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 i5-4200H and i7-4770R equipped PCs are ahead of the BXi7-4500 due to the reasons cited in the previous section.

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 1

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 2

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 GB-BXi7-4500 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. Interestingly, between the i5-4250U and the i7-4500U, this workload doesn't seem to deviate much in performance.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Networking & Storage Performance
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  • dakishimesan - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    One other thing – even though the Mac Mini is 7.5 in.² as opposed to the 4.5 in.² of this computer, the Mac Mini has an integrated power supply. Reply
  • Samus - Friday, October 10, 2014 - link

    I do agree the mobile i7 is a waste of money. It always has been. It's super shady how Intel promotes their ultramobile i5 and i7; they're nothing like their desktop equivalent.

    It's funny that Baytrail is the only true quad-core (physical) ultramobile CPU Intel has.
    Reply
  • dakishimesan - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    Over the last couple of years, the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) has emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC marker. Reply
  • dgingeri - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    Most importantly: can it run WoW and STO at a decent framerate? Reply
  • Wilco1 - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    So how is it possible for a CPU with a claimed 15W TDP to use 30W extra from idle to full load??? Reply
  • MrCommunistGen - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    I assume there are a number of factors involved. In no particular order:

    1. Power measurements are at the wall so we're accounting for PSU efficiency as well
    2. With Intel's Turbo, as long as the thermals aren't out of control, the CPU can exceed its TDP
    3. The CPU isn't the only component that can draw more power when the system is under heavy load. The obvious component that comes to mind is the system fan. In a system with power consumption this low, fan power draw becomes relevant.
    Reply
  • MrCommunistGen - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    I meant to explicitly state that I did not intend for my 3 bullet points to be taken as an exhaustive list...

    Mentally ballparking the numbers, these factors seemed to add up well enough to account for the extra 15W over TDP. My thought process basically stopped there.
    Reply
  • Wilco1 - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    You're right there are other aspects besides the CPU but eg. the D542050WYKH also has a CPU with a claimed 15W TDP and it also has a fan, memory, turbo, power supply inefficiencies etc, and yet it manages to use 10W less. So how do you explain the difference? Reply
  • mmaenpaa - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    It would be nice to see review of GB-BXA8-5545 with the same components. I believe the barebones version (no memory & no SSD) is about 250$.

    http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx...

    Markku
    Reply
  • bleomycin - Thursday, October 9, 2014 - link

    Maybe I missed it but there was no mention of fan noise or bios fan control options? I have a 2nd generation i5 brix and would never buy one again due to the non-existent bios fan controls. I have to use speedfan under windows or fancontrol under linux to keep this thing within reasonable audible limits just for running xbmc. My nuc systems handle all of that just fine in the bios. Reply

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