BAPCo SYSmark 2018

The Intel NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon) was evaluated using our Fall 2018 test suite for small-form factor PCs. In the first section, we will be looking at SYSmark 2018.

BAPCo's SYSmark 2018 is an application-based benchmark that uses real-world applications to replay usage patterns of business users in the areas of productivity, creativity, and responsiveness. The 'Productivity Scenario' covers office-centric activities including word processing, spreadsheet usage, financial analysis, software development, application installation, file compression, and e-mail management. The 'Creativity Scenario' represents media-centric activities such as digital photo processing, AI and ML for face recognition in photos and videos for the purpose of content creation, etc. The 'Responsiveness Scenario' evaluates the ability of the system to react in a quick manner to user inputs in areas such as application and file launches, web browsing, and multi-tasking.

Scores are meant to be compared against a reference desktop (the SYSmark 2018 calibration system, a Dell Optiplex 5050 tower with a Core i3-7100 and 4GB of DDR4-2133 memory to go with a 128GB M.2 SATA III SSD). The calibration system scores 1000 in each of the scenarios. A score of, say, 2000, would imply that the system under test is twice as fast as the reference system.

SYSmark 2018 - Productivity

SYSmark 2018 - Creativity

SYSmark 2018 - Responsiveness

SYSmark 2018 - Overall

SYSmark 2018 also adds energy measurement to the mix. A high score in the SYSmark benchmarks might be nice to have, but, potential customers also need to determine the balance between power consumption and the efficiency of the system. For example, in the average office scenario, it might not be worth purchasing a noisy and power-hungry PC just because it ends up with a 2000 score in the SYSmark 2014 SE benchmarks. In order to provide a balanced perspective, SYSmark 2018 also allows vendors and decision makers to track the energy consumption during each workload. In the graphs below, we find the total energy consumed by the PC under test for a single iteration of each SYSmark 2018 workload. For reference, the calibration system consumes 5.36 Wh for productivity, 7.71 Wh for creativity, 5.61 Wh for responsiveness, and 18.68 Wh overall.

SYSmark 2018 - Productivity Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Creativity Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Responsiveness Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Overall Energy Consumption

Bean Canyon turns out to be extremely energy efficient compared to almost all of the other PCs that are being compared against it. It loses the performance crown to the hexa-core Core i7-8700-equipped DeskMini Z370 GTX 1060. This is on expected lines, since the Core i7-8700 has a much higher TDP budget compared to the Core i7-8559U. The mini-STX form factor also enables the DeskMini to accommodate a better thermal solution compared to the one in the Intel NUC8i7BEH.

Introduction and Platform Analysis UL Benchmarks - PCMark, 3DMark, and VRMark
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  • cacnoff - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    These are platform PCIe lanes that come off the OPI (on package interface) as there are no discrete pch options for U series cpus.

    Check the direct processor page here.

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/p...

    "PCI Express (PCIe) Configurations describe the available PCIe lane configurations that can be used to link the PCH PCIe lanes to PCIe devices."
    Reply
  • DenvR - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    I'm pretty sure all 14nm U-series processors feature at least 8 PCIe 3.0 lanes, some even more (the i5-7200U has got 12 of those and the i7-8559U 16. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Reply
  • vortexmak - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    Did Intel drop the IR receiver from the NUC? Reply
  • mikato - Thursday, April 4, 2019 - link

    I wondered this also. The board layout diagram has a "CIR Receiver" so maybe that's it. But I'm really surprised there is no mention in the system specs table next to I/O or in any of the HTPC pages of the article. Wasn't it one of the good selling points of these Intel boxes? Reply
  • CSMR - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    Shame that this is lacking a full displayport output, instead making it an old DP1.2 share a thunderbolt output. Displayport is more important than hdmi for a machine that is overkill for HTPC use. i7s will be much more often connected to monitors than to TVs. Reply
  • mischlep - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    For the Intel NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon), in the Comparative PC Configurations, does the listed price "$963 (as configured)" include an OS or not? The other selections (other than the NUC7i7BNH) explicitly said "as configured, No OS". You specifically marked it as "as configured, no OS" in the specifications on the first page. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    The price is a bit high, but I'm guessing some of that is due to the Iris GPU which is a thing I'd love to see appear in a wider variety of systems. Iris is a good idea from a power consumption and cooling simplification standpoint when compared to most dGPU offerings on the lower end of the scale. Reply
  • QChronoD - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    Still only HDMI 2.0 and DP1.2 on these? I guess I can only hope that next version will have finally been updated to support 4k120 w/ VRR. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    This CPU IMHO is one of the best designs Intel has and I’ve been itching to buy one of these for quite some time, albeit always in a slightly different form factor.

    For starters just enter i7-8559U into your Google search bar and hit “shopping”. You’ll notice, there are exactly two offerings: The NUC for around €500 and the MacBooks between €2000 and €3500. Perhaps the latter costs extra, because it includes one Terabyte of SSD, €120 these days in a market with competition. It certainly has just the same CPU/GPU as the €2000 model.

    I own the Skylake predecessor, also designed for Apple, an i5-6267U but in a cheap Windows notebook, which has an Iris 550 iGPU with close to identical graphics performance, but only half the number of cores that top out at 3.3 GHz, but doesn’t drop below 2.9 GHz even if abused by Prime95.

    It’s a sweet machine, giving nicely balanced CPU and graphics power and most importantly, it had zero price premium at the time, for twice the graphics punch of ordinary 520 or 530 iGPUs. It also performs very much identical to a 512 graphics core Kaveri A10-7850K in *every regard*, CPU INT and FP, GPU, OpenCL, only that the Kaveri uses 95 Watts not 28. It was quite simply the better APU and stopped me buying AMDs since.

    It also has such great Linux compatibility CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu and Android-x86, none of the grief Nvidia and AMD give you: I know how to manage that with all those V100, GTX and RTX I operate, but I also appreciate not having to.

    Alas, you cannot buy this newer CPU inside a notebook other than at crazy Apple prices. And incidentally, you cannot buy it as a Mini-ITX either: You’re stuck with NUC or nothing… which is sort of ok, now that you stuff terabytes of NVMe at affordable prices inside.

    This chip must be quite a bit more expensive to make, twice the GPU silicon real-estate, eDRAM, packaging etc., but Intel doesn’t charge extra for GPU, no matter what type, just for peak clock speed.

    But it seems they also simply won’t sell the chip, not for the official price or any other, unless you’re Apple or buy a NUC. I still don’t know how Medion managed to grab sufficient number of them to produce a €600 laptop, but I knew enough to grab one, enjoyed it ever since and I am writing on it just now.

    So if I cannot have another as a notebook, I’d love to use it as a mini-server: That’s another use case where the fantastic power efficiency at low loads or idle, combined with its pretty awesome sprint power is well appreciated. But I’d really like it to have ECC memory then and a slightly bigger fan for quiet operation even under load, because it will run “forever” and use consistency critical stuff, including ZFS for Linux.

    But because that makes it the nicer Xeon-D for many, Intel will cut that fuse…

    For Intel this NUC must be one of the lowest profit items in their inventory, which translates to one of the best value propositions if you can live with the limitations. In theory you should be able to buy the board without the case and there is at least one company out there that sells fan-less cases to fit the guts of this NUC.

    Even if that case costs a €200 premium, you can still buy two fully loaded passive NUCs with 32GB of RAM and 4TB of SSD before you reach Apple entry territory.
    Reply
  • gglaw - Wednesday, April 3, 2019 - link

    "With Thunderbolt 3 having matured, and the availability of various eGFX enclosures, the absence of a discrete GPU in the NUC8i7BEH will hardly be felt."

    completely disagree. Relying on huge, bulky, and costly external implementations is a horrible idea compared to paying a small premium and getting better GPU inside the NUC. Who in the world would buy a mini PC knowing they're going to frequently need to plug it into a huge box multiple times the size of the NUC and driving the total cost to a whole new bracket? There's a reason why the eGFX market is a tiny, niche market.

    These are not priced as budget PC solutions, so the small price bump to get better graphics inside the box is completely worth it for users who want that type of performance. Or for others who will use it strictly for media and productivity the can stick with Intel Graphics. Almost no one should buy the base Intel Graphics with the idea of adding an eGFX solution later. They'd be better off selling the base one and buying a Ryzen or Vega M-Intel solution.
    Reply

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