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 Core i7-5557U performs much better than any other U-series CPU that we have tested so far. Thanks to its high TDP, it can sustain higher clock rates. Obviously, it is no match for the 65W TDP Core i7-4770R in the BRIX Pro.

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 Bay Trail, even the lowly Atom series has gained support for AES-NI. The Core i7-5557U in the NUC5i7RYH does have AES-NI support. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program 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 Intel NUC5i7RYH 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 trend observed in the previous benchmarks in this section get repeated here. The Core i7-5557U is simply the highest-performing U-series CPU that we have evaluated so far.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Gaming Benchmarks
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • nathanddrews - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Ticks generally also bring a thorough lineup of SKUs and better performance. No matter, Skylake will be here soon enough.
  • chizow - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Overall I've been happy with my Haswell-NUC, but all the recent deals for the Alienware Alpha at $399 completely obliterate the NUC, imo. Unfortunately the Alpha was not an option when I built my NUC this time last year, but it is a far better option mainly due to the far superior onboard dGPU (GTX 860m+) option.
  • kmmatney - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Wow - I've never heard of the Alienware Alpha, but it does look like a better deal, which a much better GPU, and comes with an OS. I couldn't find the $399 deal, though. The coupon code had expired for the one I did come across.
  • ezridah - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Microcenter has them for $299 right now if you're lucky enough to be near one that has them in stock still. Mine didn't :(
  • jabber - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    Oh that's a much more sensible sized device too. These things don't have to be micro tiny. The size of a hard-backed book is fine.
  • deruberhanyok - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    What's the quality of noise on that "slightly audible" under heavy load? Is it just a whoosh of air, which is fairly easy to ignore, or is it a sort of whining sound from the fan spinning at high speed, which is much harder to dismiss?
  • ganeshts - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    It is not a whining sound - that is more a characteristic of small diameter fans at high speed.

    This is a sustained 'whoosh of air' - it is not easy to ignore IMO, but that is subjective. All I can compare it to is against the Broadwell-U NUC - in that case, the whoosh could be ignored (again, subjective)
  • deruberhanyok - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    thanks Ganesh!
  • Uplink10 - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    My thoughts:
    1. There should be a second GbE port which would make this PC a lot more versatile. Plus this PC supports Virtualization and even VT-d (although VT-d in Mini-PCs is underused than it would be in PCs with free PCIExpress slots) and often it comes handy if you have at least two GbE ports.
    2. You should use external SSD for more consistent and bottleneck proof speeds.
    3. External Antenna would improve signal strength.
    4. If we are talking about full sized HDMI I would also expect full sized DP and since DP is the future, if I had to choose one, I would choose full sized DP.
  • dmdeemer - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    "Over the last couple of years, mini-PCs in the ultra-compact form factor (UCFF) have emerged as one of the bright spots in the troubled PC market."

    Please stop using this line at the top of every UCFF article. copy-paste is unprofessional, and reflects badly on the rest of the article's content before I even read it.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now