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Many microprocessor instruction sets include instructions for accelerating multimedia applications such as DVD playback, speech recognition, and 3D graphics. Despite general agreement on the need to support this emerging workload, there are considerable differences between the instruction sets that have been designed to do so. In this paper, we study the performance of five instruction sets on kernels extracted from a broad multimedia workload. We compare the performance of contemporary implementations of each extension against each other as well as to the original compiled C performance. From our analysis, we determine how well multimedia workloads map to current instruction sets, noting what was useful and what was not. We also propose two enhancements: fat subwords and strided memory operations.