Performance Metrics - II

In this section, we mainly look at benchmark modes in programs used on a day-to-day basis, i.e, application performance and not synthetic workloads.

x264 Benchmark

First off, we have some video encoding benchmarks courtesy of x264 HD Benchmark v5.0.

Video Encoding - x264 5.0

Video Encoding - x264 5.0


7-Zip is a very effective and efficient compression program, often beating out OpenCL accelerated commercial programs in benchmarks even while using just the CPU power. 7-Zip has a benchmarking program that provides tons of details regarding the underlying CPU's efficiency. In this subsection, we are interested in the compression and decompression MIPS ratings when utilizing all the available threads.

7-Zip LZMA Compression Benchmark

7-Zip LZMA Decompression Benchmark


As businesses (and even home consumers) become more security conscious, the importance of encryption can't be overstated. CPUs supporting the AES-NI instruction for accelerating the encryption and decryption processes have, till now, been the higher end SKUs. However, with Bay Trail, even the lowly Atom series has gained support for AES-NI. The i7-4770R, being the flagship Crystal Well part for Haswell, hasn't been left behind. It does have AES-NU support and TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program which can take advantage of the AES-NI capabilities. The TrueCrypt internal benchmark provides some interesting cryptography-related numbers to ponder. In the graph below, we can get an idea of how fast a TrueCrypt volume would behave in the BRIX Pro and how it would compare with other select PCs. This is a purely CPU feature / clock speed based test.

TrueCrypt Benchmark

Agisoft Photoscan

Agisoft PhotoScan is a commercial program that converts 2D images into 3D point maps, meshes and textures. The program designers sent us a command line version in order to evaluate the efficiency of various systems that go under our review scanner. The command line version has two benchmark modes, one using the CPU and the other using both the CPU and GPU (via OpenCL). The benchmark takes around 50 photographs and does four stages of computation:

  1. Stage 1: Align Photographs
  2. Stage 2: Build Point Cloud (capable of OpenCL acceleration)
  3. Stage 3: Build Mesh
  4. Stage 4: Build Textures

We record the time taken for each stage. Since various elements of the software are single threaded, others multithreaded, and some use GPUs, it is interesting to record the effects of CPU generations, speeds, number of cores, DRAM parameters and the GPU using this software.

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 1

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 2

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 3

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 4

Dolphin Emulator

Wrapping up our application benchmark numbers is the Dolphin Emulator benchmark mode results.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Gaming Performance Evaluation
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  • dylan522p - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Fair enough. The SSD market moves so fast can't blame you on that.
  • Yorgos - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    It doesn't matter which is inferior when we are talking for a small percentage in performance, actually in those speeds I don't think it makes any difference. What matters is that samsung offers the best silicon in the market and has the least problems with its ssds so most of the builds will prolly have samsung instead of crucial.
  • cubee - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    How much impact will DDR4 have on iGPU performance?
  • schizoide - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Alienware alpha (steam machine) will be out in a couple months for $550, which is less than the barebones Brix Pro, with no RAM or storage. The Alpha is an i3 with 4GB RAM and a "maxwell" (real 750ti-ish) GPU and a 500GB HD. It will actually be capable of 1080p gaming, and costs less. It is quite a lot larger than the brix, but still small compared to any other computer. Oh, and you get an x360 controller and a win8.1 license too.
  • Morawka - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    750ti wont run 1080p but in about 1/3rd popular titles.. A 760 is really needed to run 1080p comfortably with a decent list of settings.
  • Qwertilot - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    The sort of people buying this sort of thing/ a 750ti aren't setting obsessed :) 750ti well ahead of this things performance of course and about the minimum you want to be taken half way seriously as a gaming desktop.

    Interesting to see how close Broadwell K can get though, with the improved/larger GPU stuff and I'd presume a somewhat larger overall power budget to boot.
  • schizoide - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Yeah pretty much this. It won't run 1080p on ultra settings in all titles, but if you turn down the options a bit they will run smoothly.
  • tipoo - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    I'm curious in the lower end of the BRIX, especially for a parent computer. The one at $250 with the AMD APU. Seems like a whole lot of compute power for that much money.
  • schizoide - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    The low-end brix/nucs are a lot more interesting, yeah. Either as perfectly fine little desktops, steam streaming clients, or HTPCs. The high-end ones suck, because the GPUs are not comparable to the current console generation.
  • TiGr1982 - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    As a funny fact, this little box (based on Haswell i7) is faster than Core i7-4960X (Ivy Bridge-E) in single-threaded CPU performance (because the latter haxacore is based on older uarch).

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