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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • funtasticguy - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    After some of the initial results with the Brix Pro came out from professional reviewers (which I really wanted to purchase), I decided to go with Asrock VisionX 420D with AMD Radeon R9 M270X.

    I was able to install two 2TB hard drives and a 250GB mSATA drive. I was also able to upgrade the CPU chip from the pre-installed i5-4200M to an i7-4702MQ without much effort or trouble.

    The noise levels are nearly non-existent. Not once has anyone in the household complained about the noise levels. The thermal levels are also superior when compared to the Brix Pro. These are my highest temperatures it recorded under the following scenarios using the i7-4702MQ CPU:

    Surfing: 67C
    1080P Movie: 64C
    Steam Games: 77C
    PSX2 emulator: 80C
    Dolphin emulator: 82C

    The size of the VisionX 420D is similar to the old Dell's Zino. It is very portable. I recently took it with me on a family trip, hooked it up in the hotel room, and we were able to play games and watch movies via XBMC after we retired in the evenings. It was a hit with my boys and wife. No regrets!
  • ganeshts - Saturday, June 14, 2014 - link

    Your choice is a wise one (I talked about the VisionX 420D towards the end of the gaming section in the article).

    The two things that the BRIX Pro has got going for it are power efficiency and physical footprint. I will present more details in the dedicated VisionX 420D review (another review that has been in the works for more than a couple of months)
  • schizoide - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    $870 at newegg barebones, add $80 for RAM and $100 for storage and you're looking at a $1200 computer. 270x is a markedly better performer than the 750Ti in the alienware alpha, but you're paying a lot for it.
  • ganeshts - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    I see on Newegg [ ] that the $870 includes 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB HDD., so, price-wise, I think the VisionX 420D wins out (compared to the BRIX Pro). As for the Alienware Alpha, let it hit the market first and then we can decide :)
  • schizoide - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Hey, so it does. I saw barebones and moved on, totally missed that.

    I wonder what makes it barebones if it has all the hardware included?
  • smartypnt4 - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    I assume they're calling it barebones because it ships sans an OS...? This is what happens when the marketing people decide what to name products haha. But it has everything you could want for a computer besides that - halfway decent mobile GPU, pretty good dual-core Haswell part, and supports 802.11ac out of the box.

    The odd thing is that it's not far off what I spent on my last desktop, which is an i5-4670K, AMD R9 290, a 1TB HDD, a run-of-the-mill case and a big (not super great quality) power supply. And my desktop isn't *that* loud... I suppose that thing wins on portability, but goodness. I can't imagine spending $900 on that when I look at what else you could get. But I suppose for taking on trips, etc., it's an excellent little box.
  • Wixman666 - Monday, June 16, 2014 - link

    The CPU in that is an i5 4200m... you are comparing apples and oranges. The BRIX will be WAY, WAY faster for anything CPU related.
  • vampyren - Monday, March 21, 2016 - link

    I'm sick of my NUC that i thought would work very well as Plex server. On paper it should be able to handle it with ease but in reality it suffer from low CPU speed. I got NUC D54250WYK. I come to realize that the CPU's with U are lousy, in my case i5-4250U. It should work well but it does not.
    I'm looking at this due to the powerful CPU, also considering the newer one with I7-5775R. Not sure how much worse it is sound wise compared to my NUC.
  • funtasticguy - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Looking forward to your upcoming review.
  • mikk - Sunday, June 15, 2014 - link

    Most likely outdated drivers or different drivers used.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now