The system i'm running is a Core i7 920 @ 3.6 Ghz.
I am transcoding a DVD (Grave Of The Fire Flies) to iPod format (640x480 x264).
Thread support is enabled, to FFmpeg uses about 250% CPU. That's 2.5 of the 4 cores available. If possible, I would have liked to see it use all four to the max.
Any way. I use these settings:
FFmpeg version SVN-r18628
ffmpeg -i $1 -pass 1 -acodec libfaac -ab 128k -ac 2 -vcodec libx264 -vpre normal -vpre ipod640 -s 640x480 -b 512k -bt 512k -threads 0 -f mp4 $2
With these settings, I get an encoding speed of fps=193.
I don't know how that stacks up against other systems. It seems fast to me though. In effect, the system is playing the DVD at 7.6 times the speed of the movie (25 fps?). So encoding is 88 minutes / 7.6 = 11.45 minutes for encoding a DVD to iPod x264.