's generally the done and easy thing to rubbish Intel processors these days, and indeed I'm happy to put the boot in when it's deserved, but its clear that they're well suited to these two tasks when the encoder is favourable.