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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  • bill44 - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    As far as I know, no Intel NUC with HDMI 2.x can deal with frame packed 3D ISO.

    As the Hades Canyon uses AMD GPU's HDMI 2.x output, it may be able to. Can someone test this?
    Reply
  • nul0b - Thursday, March 29, 2018 - link

    Can Linux run on this? Ubuntu? Is their driver support?
    I can run Ubuntu on my current NUC but was wondering w/ this new Vega GPU if it can run Linux? Any benchmarks or info? Please begin providing this.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Um, yeah. Look before you leap, on this one. Definitely don't just assume it'll work, because AMD still seems to be running behind on getting support for their GPUs into the mainline kernel.

    Maybe, with proprietary drivers, on Ubuntu 18.04?
    Reply
  • npz - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    > We can actually see that the codec support from the Intel side is miles ahead of the Radeon's capabilities. It is therefore a pity that users can't somehow set a global option to make all video decoding and related identification rely on the integrated GPU.

    > Intel originally claimed at the launch of the Hades Canyon NUCs that they would be able to play back UltraHD Blu-rays. The UHD BD Advisor tool from CyberLink, however, presented a different story.

    > After a bit of back and forth with Intel, it appears that the Hades Canyon NUCs will not be able to play back UHD Blu-rays. Apparently, the use of the Protected Audio Video Path (PAVP) in the integrated GPU is possible only if the display is also being driven by the same GPU. It turned out to be quite disappointing, particularly after Intel's promotion of UHD Blu-ray playback and PAVP as unique differentiating features of the Kaby Lake GPU.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Saw your reply from the Zotac article Ganesh. Yeah, you're right I am flabbergasted. This is freaking unbelieveable considering it's Intel and they have a perfectly viable separate HD 630 that's better in media decode and they leave it mostly inaccessible.

    Hard to fathom why they even disable Intel ME when low end NUCs have it.
    Reply
  • Lolimaster - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    I wouldn't call Prime95+Furmark a load test, it's totally unrealistic.

    How about giving it a BF1 run + HEVC reproducing on MPC or a CB15 run?
    Reply
  • Lolimaster - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Specially for gpu's, you'll never get that kind of load during a game session. Reply
  • ganeshts - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Yes, that is for sure - we adopt a power virus test to determine the suitability of the thermal solution of the system. The AIDA stress test, on the other hand, is more realistic - we have graphs for both, so that readers can understand and interpret the behavior under both scenarios. Reply
  • Trixanity - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    I believe that hardware acceleration is broken in VLC on Vega. It should be fixed in 3.0.2 which seems to have been delayed to iron out a lot of bugs that has plagued the 3.0 release. Reply
  • M9 - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    Hi, I'm pretty much a novice seeking advice, i find this interesting for a small computer for my 5th wheel camper. Electrial needs may be an issue? The unit has 50 amp service, but many campgrounds only provide 30 amps. Keep in mind that's what's available for the invite unit including
    Hot water heater, AC, fridge & an electric fireplace, LED lighting so I don't think lighting is much of an issue. No 4K UHD disc playback is a disappointment, but honestly I can't really tell it's any better on my Samsung series 6 4K TV than a regular BLU-RAY upgraded too 4K. Any thoughts or advice appreciated, thanks.
    Reply
  • Zingam - Friday, March 30, 2018 - link

    50 Amps? Are you going to power a metal smelting furnace? Reply

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