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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  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    interesting idea, but for the cash I'd rather get the intel box with iris graphics. $500 is too much for a box o badly hamstrung in the GPU department, especially if the iris kaby lake intel NUCs are around the $500 price. Reply
  • niva - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    Can you please point out where one can find a Kaby Lake Intel NUC with Iris for the same price, or less? We will be eternally grateful! Reply
  • gigahertz20 - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    @niva The new Intel NUC Kaby Lake i7 version will be out end of this month. Right now you can preorder it on several websites. The website below has it for preorder for $521 and on their website it says they are expecting to receive 190 units on March 31st. Here is a link to the page on shopblt.com, http://www.shopblt.com/item/intel-boxnuc7i7bnh-box... Reply
  • gigahertz20 - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    I'm waiting for the new Kaby Lake Intel NUCs. Specifically the NUC7i7BNH model, it's got 2x2 802.11ac WLAN unlike this Gigabyte BRIX and hopefully the fan isn't as loud as this one either. The UEFI Bios is always pretty comprehensive on the Intel NUCs as well. Amazon is selling the i3 version but not the Kaby Lake i7 version yet, I heard sometime from March through May is when the i7 NUC should show up on Amazon/Newegg. If you are looking to buy a UCFF PC, there is no reason I can think of to get this BRIX when the Intel NUC will have it beat plus you get Iris Graphics. It will be a no brainer. Reply
  • CSMR - Saturday, March 18, 2017 - link

    The NUC7i7BNH does look good.

    I think with any powerful machine in such a small form factor you have to mod it if you want it to be quiet.

    The last Iris Pro/Plus device in a similar form factor is the Brix BXi7-5775. I using this, and cut open the top to put a larger quiet fan in. It's great, fast and quiet.
    Reply
  • bill44 - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    "However, GIGABYTE has integrated a LSPCon and ensured that the lack of native support is not a problem for the GB-BKi7HA-7500."

    Unfortunately, LSPCon is a big problem. It's not capable of playing 3D FramePacked material with latest Kodi when HDMI 2.0 is used as output. Requires native HDMI 1.4.
    http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=266316
    Reply
  • mooninite - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    This won't be a problem much longer. 3D TVs are going away. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    I'd argue that televisions in general are on a slow decline as well. Certainly 3D TV was something of a niche/fad that didn't gain the widespread sales it needed to take off in the late 2000's after making its return from the grave. At this point, since TVs are waning anyway as a entertainment source (current models sold are larger, but there are fewer of them per household and the trend seems to point generally downward for the future), 3D variants don't seem like they have a chance of surviving. Though I think it's likely 3D projection will be resurrected yet again in the future and maybe next time around the technology will make it practical, I can't see that happening soon while many of us remember the last flop and would be cynical about another attempt. It is also unlikely to take the form of a conventional consumption device like a television since, by the time it's forgotten and brought back as a new idea, we'll be consuming content differently. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, March 16, 2017 - link

    I have a Samsung 3D tv from 2011, it's gimmicky but still fun for certain movies. At least it has the active shutter glasses (that I feel work better than the filter glasses at theaters that give me a headache) Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Friday, March 17, 2017 - link

    Oh yeah, its cool tech for sure! It just didn't take off like it would have needed to for it to get the broad support it required to survive past more than an iteration or two of hardware from most companies. In fact, with as hard as it fell, I was surprised there were a few products that continued to support some form of 3D like Nintendo's New 3DS even well after it was clear 3D wasn't a thing anymore. Reply

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