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 Core i7-7500U helps the BRIX come out on top in both passes.

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 can accelerate the encryption and decryption processes. The Core i7-7500U has AES-NI support. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of this. 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-BKi7HA-7500 and how it would compare with other select PCs. This is a purely CPU feature / clock speed based test. Note that the BRIX can operate at a higher power level for a longer duration compared to other Kaby Lake UCFF PCs. That explains why the Cubi2-005B comes behind the GB-BKi7HA-7500 in this test despite sporting the same processor.

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.

Workloads that stress the CPU for long durations like Photoscan lower the effectiveness of the BRIX configuration. While the initial higher power budget helps the BRIX come out on top in the first three stages, we find that the MSI Cubi2-005B catches up in Stage 4 and starts delivering similar performance.

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, and the BRIX easily comes out on top amongst the considered PCs.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Networking and Storage Performance
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  • peterfares - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    The Mac Mini is quite a bit larger than these things, that's how the power supply is integrated. That said, I do prefer the Mac Mini's form-factor more. I would take a larger box and have the power supply integrated, I've always hated external power supplies. Especially in monitors - I now only buy monitors with built in power supplies. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, March 20, 2017 - link

    OTOH, external is a heck of a lot easier to replace when it goes bad. And easier to get replacements, as third parties will make externals, but not proprietary internals. Reply
  • capedave - Friday, March 17, 2017 - link

    Power brick never bothers me, as long as it is QUALITY. Better slower quieter more powerful fans? Hell yes! Reply
  • geok1ng - Friday, March 17, 2017 - link

    i have a hard time trying to understand the market niche for such products. they cost between a chinese 2in1 and an ultrabook, without offering many advantages over either. a SFF PC with a pentium G4560 would cost a fraction of it, while having a slightly bigger footprint. The way i see it, one either picks a performance king, like the 7267U, a budget king like the G4560, or a power sipper like the 7Y57. I fail to understand why choose a 15w SKU that does not perform when you have 3 alternatives that either cost much less, draw much less power or deliver much better graphics performance. Reply
  • kaidenshi - Sunday, March 19, 2017 - link

    "a SFF PC with a pentium G4560 would cost a fraction of it, while having a slightly bigger footprint."

    Indeed, my main workstation is a Skylake G4500 and it's more than fast enough. It's in a mid tower case but I could switch to a mini-ITX board and case, keeping the rest of my components, and have something 1/4 the size with the same power. Having it in a Brix/NUC format would be even better since I don't play AAA games and have no need for a discrete GPU.

    I guess we don't see Pentium Gxxxx in SFF PCs because there's really no profit margin for those CPUs.
    Reply
  • capedave - Friday, March 17, 2017 - link

    A shame that more noise analysis is not mandatory in computer reviews. From what tiny amount of information exists, I am thinking it is too loud for me. Decibels? Who knows? Reply
  • awehring - Friday, March 17, 2017 - link

    +1

    no, +1000
    Reply
  • Sailor23M - Sunday, March 19, 2017 - link

    Was really looking for the comparison against the Intel Skull Canyon NUC Reply
  • 1_rick - Saturday, April 15, 2017 - link

    I suspect it doesn't compare to the Skull Canyon. No Iris and only has half the cores. Reply
  • DroidTomTom - Saturday, April 1, 2017 - link

    The NUC market is one area where more competition is needed. Same price as a similarly equipped laptop minus monitor, speakers, web cam, keyboard, and mouse. I really hope Ryzen can make a huge dent in this area. Reply

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