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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  • cacnoff - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    I see that it can play back netflix 4k HDR?

    Does this make Intel the first Radeon GPU implementation to handle Playready 3.0?
    Reply
  • patrickjp93 - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Actually that's handled by the iGPU on Kaby Lake. Vega is not PlayReady 3.0-capable. Reply
  • ganeshts - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    On traditional KBL systems, you are right about iGPU handling PlayReady 3.0 video decoding.

    On the Hades Canyon, it appears that the Vega GPU is handling it. I have updated the '4K HTPC Credentials' section with the appropriate text after capturing the screenshot below:

    https://images.anandtech.com/doci/12572/Netflix-GP...
    Reply
  • gigahertz20 - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    I've built two Intel NUC's for family members in the past couple of years and they love them. Fast, quiet and so far reliable. They don't game at all which is why I convinced them to buy them. I'm not sure if this NUC is going to be popular at all though at $1,000 barebones. Who is going to buy it? The gaming performance of this NUC is nothing special, gamers and enthusiasts are going to stick with desktops, alot of people are just waiting for the cryptocurrency craze to die down so we can get video cards at decent prices again. If that takes another year or 2 so be it.

    Your average person that just needs an office computer won't buy this at $1k, you can get a much cheaper NUC and throw in a SSD and that will work fine. Why pay a premium for a cute little powerful box, if you want small and portable you can get a laptop for cheaper. If they would have priced this at $600 barebones it would have been much more appealing to your average user that might want to play the occasional game at 1080P.
    Reply
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    Nuc's have always been geared as thing clients for businesses. It's a niche market that pretty much just wants reliability and 'good enough' performance. I don't see many people loading up on the $1700 version like we see here, but Intel will get good sales from the lowest tier when ordered by the hundreds for large companies. Reply
  • Sailor23M - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    I bought the Skull Canyon version last year at a good discount on newegg. I am very happy with it and intel’s support (for at least the skull canyon) has been great with a dedicated website and easy to find updates, firmware and drivers. I have it mounted behind my monitor and use it as my main PC. I’m sure that although the retail price on these is $999, you will be able to find it for much less in a few months time. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    For the love of god Ganesh, please, PLEASE give us proper teardowns of the units you review. That means taking the damh things apart and showing us what all the bits look like, NOT just removing the lid that allows you to access the user-upgradable bits. Reply
  • Crazyeyeskillah - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    Why do you need a tear down of this product? Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    I don't "need" it, but a review should attempt to be as thorough as possible, and for hardware that means showing as much of the system as possible. Reply
  • cfenton - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    Usually review units are on loan from the manufacturer. They aren't typically too keen on reviewers tearing them apart before returning them. Reply

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