SGI Performance Comparisons

Parametric Equalisation and Normalization of a Music CD Track

Last Change: 04/Aug/2010

This test uses an audio track from a music CD. Two separate operations are performed using the SoundTrack program: a 3-notch parametric equalisation and a Normalization.

The track used is the title track from the CD entitled, 'Force Majeure', by Tangerine Dream. The file from the CD is Track01.aiff, which is 18 minutes 24 seconds of 44.1KHz 16bit 2-channel data, totalling 190140K (185.7MB).

To perform the parametric test yourself, run SoundTrack and 'import' the file (copy the file from the CD onto disk first). Choose 'Select to End' from the Edit menu. Now choose 'Parametric Equalizer' from the 'Effects' menu and enter these settings:

   Band 1: Frequency: 4000
           Gain (dB): 10
           Bandwidth: 2000

   Band 2: Frequency: 10000
           Gain (dB): -10
           Bandwidth: 2000

   Band 2: Frequency: 16000
           Gain (dB): 10
           Bandwidth: 2000

With your stopwatch ready, click on 'Ok' and time how long it takes to complete the task. The band-filter settings I've used are arbitrary, but they do ensure that the filters overlap on the graph.

To perform the normalization test, run SoundTrack and 'import' the file. Choose 'Select to End' from the Edit menu. With your stopwatch ready, choose 'Normalization' from the 'Effects' menu and time how long it takes to finish (note that unlike the Parametric test, the processing begins as soon as the Normalization option is selected from the Effects menu).

Of course, if you don't have the CD I've used, you can't run the specific test shown here, but any music track of similar length should give comparable results. Note that I originally used a shorter track for this test, but the old test was performed too quickly to give meaningful results. Tangerine Dream often wrote long tracks, so now the test lasts long enough to be useful as a benchmark (this new test takes about five times longer to run). A lengthy test makes it easier to be sure that the task is not being overly influenced by the speed of the system disk, although disk type can make a difference in this test.

Note that something odd happened when testing the Fuel/500; the Normalization test didn't work. I'll try again another day, so in the meantime I've included an estimate based on the difference betweem the Fuel/500 and the Fuel/700 for the P.E. test.

Here are the results, in minutes and seconds:

                                  Equalization     Normalization

Tezro R16000 1GHz 16MB L2:           00:20            00:22
Fuel R16000 900MHz 8MB L2:           00:22            00:23
Fuel R16000 800MHz 4MB L2:           00:24            00:25
Fuel R16000 700MHz 4MB L2:           00:27            00:29
Fuel R14000 600MHz 4MB L2:           00:32            00:34
Fuel R14000 500MHz 2MB L2:           00:38            00:41 [est]
O2 R12000 380MHz 2MB L2:             01:09            01:15
O2 R7000 600MHz 256K/1MB L2/L3:      01:16            01:19
O2 R10000 195MHz 1MB L2:             02:06            02:14
Origin200 R10000 180MHz 1MB L2:      02:20            02:20
O2 R5200 300MHz 1MB L2:              02:40            02:42
Indigo2 R4400SC 250MHz 2MB L2:       04:44            05:07
O2 R5000SC 200MHz 1MB L2:            04:50            05:21
Indy R4400SC 200MHz 1MB L2:          05:52            06:18
Indy R5000SC 180MHz 512K L2:         06:30            07:23
Indy R5000PC 150MHz:                 08:20            08:40
Indy R4600PC 133MHz:                 10:10            10:33
Indy R4600PC 100MHz:                 11:39            11:44