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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  • ganeshts - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    I can understand the issue for people who are following each and every review that is published here. On the other hand, many of our readers come from search results - say, someone searching on Google for 'Iris NUC review' - So, it is necessary for each review to be a 'standalone' piece ; I have published 10+ UCFF PC reviews in the last year or so. I would rather spend time writing about the actual benchmark results rather than thinking about 10 different ways to convey the same information.

    If you are a regular reader, the only item of interest in the introductory section would be the table listing the specs of the unit on a comparative basis. Feel free to skim over the introductory section and dive into the actual benchmark results if you are a regular reader.
  • keg504 - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    The title for the DiRT Showdown benchmarks is "Tomb Raider" for some reason...
  • ganeshts - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Thanks! Fixed it
  • hlovatt - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    @ganeshts Any chance of a Mac Mini review to see how it stacks up in the HTPC stakes? After all the Mac Mini is one of the founders of this form factor.
  • milkod2001 - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    i'll second that, please do review and comparison NUC vs Mac Mini if possible.
  • zodiacfml - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    After all the Core M review these days, 28 watts appeared a performance monster at first glance.

    Yet, this is no Quad Core compared to previous similarly priced NUC. Not impressed.
  • meacupla - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    If you're talking about that Brix Pro, that thing was a beast and it consumes about 2x the power that this NUC does.
  • zodiacfml - Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - link

    True, but these devices are plugged in. For a notebook, I might reconsider.
  • Pork@III - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    Weak is weak, if you will, and it names NUClear.
  • meacupla - Monday, April 20, 2015 - link

    If it said "NUClear" on the package, I would totally expect it to contain an R9 290X and subsequently melt down to a smouldering pile of plastic, silicon and PCB the moment it is subjected to ground breaking benchmarks.

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