Case Study: Digital Cinema Speeds to the Next Level of Multi-Core Performance with Intel® Core™ i7 processor

Real Image Media Technologies* aimed to significantly boost the performance of QubeMaster Xpress* with the deployment of an Intel® CoreTM i7 processor based PC with Hyper-Threading technology1 (HT technology)

 

About Real Image Media Technologies*

Established in 1986, Real Image Media Technologies* has developed end-to-end digital cinema technology solutions that address not just the needs of cinema houses for digital cinema equipment and content, but also encompass the needs of the media and in-cinema advertising industry in India.

 

QubeMaster Xpress*, a product of Real Image, provides a very powerful mastering interface mimicking the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) object model. Media files are added to the database as Tracks. Picture, sound and subtitle Tracks are synced accurately to form Reels. Reels are combined to form Compositions. Compositions can be encoded, packaged, secured with a key and combined to form shows. On a quest to boost the performance of their QubeMaster Xpress*, Real Image and Intel partnered together to optimize and enhance the product to generate digital cinema content faster.

 

The Challenge:

Real Image Media Technologies and Intel partnered to find a solution that would augment the performance of their data intensive QubeMaster Xpress* for cinemas.

 

The Solution:

To meet this challenge put forth by Real Image, an Intel® CoreTM i7 processor based PC was deployed with integrated Hyper-Threading (HT) capability turned ON.

 

The Impact:

The performance and speed of Real Image's QubeMaster Xpress* enhanced significantly with the deployment of the Intel® CoreTM i7 processor based PC, with HT. The time the QubeMaster Xpress* took to convert a 29 MB QuickTime* movie file into a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) decreased significantly with the HT ON and marginally with the HT OFF, when compared by running the same workload under an older generation Intel processor family.

 

Application Optimizations for the QubeMaster Xpress*

Real Image QubeMaster Xpress* uses Intel tools such as Intel® Threading Building Blocks and Intel® Integrated Performance Primitives to achieve scalability and performance on Intel multi-core platforms. Intel worked with Real Image to characterize the application behavior on various Intel platforms.

 

Deploying the Intel® CoreTM i7 processor

The time taken by QubeMaster Xpress* to convert a 29MB Quicktime* movie file into a Digital Cinema Package (DCP) was measured by deploying Intel® CoreTM i7 processor with HT ON, Intel® CoreTM i7 processor with HT OFF and Intel® CoreTM 2 Quad processor based PCs. It was found that the Intel® CoreTM 2 Quad processor based PC took 663 seconds to convert, which was higher than that of the Intel® CoreTM i7 Processor based PC with HT OFF, which performed the conversion in 624 seconds. The optimum conversion performance was by the Intel® CoreTM i7 Processor with HT ON at 482 seconds. (Ref Fig.1)

Thus, the Intel® CoreTM i7 Processor with HT ON proved to be 37.5 percent faster than the Intel® CoreTM 2 Quad Processor and 29.4 percent faster than the Intel® CoreTM i7 Processor with HT OFF.

 

Intel® CoreTM i7 processor with HT enhances performance

With faster, intelligent multi-core technology that applies processing power where it is needed most, the Intel® CoreTM i7 processors delivered an incredible breakthrough in performance. With the Intel® CoreTM i7 processor, the QubeMaster Xpress* was able to take advantage of the multi-core capabilities and Hyper- Threading features to multi-ask its operations faster and unleash incredible digital media creation, which maximized performance to meet a demanding workload. The Intel® CoreTM i7 processor with HT ON helped the QubeMaster Xpress* meet its maximum performance thanks to the combination of Intel® Turbo Boost1 technology and Intel® Hyper-Threading technology2.

The Intel® CoreTM i7 processors' integrated architectural feature of Hyper-Threading technology (HT technology) allows multiple threads to issue instructions on each cycle. In other words, HT allows the functional units that make up the processor to work on behalf of more than one thread at the same time allowing for the higher speed of the upgraded QubeMaster Xpress*.

 

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Configuration of the PCs used: Intel® CoreTM i7 processor based PC (CPU: Intel® CoreTM i7 processor with 2.93 GHz, Socket: 1, Cores: 4, Hyper-Threading: 2 hardware threads per CoreTM (8 threads), Memory: 2 GB, Graphics Card: ATI 6800 PCIExpress Card).

Intel® CoreTM 2 Quad processor based PC (CPU: Intel® CoreTM 2 Quad processor with 3.0 GHz, Socket: 1, Cores: 4, Hyper-Threading: N/A, Memory: 2 GB, Graphics Card: ATI 6800 PCIExpress Card)

1. Intel® Hyper-Threading technology (Intel® HT technology) requires a computer system with a processor supporting Intel® HT Technology and an Intel® HT technology-enabled chipset, BIOS, and operating system. Performance will vary depending on the specific hardware and software you use. For more information including details on which processors support Intel® HT technology, see www.intel.com/info/hyperthreading

2. Intel® Turbo Boost technology requires a PC with a processor with Intel® Turbo Boost capability. Intel® Turbo Boost performance varies depending on hardware, software and overall system configuration. Check with your PC manufacturer on whether your system delivers Intel® Turbo Boost technology. See www.intel.com/technology/turboboost for more information.

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