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 i5-4200U in the ZBOX OI520 has AES-NI support. TrueCrypt is 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 ZBOX OI520 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:

  • Stage 1: Align Photographs
  • Stage 2: Build Point Cloud (capable of OpenCL acceleration)
  • Stage 3: Build Mesh
  • 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 Storage and Wireless Networking Credentials


View All Comments

  • Assimilator87 - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    You guys are forgetting that the NUC and related SFF PCs all use mobile chips. If you want a full Kaveri with 512 shaders, the FX-7600P has a 35W TDP. For something with similar TDP to the i5 U, there's the FX-7500 at 19W, although that only has 384 shaders. Reply
  • Voldenuit - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    Needs copper foam afro. Reply
  • Bobs_Your_Uncle - Sunday, August 3, 2014 - link

    Given the spherical nature of this beast, maybe even a copper foam Goatee would be a stylish compliment to the fro action.

    ( Scratching your head? => )
  • know of fence - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    Any chance that those Benchmarks find their way into Bench?
    I'd really appreciate some perspective of just how a dual core i5 fits into the full picture or how it compares to the 10W 4C/4T J1900 CPUs formerly known as Bay Trail, which also come with 9-19VDC adapters and are available as mini-ITX boards.
    With the piddly cooling system being the Achilles heel of these SFFs, some noise testing would be appreciated.
  • Josh Peck - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    It's only the most sophisticated gaming experience ever created by humans.
    And it's spherical!
  • arod916 - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    Looks like the design was ripped off from the Nexus Q. Google could sue them hmmm. Reply
  • M/2 - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    A Mac Mini is the same price... why do Mini's never make the "compared to" list? You can run MS & Linux as well as OSX on a Mini.... At the risk of being called a Fanboy (they're all JUST MACHINES). IMHO, I'd still opt for a Mini Reply
  • M/2 - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    PS: Sound is the only thing I see that may be better than a mini. Mini's have options for i7, 2 memory slots, so someone tell why this hardware set (or most of the others) are better? Reply
  • Iketh - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    what's a "mac" ? Reply
  • FelixDraconis - Saturday, August 2, 2014 - link

    The mini is lacking the newest Haswell chip, which should hopefully come soon. Should be an even better value proposition.

    But people also didn't take into account that it comes with an OS, whereas the Zotac does not.

    We often use Mac Minis for light servers and compile machines, as you can fit a whole bunch of them in a small space and span virtual screens with software. They're not amazing but they're solid and dependable and get the job done.

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