Networking and Storage Performance

Networking and storage are two major aspects which influence our experience with any computing system. This section presents results from our evaluation of these aspects in the ECS LIVA-ZN33. On the storage side, one option would be repetition of our strenuous SSD review tests on the drive(s) in the PC. Fortunately, to avoid that overkill, PCMark 8 has a storage bench where certain common workloads such as loading games and document processing are replayed on the target drive. Results are presented in two forms, one being a benchmark number and the other, a bandwidth figure. We ran the PCMark 8 storage bench on selected PCs and the results are presented below. Note that these benchmarks were run with the SSD as the primary drive andthe eMMC mounted as a secondary drive. PCMark 8 allows specification of the logical drive for benchmarking. The storage workload was run twice (once for the SSD and once for the eMMC partitions). Both results are presented in the graphs below.

Futuremark PCMark 8 Storage Bench - Score

Futuremark PCMark 8 Storage Bench - Bandwidth

As expected, eMMC performance can't obviously match up to the SSD. However, as the storage subsystem score shows, the difference is not acute for light home / office use.

We also ran CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 x64 in the eMMC-only configuration to get some best-case numbers for different artificial workloads.

On the networking side, we restricted ourselves to the evaluation of the WLAN component. Our standard test router is the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk configured with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. The router is placed approximately 20 ft. away, separated by a drywall (as in a typical US building). A wired client is connected to the R7000 and serves as one endpoint for iperf evaluation. The PC under test is made to connect to either the 5 GHz (preferred) or 2.4 GHz SSID and iperf tests are conducted for both TCP and UDP transfers. It is ensured that the PC under test is the only wireless client for the Netgear R7000. We evaluate total throughput for up to 32 simultaneous TCP connections using iperf and present the highest number in the graph below.

Wi-Fi TCP Throughput

In the UDP case, we try to transfer data at the highest rate possible for which we get less than 1% packet loss.

Wi-Fi UDP Throughput (< 1% Packet Loss)

All the considered PCs use a 1x1 WLAN configuration. The Intel AC3165 performs up to its potential and the antenna placement / plastic chassis ensures that the bandwidth numbers for the ECS LIVA Z are quite good compared to the other systems in the comparison list.

Performance Metrics - II HTPC Credentials


View All Comments

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • SquarePeg - Thursday, March 30, 2017 - link

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

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