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 Intel Celeron N3050 turns out to be one of the leaders, with the second pass result going in favor of the AMD A10 Micro-6700T with a much higher TDP.

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. The quad-core CPU-based CompuLab fitlet-XA10-LAN and the Zotac ZBOX CI320 nano score much better than the ECS LIVA Z. The decompression numbers for the dual-core CPU-based systems are all around the same ballpark.

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 Apollo Lake Intel Celeron N3350 does support AES-NI. 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 ECS LIVA-ZN33 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 - in particular, the single-threaded performance plays a major role, and we see the ECS LIVA Z come out on top.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Networking and Storage Performance
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  • Smudgeous - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - link

    I concur. This beats the Fitlet in terms of price by around 50% (especially when you factor in the extended fin heatsink/cover) and the power draw in the 3450 would still be better for comparable performance. This little guy looks like a real gem. Reply
  • Namisecond - Monday, April 3, 2017 - link

    What you save, you lose in capability. The Fitlet models offer up to 4 additional PCIe ethernet ports, Intel i211 IIRC. The Fitlet also seems more purpose-built as a hobbyist network appliance. The Liva Z are more like thin clients where they made an error and stuck on another ethernet port. There are plenty of Bay Trail based network appliance boxes you can pick up on amazon and ebay that come in under the Liva Z's price point, many of them even offer 4 Intel ethernet ports. Reply
  • jaydee - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - link

    Because obviously we all know you were commenting a different model than the one reviewed here, without mentioning it... Reply
  • nathanddrews - Friday, March 31, 2017 - link

    IKR? Reply
  • Holliday75 - Friday, March 31, 2017 - link

    Lets just start leaving random review comments in other articles and then berating people who not knowing what product we are talking about. Reply
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Friday, March 31, 2017 - link

    >The LIVA Z comes in three variants,corresponding to the three members of the Apollo Lake mobile SoC family (6W TDP) - the Pentium N4200, or the _Celeron N3450_, or the Celeron N3350. Our review sample, the LIVA-ZN33 is based on the Intel Celeron N3350.

    If I were state that "it's great that this phone can be equipped with 128GB of storage" in a review about a Samsung Galaxy phone, where in particular the 64GB model was reviewed, my comment would still be

    1) Relevant.
    2) Obvious given that all electronics products get launched with different configurations.

    Responding back that "Hey, this phone has 64GB of storage" is neither enlightening nor relevant to someone commenting that a product can be equipped with 128GB of storage if one chooses to purchase that particular SKU.

    The proper way to respond back if you didn't realize that would be "Oh, gotcha!" or "Yeah, that's an interesting point!" rather than pushing the blame back to me, as if I'm somehow at any fault of you not understanding that there are different SKUs of this particular model available.
    Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - link

    And it even supports AES-NI -- which I rely on because I make very heavy use of OpenVPN. I have been able to saturate my 300Mbit connection on a reasonably slow processor (albeit faster than this) with AES-NI -- I doubt I would even get close without it -- especially on an Atom. Reply
  • mckirkus - Friday, March 31, 2017 - link

    Torn between this and an Asrock dual Intel LAN mini-itx build with a low power i3. The i3 will get you hardware encryption but it's probably ridiculous overkill for most. Reply
  • huhn - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - link

    what's the point of the refresh rate test?
    i know intel was using the wrong math for 23p years ago but that doesn't mean a perfect 24 hz for 24p is any good.

    the display refreshrate in madVR is calculated from the system clock and the GPU clock (pretty obvious that it is using the same clock generator for both) but that not important for perfect playback.
    for perfect playback a GPU clock that is close to the audio clock is needed without frame drops or repeats and this look pretty bad on this system. 16 mins is not good at all.

    the clock deviation is relative high and the drop/repeat every X mins is pretty low on the screen screen.
    for better judgment a video should be played for 10 min+ and the audio volume should be changed at the start of playback a couple of times to see the real drop/repeat frame every X sec/mins/hours/days.
    the used audio device can play a huge roll in this too.

    but what so ever i don't see any gain from the reported refresh rate it a very unimportant number.
    Reply
  • SquarePeg - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - link

    Everything about the $180 model just screams "Chromebox". Reply

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