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 configurations based on the Core i5-5250U are not as powerful as the Core i7-based ones. The effect of faster memory is almost non-existent. The slightly higher burst frequency of the Core i5-5250U (2.7 GHz) compared to the Core i5-4250U (2.6 GHz) help the NUC5i5RYK take a slight lead over the corresponding Haswell NUC.

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 1

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 2

7-Zip

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

Results in the compression benchmark are similar to what we observed for 3D rendering - Broadwell-U doesn't provide too much benefit over Haswell-U except when burst frequencies play a major role. This is understandable - 14nm helps sustain higher clock rates for the same power consumption.

TrueCrypt

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 i5-4200H in the BXi5G-760 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 NUC5i5RYK 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

The results show that the faster DRAM helps despite increased latency. GPU acceleration proves beneficial in cutting down the time taken for the second stage considerably.

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 Core i7-based models obviously trump the Core i5-based ones.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Gaming Benchmarks
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  • owan - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    I wouldn't. The GPU on the low end APU's isn't *that* much better than intel's IGP and the TDP's are too high, which is a big consideration IMO for a device that may spend quite a lot of its time running. I've found my Celeron G1820 system to be superior in every way than the A4 system it replaced, except in casual gaming where they both were basically useless. The CPU gap can absolutely be relevant when you start messing with different decoders as well. Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    The laptop is a Lenovo Z50, with Kaveri's A10-7300. With default settings, I haven't found a game which is not playable yet. And it costed me nearly half the NUC in this article ($400).
    Regarding which HTPC to buy, I was looking into Zotac's: something to stash behind the TV, away from view.
    I agree with you that the savings on low-end AMD APU's are not worth it: the A10 is already dirt cheap.
    Reply
  • jimjamjamie - Monday, February 23, 2015 - link

    I just recently bought the Z50-75, lovely machine for the price. 19W CPU in a 15.6" chassis is great for low fan speed and cool operation, even when it's turbo'd up at 3.2GHz. I don't rate it much for games though as it is not powerful enough to drive 1080p without dialling back the quality settings. Reply
  • cjs150 - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    owan et al: I have owned AMD machines before, and will probably do so again in future. The problem is TDP, they run too hot. In my main HTPC I run an i7-3770T (45w TDP). More than sufficient power for transcoding. When I built that machine, AMD had nothing even close. The problem with going fanless is heat, and AMD are way behind on this.

    HTPC use is very personal. I do not want to go 3D and 4K is currently unnecessary. But it may be that h.265 codec is too CPU intensive for what I have. If so then I will build new machines - but as that will probably be several generations of CPU in future, it is not a problem (and when it is, it will be fun to build!)
    Reply
  • yankeeDDL - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    To each its own. It's good to have choices :) Reply
  • seanleeforever - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    cjs150: try amd 5350 APU. i run it without fan, it is a 25W TDP SOC (so all the IO memory controllers on build on the processor with Radeon HD 8400 ).

    i too find this review lacking to say the least. i build ultra small factor PCs for fun, and i have yet to find one that beats AMD's offering for general windows use in a ultra tiny factor.

    the only three issues with AMD solutions is
    1. driver under linux are not that great, but it is getting better.
    2. smallest form factor is ITX, which is still too big ESPECIALLY consider 5350 is a SOC.
    3. stock cooler sucks. it has the worst oem cooler i see in my entire life.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    hate to tell you, but the 5350 is NOT an SoC. It is just a low TDP CPU, because the memory is still external. the memory needs to be in the chip in order for it to be considered a SoC. an integrated memory controller has been standard from 7 years, that doesnt make the chip a SoC.
    And ITX isnt too big. you can build mac mini type systems in that size. anything small is proprietary, and OEM only. see the NUC above. you cant by a motherboard for that.
    Reply
  • seanleeforever - Monday, February 23, 2015 - link

    the name "SoC" means a number of things, i suppose you could say it is not SoC by your standards but many website (Anandtech, the one you are commenting on, says "...Athlon 5350, a quad core SoC"), similarly, if you define SoC as something that must have on board memory by design, then you can pretty much rule out all the snapdragon processors since they don't have on board memory. So i would like to believe your definition is flawed, as so will most people.

    secondary, you are dead wrong about it is just a low TDP CPU. go research the 5350 Spec, one thing it stands out is that not only does it have memory controller, but it also feature a video controller , TPM, PCIe lans, Sata port, VGA output, USB3 and USB2, and PS/2 all on the CPU. the thing about SoC is that it is a System on Chip (minus other stuff like storage, ram, power...etc). it has all the I/O (south bridge), and memory controller (North bridge) all build in one die. this is more similar to cell phone processor than traditional computers. this allows M/B to pretty much just bring out pinouts.

    i suggest you to know your subject before posting. this is anandtech and i do expect user to have some basic knowledge in the comment section.
    Reply
  • extide - Monday, February 23, 2015 - link

    TheinsanegamerN -- NO Processors have all the memory built in -- The most memory you can get is on Crystalwell, but thats still cache. In phones you get PoP which means Package on Package, meaning a SoC underneath and then a regular memory chip on top.

    A CPU is generally considered a SoC when it requires no north bridge or south bridge, ie it has memory controller, pcie controller, usb, sata, GPU, etc.
    Reply
  • BlueBlazer - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    That AMD 5350 APU still has a weak CPU. Also its 25W thus it should not be run without fan. That's why the stock cooler has a fan. And due to that weak CPU, it has problems with higher resolution videos: http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/amd_athlon_53... quotes

    "We also tested Ultra HD video acceleration. Above the 4K resolution Elysium Trailer, here we have an MP4 H.264 file and you can see that the CPU load is 52% with one core topping out performance. Unfortunately Ultra HD videoplayback resulted into stuttering. For both content we have additional shaders enabled like image sharpening and darkened black levels.

    The reason why we noticed stuttering seems to be that the trailer is not DXVA encoded. meaning of you where to RAW decode video streams over the CPU, it would not be powerful enough. The GPU at DXVA will take care of you on that here though."
    Reply

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