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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  • Samus - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    Seriously, this is essentially an iGPU. 4K? Be reasonable. It’s actually quite amazing how powerful this is to be able to match a GTX 970 at 1080p and surpass a 980 at lower resolutions.

    Can’t wait to see these in light gaming notebooks. No reason you couldn’t power the system with a 130w PSU, meaning USB-C powered.
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    I had to re-re-read the graphs to comprehend that this IGP is faster than my 3570K/GTX 970 setup. You pay for it, though... Reply
  • WinterCharm - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    To be fair, this is not a traditional IGP. This is a Radeon Vega chip with 24 CUs, 1536 shader units, and 64 ROP's connected to 4GB of HBM2. It's attached to the Intel CPU via 8 PCIE lanes over an interposer, and is two chips + HBM assembled into one unit. Reply
  • Fallen Kell - Friday, April 6, 2018 - link

    Except you are simply much better off just getting an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro at half the price... Reply
  • iter - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    Hey, at least it unlocks performance with a locked CPU ;) Reply
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    This is barely passable at 1080p. For older titles in early dx11 and lower it will be fine, but this isn't a modern gaming box by any stretch of the imagination. I bet it would be close to on par with an original ps4 performance. Reply
  • Drumsticks - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    That's pretty objectively false. In most benchmarks, it is, as the review mentions, slotting between a GTX 960 and GTX 980. Realistically, it's somewhere in the realm of a GTX 970 or a bit less which puts it, again, in the realm of the GTX 1050 Ti to RX 470. Both of those would be significantly more powerful than the PS4 Original.

    Even from a mathematical perspective, 24CUs at up to 1190 MHz vs 18 CUs at 800MHz is pretty self explanatory.
    Reply
  • Cooe - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Are you kidding? This obliterates a base model PS4. It falls behind a GTX 1060 Max Q. Reply
  • Samus - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    Last I checked the PS4 non-Pro has a GPU on par with a 750Ti. This thing is on par with a GTX970. That’s twice as powerful as a 750Ti. Reply
  • HStewart - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Keep in mind - in truth the Kaby Lake G is actually intended for a mobile CPU - in that arena - it very good. Especially that it also intended to be in ultra portable market. Reply

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