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x264 benchmark installation guide for Windows

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System prerequisites

Since Windows was the original platform the x264 benchmark was designed for, the installation is comparably easy, as there is no source code compilation involved. All you need is a supported Windows operating system and the proper hardware. Note that for some specifications below minimum, you may still be able to run the benchmark, but the result will not be "official". It will still be listed in the results list though. First, please make sure you're running a supported operating system, for XP to 8/2012 both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are supported. If not specifically noted otherwise, all subversions of an OS are supported:

Also please check out the minimum hardware requirements: To prepare for the benchmark, please download the following two files, which are the actual benchmark tools and the necessary input video file:

If you'd like to verify the data integrity of your downloaded files, you may also generate and compare SHA1 or MD5 checksums before starting with the benchmark: Now that you have the required files, please unpack the archive x264benchmark.zip into a folder dedicated to the benchmark, and put the input video file elephantsdream_source.264 into the same folder. After that is done, that folder should look like this:

x264 benchmark folder ready for start

Now, if you're not running Windows 98/Me or NT 4.0, just double-click the file launchbenchmark.bat and wait until it tells you that it has written its results into RESULTS.TXT. When that's done, you can read the result from said text file and submit it in the proper [forum thread] or put your result as a comment on my weblog [here], if you do not want to register at Voodooalert.

Please specify the following information when submitting a result:
A VA-style result might for instance look like this, using two hyperthreaded and overclocked sixcore processors, making it two sockets, six cores per socket and twelve threads per socket:

0000:48:43.817 | YourNicknameHere | 2/6/12 | Intel Xeon X5680 3.33GHz @ 4.00GHz | 24GB DDR-III/1600 CL11 | EVGA Classified SR-2 | Windows 7 Pro x64

If you do not know all your systems specifications you might want to try and find out about your system using tools like CPU-Z, Aida64, Everest etc. CPU-Z can usually determine all the necessary information like memory type, mainboard name etc. If you can, you should provide as much detail as possible, like for instance memory latencies (CL2, CL10 or 3-3-3 etc.).

Finally, the running benchmark will look like this:

x264 benchmark running

Please note, that the error line "ffms [error]: could not create index" can be safely ignored. This results from x264 trying to use ffmpegsource as its input filter, which fails in the case of our test video. It automatically falls back to the fully working libavfilter, so you don't have to worry about that.

The special case of Windows 98/Me:

Windows 98SE Logo

In case you're using a version of Win9x, the script launchbenchmark.bat will not function, as it is using syntax and tools incompatible with Win9x systems. However, a Voodooalert user named CryptonNite has refactored the script to be fully compatible with Windows 98 and Me. By using this script you can still generate officially valid results, as long as you can satisfy the other system requirements. You can download that replacement script here: Just put it into the same folder as above, and launch launchbenchmark_9x.bat instead of launchbenchmark.bat and you're good to go! There is one thing left to keep in mind though; Other than on Windows NT 4.0 and newer, processors without SSE extensions are not supported unter Windows 98/Me at this time due to technical (software-related) reasons, so the minimum is something along the lines of a Pentium III or Athlon XP CPU.

When running, it could look somewhat like this:

x264 auf Windows 98SE

The special case of Windows NT 4.0:

Windows NT 4.0 Logo

The standard version of x264 will unfortunately not work on Windows NT 4.0, because it was linked against kernel API functions that only exist on Windows 98 or Windows 2000 and newer. So we need to use a custom binary that won't give you any standard results (results achieved with this version will be marked red in the results list, like on Linux/UNIX etc.). There are two version actually, one for processors which do support Intels SSE extensions, like the Pentium III or Athlon XP and one for processors without SSE, like the Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Athlon Classic or Athlon Thunderbird. In any case the processor needs to be a full 686 though! So 586 like the Pentium MMX or extended 586 like the Nexgen/AMD K6 are not supported. On those chips, the benchmark will just die instantly.

The following versions are available for Windows NT 4.0:
These archives can be unpacked on NT 4.0 directly using [7-zip]. Existing files should just be overwritten. After that, you can just launch launchbenchmark.bat as usual. When running it could look somewhat like this:

x264 auf Windows NT 4.0

Depending on the machine you're running this on this may take several hours, maybe even days, weeks or in extreme cases months. If you have any problems with this guide, or if you have questions about the x264 benchmark, please don't hesitate to ask in the [corresponding forum thread]! It's in german, but you can just ask in english, and you will get a reply, at least by me. ;) Again, if you're uncomfortable with that, please just contact me directly on my [weblog].

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