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 Intel NUC8i7HVK (Hades Canyon). 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. Since our review configuration came with two different drives in the M.2 slots, we processed the storage benchmark on both of them. The 800p performs as good as the OCZ RD400 despite its PCIe 3.0 x2 connection (compared to the RD400's PCIe 3.0 x4). However, it is not as good as the Samsung 960 PRO in the Skull Canyon NUC (though it must be remembered that the Skull Canyon number below has not been updated for the Meltdown / Spectre patch's effects, while the Optane drive is being benched in a fully patched system).

Futuremark PCMark 8 Storage Bench - Score

Futuremark PCMark 8 Storage Bench - Bandwidth

The travails of the 3D TLC-based 545s are evident in the storage bandwidth number above.

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. It must be noted that all PCs other than the ZBOX EN1080K, EK71080, and the NUC8i7HVK were tested in an older lab environment with a different orientation for the client and the router.

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)

Despite its 2x2 nature, the performance of the WLAN card is only slightly better than the 1x1 AC3165 in the ZOX MAGNUS EK71080. The absence of external antennae could be a possible reason.

Gaming Notebooks Compared 4K HTPC Credentials
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  • M9 - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    No, just saying I don't have as much electricity available as a typical house or apartment. Reply
  • HStewart - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Just FYI, I was able to purchase a new Dell XPS 15 2in1 but my cost was quite expensive - almost $2500.

    But I purchase the i7 4K version with 512G SSD. - the base i5 version was $1499 not $1299. I guess after CES 2018, Dell decided to jack the price up.

    I was happy to see the 3D rendering performance high on this NUC - even though my plan is using the following applications
    1. Lightwave 3D 2018
    2. Photoshop CS 5 ( yes older version - don't care for new stuff )
    3. Painter 2018 ( new to it )

    I am suppose to get it around 18th of April - I can retry my Lenovo Y50 as my primary machine.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    I just like it for its integrated GPU which is a sign of good things to come.

    In the future, I just want to see more power from this setup. We'd see motherboards with a 6 or 8 pin connector for providing power to a more powerful GPU. Large coolers will be relevant again.

    For AMD, I'd like to see them make a similar setup but with the HBM memory accessible for both the CPU and GPU.
    Reply
  • What would Jesus Do? - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    Test comment test!!! Reply
  • santiagodraco - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    Can't play back UHD Blu-Ray? Wow. Intel you just lost a significant portion of the potential market for this pos. Why would anyone in their right minds buy this over say an Nvidia Shield, or hell a Shield + an Xbox X + a PS4 Pro... for the same money or less.

    Time to fire some folks in management.
    Reply
  • santiagodraco - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    Not to mention the price once you add an SSD and memory. My god, what are they thinking? This thing is an utter joke! You could build a far far better system without much more of a footprint than this hunk of junk, for less. Just mind boggling. I thought that after the fiasco with the original Skull Canyon that Intel would have learned something... but instead they went backwards. I can hear them now "Let's make it less capable and cost 1/3 to 2x more than the previous version....people will love it!" Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    The hilarious thing is AMD’s Raven Ridge, which has Video Core Next (unlike its other Vega brethren), can properly decode UHD Blu-ray content and VP9 with fixed function decoding. Excluding gaming, AMD did end up giving Intel the second-rate goods after all. I am using a 2400G in a Streacom FC8 and VCN’s decoding quality is such a revelation that I now strictly use MadVR for UHD Blu-ray and HDR->SDR conversion. Reply
  • medi03 - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    And the reason not include 1060 / 1050 in the benchmarks is? Reply
  • bill44 - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    What a mess.
    Who can recommend a HTPC I can purchase or build that supports the following:

    Stereo 3D - BD 3D ISO frame packed support (without issues) over HDMI 2.x (before you reply, please red Intel's official reply from this thread https://communities.intel.com/thread/112109?start=...

    HDMI 2.x output that supports 176.4KHz, 88.2KHz as well was the usual 44KHz & 192KHz without resampling. As far as I know, NVidia can't do it. Reviews of GPUs do not include AUDIO specification or AUDIO testing anymore, only GAME GAME GAME!
    Apart from picture/movie/streaming, I would like to use my HTPC to play Hi-Res music back without resampling.

    UHD-BD playback - requires protected video/audio path, SGX, firmware & software support etc.

    That's it. Just 3 requirements. Intel iGPU is out, NVidia is out, maybe AMD?
    Reply
  • bill44 - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    Just one more thing: Displayport 1.2 only? I thought AMD supports 1.3/1.4. Reply

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