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. This is simply a test of CPU performance. As expected, the LIVA X is better than the LIVA, but loses out to the quad-core solution in the ZBOX CI320 nano.

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 1

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 2


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 Avoton and Rangeley, even the lowly Atom series has gained support for AES-NI. Unfortunately, the Celeron N2808 doesn't support AES-NI. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of the AES-NI capabilities. Its 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 ECS LIVA X 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. This is again a test of the CPU capabilities, and the LIVA X is better than the LIVA as expected. Surprisingly, the performance of the ZBOX CI320 nano took a hit in this benchmark, and the LIVA X surprisingly pulled ahead.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Networking and Storage Performance
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  • Oxford Guy - Wednesday, January 21, 2015 - link

    I'm not saying the test isn't interesting, but it's not particularly practical in this case. The only thing it does is let people know that if they want to run Furmark and Prime together they need to introduce some active cooling or a low ambient temperature. That's fine. There's nothing wrong with knowing that. However, it's not very high on the list of practical information.
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, January 19, 2015 - link

    "32 GB is not enough once a couple of Windows updates get installed."

    False. I have a 32 GB model and it has around 6 or 7 GB of free space with a fully updated Windows 8.1
  • random2 - Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - link

    "...(UCFF) have emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market."

    Someone needs to do a study on the sales volumes seen in the PC component industry. There are a lot of people building these days rather than buying pre-made units from manufacturers like Cyberpower, Dell and others.
  • BrokenCrayons - Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - link

    Thanks for posting idle and load power consumption numbers and addressing some reader concerns about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of delta charts where wattage is concerned.
  • djfourmoney - Friday, July 3, 2015 - link

    I like these tiny PC's. I was interested in the first Liva but it's shortcomings I knew would be addressed if I waited.

    As for case use -

    Small HTPC. I have a Llano HTPC currently with a great ANTEC case with six drive slots not to mention the I can put two SSD's in it's 2.5 slot (no floppy) and replace the 5.25 slots with hot swap cages.

    In other words it would make a very nice, fairly low draw server that can easily trans-code, among other things.

    There was a time when I thought I would use the HTPC for more PC games, which is why I got the Llano but as time goes on, I use it more for console emulation when I do play games and I have PS2 and PS3.

    Plus I can mount something like this on the back of a LCD and run everything else off a power USB 3.0 hub.

    That said my Cable CARD tuner has to be hard reset every so often because it drops both tuners, I guess I could go with a network tuner but then I would need another cable run to where the router is.

    Anyway, beyond that downgrading my HTPC seems to make sense to me. My original target was the Gigabyte Brix but only two AMD sku's are offered and the least expensive model might be discontinued and is hard to find.

    m-ITX is an option but cost is off-putting.

    Just thinking out loud I suppose.

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