System Performance: UL and BAPCo Benchmarks

Our 2022 Q4 update to the test suite for Windows 11-based systems carries over some of the standard benchmarks we have been using over the last several years, including UL's PCMark. New additions include BAPCo's CrossMark multi-platform benchmarking tool, as well as UL's Procyon benchmark suite. BPACo recently updated their SYSmark benchmark suite - while operational at a basic level, it is missing key features such as energy consumption measurement. We will start including SYSmark 30 once the open issues are resolved.

UL PCMark 10

UL's PCMark 10 evaluates computing systems for various usage scenarios (generic / essential tasks such as web browsing and starting up applications, productivity tasks such as editing spreadsheets and documents, gaming, and digital content creation). We benchmarked select PCs with the PCMark 10 Extended profile and recorded the scores for various scenarios. These scores are heavily influenced by the CPU and GPU in the system, though the RAM and storage device also play a part. The power plan was set to Balanced for all the PCs while processing the PCMark 10 benchmark. The scores for each contributing component / use-case environment are also graphed below.

UL PCMark 10 - Performance Scores

The Ryzen 7 5800U has a significant lead in the productivity workload, and is only beat narrowly in the Essentials and Digital Content Creation segments. It is only thanks to the performance of Iris Xe Graphics that the two actively-cooled Wall Street Canyon NUCs come out on top overall. The Bleu Jour Meta 12 ends up getting thermally throttled and makes up the rear end of the pack.

UL Procyon v2.1.544

PCMark 10 utilizes open-source software such as Libre Office and GIMP to evaluate system performance. However, many of their professional benchmark customers have been requesting evaluation with commonly-used commercial software such as Microsoft Office and Adobe applications. In order to serve their needs, UL introduced the Procyon benchmark in late 2020. There are five benchmark categories currently - Office Productivity, AI Inference, Battery Life, Photo Editing, and Video Editing. AI Inference benchmarks are available only for Android devices, while the battery life benchmark is applicable to Windows devices such as notebooks and tablets. We presents results from our processing of the other three benchmarks.

UL Procyon - Office Productivity Scores

The actively-cooled NUC 12 Pro kits come out on top, as expected. The ASRock BOX-1260P follows a bit behind, possibly due to the 28W PL1 configuration compared to the NUC 12 Pro's 40W number.

The NUC 12 Pro kits come out as the best bet for energy efficiency with respect to the MS Office workloads. By getting done with the workloads faster, the effect of the higher PL1 numbers don't translate to higher energy consumption. The Bleu Jour Meta 12 is slow to get the job done, but it is also quite power efficient (no fan, for instance) leading to lower energy consumption.

Moving on to the evaluation of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, we find the same pattern. The 40W PL1 of the NUC 12 Pro kits put it on top, but the thermal throttling in the Bleu Jour Meta 12 pushes it towards the bottom with performance closer to a Tiger Lake i5 NUC.

UL Procyon - Photo Editing

On the energy consumption front, the actively-cooled kits don't fare well. They get the job done fast, but end up consuming loads of power in the process.

UL Procyon evaluates performance for video editing using Adobe Premier Pro.

UL Procyon - Photo Editing

The top spot is very closely contested, with the differences being within the margin for run-to-run variations. The Ryzen 7 5800U and the actively-cooled NUC 12 Pro kits provide end users with very similar performance, but the Ryzen 7 5800U is more power efficient and consumes lesser amount of energy overall.

BAPCo CrossMark

BAPCo's CrossMark aims to simplify benchmark processing while still delivering scores that roughly tally with SYSmark. The main advantage is the cross-platform nature of the tool - allowing it to be run on smartphones and tablets as well.

BAPCo CrossMark - Sub-Category Scores

CrossMark springs a bit of a surprise - despite the lower PL1 number, the Core i7-1260P in the ASRock Industrial NUC BOX-1260P manages to handily surpass all other systems including the actively-cooled NUC 12 Pro kits. Other than that, we see the benchmark favoring the Intel systems.

Setup Notes and Platform Analysis System Performance: Miscellaneous Workloads
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  • dontlistentome - Thursday, January 26, 2023 - link

    There's quite a few discounts floating around for the 11th gen at the moment, so probably a better bet for many users.

    As ever Intel send the i7 - i've been looking at the i3-1220p version - effectively the i5-1235u - 2x P plus 8x E cores should be better thermals, still great peak performance and should live nicely in an Akasa Turing case fanless. Only frustration is there onlyseems to be about £40 between the i3 and i5.

    I think if you're using these as a desktop the Dell/HP/Lenovo micro desktops are a better bet - bigger for better cooling so should be quieter.
  • 1_rick - Thursday, January 26, 2023 - link

    I've been using a Beelink SEI12 for a couple of weeks, the 1235U version, and it's pretty impressive, all things considered. I did notice that out of the box it will tend to be power limited to keep the fan noise reasonable: Prime95 settles in very quickly to a speed of around 2500MHz for the P cores and 100MHz slower for the E cores. But if you're doing anything that isn't that computationally intensive, it feels plenty snappy, especially compared to, say, a 5yo Dell Latitude (even when that was new). Surprisingly, it'll even play Minecraft (unmodded) pretty well.
  • dontlistentome - Friday, January 27, 2023 - link

    Nice. I've got an i7-1260p thinkpad from work and it's a furnace that thermally throttles constantly. I don't need 4 fat cores for a box that will be running pretty gentle server services (basic file-sharing, MySQL for Kodi, Roon, Home Assistant etc) two can handle the peaks with the E cores humming away in the background. I may just go for an 8 E core i3-300N box if they appear soon.
  • nandnandnand - Friday, January 27, 2023 - link

    It might be worth it to go to 1215U or 1235U instead depending on the use case. Alder Lake-N drops a memory channel, supports only 16 GB memory, and drops many of the PCIe lanes. If the specs on ARK are accurate. Even the weird Intel Processor U300 might be better.
  • diamondsw - Thursday, January 26, 2023 - link

    Given the recent introduction of the M2 Mac Mini, it would be very interesting to see how Intel's small form factor integrated system compares to Apple's. We haven't seen much head-to-head between Intel and Apple Silicon in a while, and a lot has changed (more for Intel than Apple). I imagine performance and power consumption would be closer these days.
  • timecop1818 - Thursday, January 26, 2023 - link

    What do you need to compare? The NUC runs a real OS and can actually be used for serious work, while the apple offering can only scroll Facebook and Instagram but at 120Hz
  • Grabo - Thursday, January 26, 2023 - link

    While "a real OS" and "serious work" makes your comment harder to take seriously you have a point in that the Nuc can run any OS (except perhaps macOS) whereas the Macmini is closely associated with MacOS (I hope Asahi gets to where it wants to go and enables Linux on Apple's arm implementation). I have little doubt the Macmini is the more power efficient machine, especially the M2. (Am currently writing this on a NUC12WSHi5. It works pretty well but don't force it to do 120Hz and play youtube videos. I kind of wish more reviewers would mention the NUC fan. Even at "quiet" it behaves like the small fan that it is, sudden jumps to 100% fan noise as the CPU or GPU load suddenly increases)
  • Kuhar - Friday, January 27, 2023 - link

    I agree with you 100% - both on comment about Apple and NUC. The problem with those NUC fans is IMHO their coolers arent big enough (not enough mass - same problem with most laptops) so the fan starts every time even for relatively small temperature increase. And the fan curve isnt to my liking aswell - i would prefer if fan would spin constantly with lower RPMs than to start/stop all the time.
  • max - Friday, February 3, 2023 - link

    Because it'll be interesting. That's why. Mabye not for the wintel-fanboys like You, which need couple of years to grow up. MacOS i very powerful OS, and Apple hardware is the best in its class. I agree, maybye not for kids like you, so don't bother. Nobody cares what is your opinion.
  • erotomania - Thursday, January 26, 2023 - link

    Thanks Ganesh!

    $167 for a 100 MHz clock bump (1260P -> 1270P). Anything else included with that? I looked and could not find.

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