BAPCo SYSmark 2018

The Intel NUC9i9QNX (Ghost Canyon) was evaluated using our Fall 2018 test suite for small-form factor PCs. In the first section, we will be looking at SYSmark 2018.

BAPCo's SYSmark 2018 is an application-based benchmark that uses real-world applications to replay usage patterns of business users in the areas of productivity, creativity, and responsiveness. The 'Productivity Scenario' covers office-centric activities including word processing, spreadsheet usage, financial analysis, software development, application installation, file compression, and e-mail management. The 'Creativity Scenario' represents media-centric activities such as digital photo processing, AI and ML for face recognition in photos and videos for the purpose of content creation, etc. The 'Responsiveness Scenario' evaluates the ability of the system to react in a quick manner to user inputs in areas such as application and file launches, web browsing, and multi-tasking.

Scores are meant to be compared against a reference desktop (the SYSmark 2018 calibration system, a Dell Optiplex 5050 tower with a Core i3-7100 and 4GB of DDR4-2133 memory to go with a 128GB M.2 SATA III SSD). The calibration system scores 1000 in each of the scenarios. A score of, say, 2000, would imply that the system under test is twice as fast as the reference system.

SYSmark 2018 - Productivity

SYSmark 2018 - Creativity

SYSmark 2018 - Responsiveness

SYSmark 2018 - Overall

Systems equipped with 65W+ TDP desktop processors get higher scores in most workloads, though only the DeskMini Z370 manages an higher overall rating compared to the NUC9i9QNX. The surprising result is the responsiveness score for the two Ghost Canyon configurations - having the Optane drive talk directly to the CPU without the DMI bottleneck makes the system significantly more responsive.

SYSmark 2018 also adds energy measurement to the mix. A high score in the SYSmark benchmarks might be nice to have, but, potential customers also need to determine the balance between power consumption and the efficiency of the system. For example, in the average office scenario, it might not be worth purchasing a noisy and power-hungry PC just because it ends up with a 2000 score in the SYSmark 2014 SE benchmarks. In order to provide a balanced perspective, SYSmark 2018 also allows vendors and decision makers to track the energy consumption during each workload. In the graphs below, we find the total energy consumed by the PC under test for a single iteration of each SYSmark 2018 workload. For reference, the calibration system consumes 5.36 Wh for productivity, 7.71 Wh for creativity, 5.61 Wh for responsiveness, and 18.68 Wh overall.

SYSmark 2018 - Productivity Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Creativity Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Responsiveness Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Overall Energy Consumption

The NUC9i9QNX is hobbled slightly by the power-hungry Optane drive and high-TDP discrete GPU, making it approach the other desktop CPU-based systems in the list when the overall energy consumption is considered. Compared to a x16 configuration, operating the GPU at x8 results in lowered energy consumption for the SYSmark 2018 workloads.

Setup Notes and Platform Analysis UL Benchmarks - PCMark, 3DMark, and VRMark


View All Comments

  • AdditionalPylons - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    The statement about noise is in the second last paragraph on page 3, here:
    but now that I read it again I realise it was probably without GPU, which naturally adds power draw and noise.
    Ganesh, would it be possible for you to measure the noise with and without the GPU?
  • Spunjji - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    I was interested in this aspect, too. The thermal module on the CPU doesn't look very promising, but the TDP is fairly low... Reply
  • leonlee - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    Thanks for putting this article together. Regarding optimizing for power delivery, what sort of approaches are in the works now? I imagine the low hanging fruit might be encouraging case manufacturers to integrate PSU wiring for space efficiency or aesthetics. Reply
  • cyrusfox - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    Biggest take away I see is at half the lanes, you still have 97% of the GPU performance in terms of frame rates. Thanks for the testing.
    For those looking for pictures, I would recommend Storage reviews write up -
    If you want this in video form, where they specifically talked about noise from the NUC(It is surprisingly quiet even at load), I would say go check out Gamers Nexus video review -
    Thank you Anandtech for getting out your review!
  • Operandi - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    Over priced Intel Junk. I know its trendy to dump on Intel but man this is just poorly designed overpriced garbage and thats too bad because the industry needs new ideas and form factors.

    Instead of the tiny blower heatsink being built into the compute element the cooling aspect should be part of the case. A front mounted 80 or 92mm fan that channels the air across a short heatpipe equipped heatsink, something like what is done in 1 and 2U servers. There could even be different tiers of chassis that would support larger cooling solutions that would support more powerful compute elements and larger GPUs. A design like this would create a new ecosystem with a wide variety or products for different uses and provide a way for partners to differentiate themselves.

    AMD; work with some partners and build this.
  • Deicidium369 - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    The "partners" would rather work on something that would, you know, sell. Reply
  • Korguz - Friday, April 17, 2020 - link

    man you are such an intel fanboy the way you bash AMD. looks like you gave up on the other thread you kept posing in cause the others put too much proof, and you had nothing else left to pro intel BS about. Reply
  • Deicidium369 - Friday, April 17, 2020 - link

    Jimmy, go clean the basement. And you are such an AMD Fanboi.

    FACT - Intel sells 10:1 vs AMD - so do you go for 90% of the market or 10% of the market

    I would BET that I have more and more current AMD systems than you do.
  • Korguz - Friday, April 17, 2020 - link

    your " facts " are BS, just like was pointed out on the toms forums

    " I would BET that I have more and more current AMD systems than you do." and that is supposed to impress me ? or prove something ? who cares your post, regardless of what computers you claim to have, reek with anti AMD and are pro intel.
  • Korguz - Friday, April 17, 2020 - link

    thats why you havent replied to any of the comments on the other thread about the 4900hs review, because your facts are BS, and you know it Reply

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