Benchmark Processing and Sensitivity Analysis

The PCMark 10 Extended benchmark was processed on a wide range of systems based on Skylake / Kaby Lake (since those were the ones that we had readily available). These ranged from a high-end gaming notebook to a passively-cooled mini-PC. The following list includes the main specifications of the systems.

  1. High-end Gaming Notebook: Razer Blade Pro 2016 (Razer BP16)
    • Intel Core i7-6700HQ, NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB, 32GB LPDDR4, 2x Samsung PM961 1TB
  2. High-end mini-PC: Intel Skull Canyon NUC (Intel NUC6i7KYK)
    • Intel Core i7-6770HQ, Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 32GB LPDDR4, 1x Samsung 950 PRO 512GB
  3. Mid-range mini-PC: ECS LIVA Z Plus (ECS LIVA ZP)
    • Intel Core i5-7300U, Intel HD Graphics 620, 4GB LPDDR4, 1x Transcend MTS400 128GB
  4. Passively-cooled mini-PC: Zotac ZBOX CI523 nano (Zotac CI523n)
    • Intel Core i3-6100U, Intel HD Graphics 520, 16GB DDR3L, 1x Samsung SSD 840 EVO 128GB
  5. Mid-range Desktop PC: AnandTech's DAS Testbed (GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH with Core i5-6600K) (SKL DAS TB)
    • Intel Core i5-6600K, Intel HD Graphics 530, 32GB DDR4, 1x Samsung SSD SM951 256GB

PCMark 10 Extended Score
PCMark 10 Essentials Score
PCMark 10 Productivity Score
PCMark 10 Gaming Score
PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation Score

Sensitivity analysis was performed for three different aspects:

  • Display resolution
  • DRAM configuration
  • Windows 10 Power Profile setting

In order to test out the sensitivity of the scores to the display resolution, we chose the Razer Blade Pro 2016 as the test system. One of the interesting aspects with DPI scaling is that PCMark 10 reports the effective resolution. For example, with the Razer Blade Pro set to 175% scaling, the 4K screen was recorded as 2194 x 1234 px. We ran the PCMark 10 Extended benchmark at that resolution, and also with the DPI scaling set to 100% (for a 3840 x 2160 resolution). In addition, we also drove a 1080p monitor over the HDMI port and set it as the sole display before processing the benchmark. The results below show that resolutions of 1080p and above all result in no significant differences in the PCMark 10 scores. That said, having DPI scaling activated seems to affect the scores negatively by a small amount.

PCMark 10 Extended Score
PCMark 10 Essentials Score
PCMark 10 Productivity Score
PCMark 10 Gaming Score
PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation Score

In order to test out the sensitivity of the scores to the DRAM configuration, we chose the Intel Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) as the test system. Our default configuration was with 2x 16GB DDR4 SODIMMs. We repeated the tests with only one slot occupied (1x 16GB) and with both slots occupied by 8GB SODIMMs 2x 8GB). The results below show that the performance (particularly for workloads utilizing the GPU) suffers a bit when one slot is unoccupied, but, there is no significant difference in the scores when moving from 16GB to 32GB of memory.

PCMark 10 Extended Score
PCMark 10 Essentials Score
PCMark 10 Productivity Score
PCMark 10 Gaming Score
PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation Score

Our final sensitivity analysis test looks at how the scores vary with changes in the Windows power plan. For this purpose, we chose our desktop PC (AnandTech DAS Testbed) with the Core i5-6600K in the GIGABYTE Z170X-UD5 TH motherboard. Depending on the system, Winows provides a collection of hardware and software settings under various power profiles. Systems usually default to the balanced profile. We ran the PCMark 10 Extended benchmark with the power profile set to 'High performance' and 'Power saver' also. As the results below show, it is very important to ensure that the power profile is consistent across different systems whose scores are going to be compared.

PCMark 10 Extended Score
PCMark 10 Essentials Score
PCMark 10 Productivity Score
PCMark 10 Gaming Score
PCMark 10 Digital Content Creation Score

Introduction and Evaluation Setup Concluding Remarks
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  • aprilrussell - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 - link

    I think HVEC is not used because it is not supported on Windows 7 by the OS.
    Visit: http://fivenightsat-freddys.com
    Reply
  • Draven31 - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    So what is the video editing software? looks like it certainly isn't something GPU- accelerated... what resolution video? what bit depth? what codec? what data rate? these can make massive differences.

    Of course, other sites will just use it sight unseen...
    Reply
  • FMJarnis - Thursday, June 22, 2017 - link

    PCMark 10 technical guide covers all that:

    https://www.futuremark.com/downloads/pcmark10-tech...

    Uses FFMPeg. It is GPU accelerated if your system has GPU acceleration support for Windows Media Foundation. It uses Intel QuickSync if it is present and driver supports it. A part of it also uses OpenCL which is GPU accelerated if system supports that. See Page 57 of the technical guide for full details.
    Reply
  • ET - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    Why is the gaming score lower for the high performance profile? That's counter-intuitive, and goes against all the other tests. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    The DAS test bench uses a 6600K with IGP, not a discrete GPU. My guess is that it ended up being thermally constrained (throttled) when left on performance mode. Now if they used a discrete GPU, it would likely be the fastest mode. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - link

    To be clear - the IGP heats up the die package more than when the CPU alone is working.
    Link to the DAS test bed:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10057/samsung-portab...
    Reply
  • JohnLinc - Monday, June 12, 2017 - link

    thisistotesthedelayforweb Reply
  • Joe Shmoe - Saturday, August 19, 2017 - link

    Entire article is laid out as a confusing mess.
    There is no 'Constant' to keep the reader centered (who knows the capabilities/ difference between any of these machines, unless they own at least 3, for Cheeses sake?)
    On top of that the machines(who?) move position in the graphs..
    I thought the point of this exercise was to show how this tool may be of comparable use, but without a reference to a known machine running pc mark 8 (and scores to compare) this article may as well be about the mating habits of a newly discovered sewer bred crocodile.
    Reply

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