Gaming Benchmarks

Intel's integrated GPUs don't have a big name in the gaming community. Once in a while, Intel throws in a surprise. In the Haswell family, CPUs with Iris Pro graphics gave a pleasant surprise to casual gamers. In this section, we will identify whether the Intel Iris Graphics 6100 in the Core i7-5557U can provide an acceptable gaming experience. It will also be interesting to find out how it compares against the HD 6000 in the Core i5-5250U and the HD 5500 inthe Core i7-5500U (BRIX s).

For the purpose of benchmarking, we chose four different games (Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite and DiRT Showdown) at three different quality levels. As someone focusing on HTPCs and multimedia aspects, I rarely get to process gaming benchmarks, even while evaluating GPUs. One of the aspects that I feared was spending lot of time in installing the same games again and again on different PCs under the review scanner. The solution was to go the Steam route. Unfortunately, Steam also likes to keep the game files updated. A quick online search revealed that Steam could make use of an external drive for storing the game executables and downloadable content. With the Steam drive on-the-go use-case being read-heavy, the Corsair Flash Voyager GS USB 3.0 128GB Flash Drive (with read speeds of up to 275 MBps) was ideal for use as a portable Steam drive.

Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs - Performance Score

Sleeping Dogs - Quality Score

Sleeping Dogs - Extreme Score

Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider - Performance Score

Tomb Raider - Quality Score

Tomb Raider - Extreme Score

Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite - Performance Score

Bioshock Infinite - Quality Score

Bioshock Infinite - Extreme Score

DiRT Showdown

DiRT Showdown - Performance Score

DiRT Showdown - Quality Score

DiRT Showdown - Extreme Score

At lower quality levels, the HD 5500 in the Core i7-5500U can sometimes provide marginally better frame rates, but the Iris Graphics 6100 trumps other UCFF PCs in almost all other situations. The only exception is the Core i7-4770R-equipped BRIX Pro that is also equipped with Iris Pro Graphics. Despite belonging to the previous generation, the higher TDP (65W vs. 28W) allows for better GPU performance.However, at the 20W and lower TDP-point / acoustic profile / chassis size, it goes without saying that Iris Graphics 6100 possesses the best gaming credentials.

Performance Metrics - II Networking and Storage Performance
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  • Antronman - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Since when do monitors draw power from the device they're connected to anyways?
  • eanazag - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Same response as close.

    Additionally, you want to have a power supply that can provide more juice because over time they lose the capacity to provide the highest specified wattage. If you have a device that routinely hits the max spec, you will experience some kind of failure. I'd rather see a 90 Watt charger. There were at least 3 USB slots I could see and they can pull at least 5 Watts. Additional components can pull more electricity too; like a 2.5 inch drive and the M.2 SSD. Maxed out the 65W adapter doesn't have a lot of wiggle room.
  • rhx123 - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    I'm sure the NUCs are getting uglier each time. The all black Ivy Bridge NUC was by far the best looking of the lot.
  • CaedenV - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    So I am curious about 4K support. This thing purports to have 4K display support, but I wonder how well it works. In another year or two it will be time to upgrade my wife's desktop and I really want to get a slick little NUC (or NUC-like) device paired with a small-ish (35-45") curved 4K display/TV. All it needs to do is web browsing, office, UHD video (h.265, Netflix 4K and youtube 4K), and upscaling our digital library of our ripped DVDs and BluRays (h.264 and h.265) to 4K playback. It does not need to play games, or rather can stream games via the home network from the 'real computer' in the basement which should have 4K game support in a few years.

    Any thoughts if this is realistic on this model? Will the technology be there in this form factor in 2 years? Or should I be looking at one more home-built machine for my wife's desk? I would really like to get her something small and fanless... or at least low-power enough to run fanless most of the time.
  • ganeshts - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Something like the NUC will be working great in the next generation or so. This one has 4K support, but not HDMI 2.0 - Refer to our earlier piece on why most PC platforms are not ready for the 4K era yet :
  • xchaotic - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    'or rather can stream games via the home network' in uncompressed 4k???? that way more than even fiber can handle
  • extide - Thursday, April 23, 2015 - link

    He never said uncompressed 4k...
  • PICman - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Ganesh, what is this 'realm of reason' of which you speak so frequently? What lies beyond the 'realm of reason'?
  • nathanddrews - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Further confirmation that Broadwell is a big fizzle.
  • Flunk - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Ticks generally just update the tock, so that's no surprise.

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