Performance Metrics - I

The GIGABYTE GB-BSi7HAL-6500 was evaluated using our standard test suite for low power desktops / industrial PCs. Not all benchmarks were processed on all the machines due to updates in our testing procedures. Therefore, the list of PCs in each graph might not be the same. In the first section, we will be looking at SYSmark 2014, as well as some of the Futuremark benchmarks.

BAPCo SYSmark 2014

BAPCo's SYSmark 2014 is an application-based benchmark that uses real-world applications to replay usage patterns of business users in the areas of office productivity, media creation and data/financial analysis. Scores are meant to be compared against a reference desktop (HP ProDesk 600 G1 with a Core i3-4130, 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive) that scores 1000 in each of the scenarios. A score of, say, 2000, would imply that the system under test is twice as fast as the reference system.

SYSmark 2014 - Office Productivity

SYSmark 2014 - Media Creation

SYSmark 2014 - Data / Financial Analysis

SYSmark 2014 - Overall Score

As expected, the Core i7-6500U is one of the most powerful Skylake-U CPUs, and the GB-BSi7HAL-6500 has the best scores amongst all the Skylake-U UCFF PCs. Obviously, it is no match for the Skylake-H Core i7-6770HQ in the Skull Canyon NUC.

Futuremark PCMark 8

PCMark 8 provides various usage scenarios (home, creative and work) and offers ways to benchmark both baseline (CPU-only) as well as OpenCL accelerated (CPU + GPU) performance. We benchmarked select PCs for the OpenCL accelerated performance in all three usage scenarios. These scores are heavily influenced by the CPU in the system. The CPU-bound scores are similar to what we saw in the SYSmark section. The benchmarks influenced by the GPU present a slightly different story, as the NUC6i5SYK's Intel Iris Graphics 540 is more powerful compared to the Intel HD Graphics 520 in the GB-BSi7HAL-6500.

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Home OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Creative OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Work OpenCL

Miscellaneous Futuremark Benchmarks

Futuremark PCMark 7 - PCMark Suite Score

Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Extreme Score

Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Entry Score

Futuremark 3DMark 2013 - Ice Storm Score

Futuremark 3DMark 2013 - Cloud Gate Score

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15

CINEBENCH R15 provides three benchmark modes - OpenGL, single threaded and multi-threaded. Evaluation of select PCs in all three modes provided us the following results.

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15 - Single Thread

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15 - Multiple Threads

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15 - OpenGL

In the single-threaded and multi-threaded cases, the power of the Core i7-6500U comes through compared to the other Skylake-U CPUs evaluated before. In the OpenGL benchmark, the units with more powerful GPUs - the NUC6i5SYK and the Skull Canyon NUC - score better.

Introduction and Platform Analysis Performance Metrics - II
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  • cknobman - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    The price on these platforms is downright ridiculous.

    I know small has its price but at this point it just seems like Intel is profiteering.
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    That price is an utter joke. Reply
  • ddriver - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    More like mockery. Reply
  • nagi603 - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    Yeah, for the same price, (well, actually quite less, but with "only" 16GB ram and a 256GB SSD) I put together a mini-ITX box with a proper desktop-class i7.... And thanks to the bigger size, it is quite silent. Reply
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    You know, I actually got rather excited when I saw it'd be a dual LAN mini PC on Skylake, as this would work out very well for a pfSense router-box.

    >$591.
    >$1030 as configured.

    No thanks... Might be better to stick with one of those cheap chinese dual lan mini-PCs instead...
    Reply
  • barleyguy - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    The Zotac ZBox EN760 has GTX 960 graphics as well as the dual lan ports, and could easily be configured comparably to this. That probably falls in your "cheap Chinese mini PCs" category, though I think Zotac is Tawainese.

    It's possibly on a lower quality tier than the Intel NUC or Gigabyte Brix. That said, I have the older version of it (EN860) and it works great as an HTPC box.

    I have actually considered the Intel NUC for use with Thunderbolt pro audio. If you're pairing it up with thousands of dollars of studio gear the price seems less egregious. But if the Thunderbolt port is going to go unused, there's really no reason to choose that direction.
    Reply
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    The discrete graphics adds additional heat and cost that isn't useful for a pfSense box. It essentially acts as a server/router, using one LAN port as a WAN directly from a modem, then routes packets out accordingly from the other LAN port(s).

    Many Chinese fanless versions exist, but they use anemic celerons and atom CPUs. When you start using many extra features of pfSense, like squid (as a webproxy) the router's maximum throughput drops. Now this isn't an issue unless you have some kind of insane symmetrical 1gpbs up/down connection, where processor would fail to saturate the entire pipe.

    I'd prefer to not have to worry, so I'd be all in for a fanless Mini-STX case and socketing in my own 6300T or something, but there are no fanless Mini-STX cases, and no Mini-STX motherboards with dual LAN. There are fanless thin Mini-ITX cases from Akasa, but I wasn't able to source a cheapish i3 + thin Mini-ITX mobo with dual LAN.
    Reply
  • fanofanand - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    $1030 using an iGPU. Pass. Reply
  • fanofanand - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    Had to post a second comment, comparing this to the Skull Canyon, which has a better GPU/CPU, better wi-fi, and a better SSD really hurts the Brix. $3 less for nearly every component being better except 16 GB of RAM vs 32 GB. What use case does this box have where 32 GB of RAM becomes a factor? Are people running dozens of VMs off a box like this? I don't know about profiteering, but I don't see them selling many of these. Reply
  • kmmatney - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    I can't see running too many VMs. The i7-6500U performs worse than an i3-6100 (uses a lot less power, but still...). I know going into these reviews that the prices will shock me, yet I'm still shocked when I see them. Reply

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