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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  • BlueBlazer - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    Heck no, used to have AMD E-350 and that sucked. Tried the older Atom 330 also but not well also. The problem was Hi10p which uses software decoding (not supported by hardware). Then switched to using my ancient LGA775 which was collecting dust. Was microATX casing thus certainly quite big but can always hide them in some corner. Only problem was dust accumulation due to the fans (have clean the machine once a while). That's the main problem with fans...

    Used an old Core 2 Duo E7600 and runs perfectly everything including those that do not use hardware acceleration. Have tried H.265 also (only supported by software decoding on my hardware) and managed to play them up 1080p 30fps with the Lentoid HEVC decoder (possibly the fastest decoder around but does have a compatibility issues with a few files, which I can fallback to VLC Player). Perhaps time for a change, and with H.265 looming around the corner, CPU power could be still relevant after all. If there is a new CPU can beat this old E7600 performance without using fans then I've found the replacement...
    Reply
  • BPB - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - link

    My experience is that AMD is better if you are using the HTPC for WMC as well as other things. When I switched from an AMD E450 setup to an i5 setup I lost the abilibity to watch stuff at 1.5 speed. My AMD setup fast-forwarded with sound much, much better than the Intel setup does. The Intel setup is better in every other way, but I really miss watching some games at 1.5X. I like to do that when I don't have the time to watch it at normal speed, or I already know the outcome. The AMD setup allowed me to watch hockey games at 1.5X with sound and no choppiness, the Intel setup is not smooth at all. Reply
  • valnar - Thursday, February 26, 2015 - link

    Depends on whether AMD can do perfect 23.976 fps for NTSC stuff. Intel graphics can. Generally, it is safer to use Intel for HTPC's (both Windows and Linux) than AMD. Reply
  • iFX.64 - Saturday, June 20, 2015 - link

    Sorry I know I'm a bit late here, but If you want to pass-through DTS HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD Master Audio through HDMI to an amp/receiver ... then forget about AMD, I've yet to see anyone get it to work... Unfortunately it only seems to work on Intel :(

    Of course I only found this out after buying multiple AMD systems for this purpose... believing that they wouldn't say something IS supported in the marketing material when it ISN'T... but while standard 5.1 DTS or Dolby Digital works fine, DTS HD and TrueHD won't pass-through to the receiver.

    If anyone has found a way to get it to work, I'd LOVE to hear about it ;)
    Reply
  • Veritex - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    A good solution is arriving in around 90 days in the form of the AMD Carrizo and Carrizo-L (10w to 35w) APUs with upgraded Excavator cores, next gen full HSA GPU and hardware encode/decode of h.265 4k video. They will be available in everything from laptops to all-in-ones and in micro/pico/ITX systems.

    Anandtech had a preview at CES 2015:

    "One of the features of Carrizo is full support for H.265 decoding, and as an example of why this is needed they had an Intel system running next to the Carrizo system attempting to playback a 4K H.265 video. While the AMD system was easily able to handle the task without dropping any frames, the Intel system was decoding at what appeared to be single digit frame rates. The 4K content was essentially unwatchable on Intel."

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8855/amd-demonstrate...
    Reply
  • BlueBlazer - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    That Core i3 was of the older generation (not Broadwell), and of course would be less powerful to perform software decoding for 4K video. If they had used a Core i7 quad core then should be able to playback 4K video smoothly even through software decoding. Also does not mention if Carrizo can support VP8 or 10-bit H.265/HEVC either...

    Additionally Intel Broadwell and even Haswell already have a hybrid H.265/HEVC decoder (uses both CPU and GPU) in the latest drivers: http://techreport.com/news/27677/new-intel-igp-dri... Besides H.265/HEVC, it also supports VP9 codec (used by Google TV). Futhermore it can also support 10-bit H.265/HEVC format besides the normal 8-bit H.265/HEVC. Wished that it would also support the old 10-bit H.264 (also known as Hi10p) as well...
    Reply
  • BlueBlazer - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    Errata: VP9 in the first paragraph and not VP8...

    "Also does not mention if Carrizo can support VP8 or 10-bit H.265/HEVC either..."
    Reply
  • Vinny DePaul - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    Why do people rip blu ray to NAS? Is it legal? I don't understand why people store so many movies on their PC. Can you watch that much? Also, is it even legal? Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    Why do we rip movies? so that way if something happens to the disk, i still have my movie, and I dont need to find the dvd and put it into the player to watch a movie, i can just double click it.
    And of course it is legal. Im making a backup of my own copy, and im not sharing it.
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Sunday, February 22, 2015 - link

    I rip movies (redbox rentals) so I can watch it at a convenient time, on whatever device I want. It's rare I watch anything more than once. Lately I've been renting more movies on demand, though, as long as the price is reasonable Reply

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