Performance Metrics - II

In this section, we mainly look at benchmark modes in programs used on a day-to-day basis, i.e, application performance and not synthetic workloads.

x264 Benchmark

First off, we have some video encoding benchmarks courtesy of x264 HD Benchmark v5.0. This is simply a test of CPU performance. As expected, the Core i5-4200H can't match up to the i7 parts in the other mini PCs that we compare against.

Video Encoding - x264 5.0

Video Encoding - x264 5.0

7-Zip

7-Zip is a very effective and efficient compression program, often beating out OpenCL accelerated commercial programs in benchmarks even while using just the CPU power. 7-Zip has a benchmarking program that provides tons of details regarding the underlying CPU's efficiency. In this subsection, we are interested in the compression and decompression MIPS ratings when utilizing all the available threads.

7-Zip LZMA Compression Benchmark

7-Zip LZMA Decompression Benchmark

TrueCrypt

As businesses (and even home consumers) become more security conscious, the importance of encryption can't be overstated. CPUs supporting the AES-NI instruction for accelerating the encryption and decryption processes have, till now, been the higher end SKUs. However, with Bay Trail, even the lowly Atom series has gained support for AES-NI. The Core i5-4200H in the BXi5G-760 does have AES-NI support. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of the AES-NI capabilities. The TrueCrypt internal benchmark provides some interesting cryptography-related numbers to ponder. In the graph below, we can get an idea of how fast a TrueCrypt volume would behave in the GIGABYTE BXi5G-760 and how it would compare with other select PCs. This is a purely CPU feature / clock speed based test.

TrueCrypt Benchmark

Agisoft Photoscan

Agisoft PhotoScan is a commercial program that converts 2D images into 3D point maps, meshes and textures. The program designers sent us a command line version in order to evaluate the efficiency of various systems that go under our review scanner. The command line version has two benchmark modes, one using the CPU and the other using both the CPU and GPU (via OpenCL). The benchmark takes around 50 photographs and does four stages of computation:

  • Stage 1: Align Photographs
  • Stage 2: Build Point Cloud (capable of OpenCL acceleration)
  • Stage 3: Build Mesh
  • Stage 4: Build Textures

We record the time taken for each stage. Since various elements of the software are single threaded, others multithreaded, and some use GPUs, it is interesting to record the effects of CPU generations, speeds, number of cores, DRAM parameters and the GPU using this software.

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 1

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 2

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 3

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 4

Dolphin Emulator

Wrapping up our application benchmark numbers is the Dolphin Emulator benchmark mode results. This is again a test of the CPU capabilities, and the Core i5-4200H comes up short against the Core i7-4770R

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Gaming Benchmarks
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  • Madpacket - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    So an entire review on a gaming PC without mentioning how loud this thing gets while gaming? Really? Reply
  • Sm0kes - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    Yeah, kind of odd that the most obvious question is performance vs. thermal limitations was completely missed.

    Check out Linus Tech Tip's video review of the unit. He goes into some detail on the noise (read: not good) and thermal throttling.
    Reply
  • imaheadcase - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    It should be pretty obvious to come to a conclusion on that without them telling you. Look at power numbers. They even say to look elsewhere if you are looking for better acoustics. Reply
  • wintermute000 - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    Mystified why they don't make these gaming NUCs a little bit bigger. Then they could put bigger, slower fans in there + more airflow. Its not like making this thing an inch wider/longer would bother anyone looking for serious gaming grunt, still would be a relatively small unit. Reply
  • drainplugofideas - Monday, September 15, 2014 - link

    I totally agree. Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - link

    Actually, there's no point. All you need is a mini-ITX motherboard and a GTX760 Mini installed normally, and a Silverstone SFX 450W PSU. Fits PERFECTLY in a 6.7"x6.7"x4.8" box. And it costs wayyy less than this thing, even with an i5-4690 and M.2 SSD 256GB.

    There's no point whatsoever to this whole NUC thing. We already have an SFF standard, it's called mini-ITX. NUC is just more BS to pad Intel's bottom line. If you don't need dedicated graphics, buy mini-ITX with 120W power brick, whole system for under $190.
    Reply
  • johnny_boy - Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - link

    That is the whole point--you need dedicated graphics for gaming on ITX unless you're happy wih something like an AMD A8-7600 at 45W TDP, which is the best iGPU you can get with those thermals. But this brix box smokes a 7600. With dedicated graphics you're looking at a significantly larger case and higher wattage draw even if you go with Maxwell. Reply
  • figus77 - Friday, September 19, 2014 - link

    If you really want play you should no look at any low powered small form factor PC... they simply can't let you play in a decent way... no one in 2014 wants to play at something less than 1920 and they can't do it in 90% of games and you sure had a full hd tv to use with them. With that 900$ you can do a normal gamig machine and an AM1 mini-itx system for TV... both better in their work. Reply
  • Popskalius - Monday, September 22, 2014 - link

    Actually, I have no desire to game at anything higher than 720p... but I've also never gamed at 1080p or higher so take that could mean something. Reply
  • fteoath64 - Friday, October 3, 2014 - link

    Even do water cooling with integrated radiator fins on one side protected by some course stainless steel mess. Sure make it a couple inches wider. It would by more stackable above a HT unit or something .... Reply

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