Application and Futuremark Performance

Testing the CompuLab Intense PC is almost an academic exercise; mostly we want to make sure the Intel Core i7-3517UE is performing up to snuff and not being thermally throttled. I've hopped a lot of my desktop benchmarks over to the new mobile suite to keep everything lined up, so there isn't a tremendous amount of comparative data here. Still, you should get a pretty good idea of how the Intense PC stacks up against similar low-noise or no-noise boxes.

Futuremark PCMark 7

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R11.5

Unfortunately these are currently the only comparative results I can offer, but they paint a fairly clear picture. Any system running an SSD is going to perform better in PCMark 7, that's a given, and both Puget Systems boxes are operating off of SSDs. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M92 Tiny is a different beast, offering superior CPU performance with its low-wattage quad-core processor.

  Intense PC Dell XPS 12 (i7-3517U)
3DMark (Ice Storm) 24472 32841
3DMark (Cloud Gate) 2997 3721
x264 HD 5.x Pass 1 21.69 29.83
x264 HD 5.x Pass 2 4.19 5.51

Above are the remaining benchmark results compared against Dell's XPS 12 ultrabook featuring the non-embedded Intel Core i7-3517U. It doesn't look good. While actual core temperatures for the Intense PC are pretty good, I suspect the embedded CPU is throttling more, and/or the BIOS for the Intense PC is keeping the chip from hitting higher thermals. Since the chassis is one big heatsink, the CPU would need to be kept under a certain temperature to avoid actually burning anyone who chooses to use the system. Performance isn't bad, but we're clearly looking at about 20% of the i7-3517U's potential left on the table.

Update: The embedded i7-3517UE actually has a nominal clock of 200MHz less than the standard i7-3517U, so the Intense PC's performance is actually pretty close to where it should be.

Introducing the CompuLab Intense PC User Experience, Power Consumption, and Heat
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  • SteelCity1981 - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    for that much and it doesn't ship with a 256 or even a 128 SSD? yeah that's more then a bitter pill to swallow.
  • sylvez - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    They should make it watertight at the back so u can dip it into a shallow pail of water
  • fteoath64 - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    Great board with excellent ports layout and diversity but design-wise, why could they not make a copper based convection fins with heat-pipes going from CPU/chipset to the back of the metal casing. It would give this a wickedly stylish look rather than cylinder head block look and surface temperatures so high, it becomes hard to touch!. Some minor design changes can make this a great device for many uses ...
  • crashtech - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    Taller/more fins might have helped. You'd think a design aimed at industrial applications would put functionality over aesthetics.
  • Souka - Sunday, April 21, 2013 - link

    One thing missing in the design... a cutout for my coffee cup!
    if it had that, I'd get one.

    Co-worker: "Hey, that's a really spiffy looking cup warmer!"
    me: "Yep... and it's also my computer!"
    me: "Dang, coffee isn't warm enough... time to run some SETI for a few mins"

  • Death666Angel - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    +1! :D
  • coolhund - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    The biggest problem I have with those small barebones is always the lack of enough USB ports.
    I need at least 10, more like 12 and an USB Hub is not an option because of bandwidth and stability issues.
  • Solandri - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    If you still have the review unit, see if the exterior temps get too hot to touch with a low-power fan blowing over it. Yes I know it defeats the purpose of a fanless system, but I ran into the same thing while recovering files from dismounted hard drives. If I ran them just sitting there, they got over 50 C within a half hour and stopped working (one hit 60 C according to its SMART log and has never been the same since).

    I bought a HDD cage to mount them in which came with I'm guessing a 500-700 RPM fan. It's dead silent, and you can barely feel any airflow even if you put your hand right next to it. But apparently that tiny bit of airflow is enough to keep the drives below 40 C.

    So I'm guessing you don't actually need much forced airflow over this to keep the exterior temps at a comfortable level. If you can mount it somewhere where it gets that airflow naturally, whether from an open window or a HVAC vent, the exterior temperature may be much cooler.
  • Googer - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    Several companies are selling this same exact kit.
  • CalaverasGrande - Monday, April 22, 2013 - link

    Who else want's to mount one in their car?

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