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 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.


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
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • extide - Monday, February 23, 2015 - link

    No, the article is correct. 1st gen NUC was DCCP847DYE -- which was Celeron 847 -- Sandy Bridge based Celeron.
  • Paapaa125 - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    Gallery images have very bad underexposure problems. Please pay attention next time: you have to compensate exposure if you have too white background....
  • piasabird - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    It looks like all Intel did is take an i5 and underclock it down to about half the normal speed. I have an i3 4330 and it runs at 3.5 ghz and has the 4600 graphics and 4 megs of Cache. It runs great. I did turn the power supply that sits above the CPU so it pulls hot air out of the case. I run everything at stock speed with the CPU cooler Intel sold with the retail CPU package. No reason to purchase anything new.
  • piasabird - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    I liked the way you can select several similar comparisons to compare the review item to. However, I would compare it to a couple i3 processors that might typically be sold for Mini-ITX systems.
  • Aikouka - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    Does the Broadwell NUC still have the same issue with dropping bitstreaming when turning home theater devices (e.g. TV, AVR, etc.) off and then back on? I ended up getting rid of my Haswell NUC, because I needed something that was more reliable. Amusingly enough, my passively-cooled i3-3225 HTPC works great. It also lacks the weird issue where putting PLEX in the start-up folder on the NUC causes PLEX to improperly connect to the server -- you'd end up seeing the different libraries, but you could never browse them.
  • CSMR - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    Why isn't the HD6000 graphics with 48EUs dominating the HD5500 graphics with only 24EUs?
  • TheinsanegamerN - Saturday, February 21, 2015 - link

    My guess is a combination of lack of memory bandwidth and power restrictions. HD 4600 just barely maxes out 1600MHz memory, and 1866 is barely enough for HD 5500. HD 5200, the previous iris pro, had 72 GB/s of bandwidth, and still had bandwidth issues. 1866 ddr3 is nowhere near fast enough.
    The second thing is power consumption. HD 4600 in the i5 4300m pulls about 19 watts of power. now, hd 6000 has far more cores, 48 vs 20, which is still too much for 14nm to run on that little power. since the entire TDP is only 15 watt for that cpu, the GPU is both bandwidth restricted and power restricted.
  • vcorem - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    The first NUC was IvyBridge, not SandyBridge.
    It was released in 2012
  • romrunning - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    How did the Mainstream setup beat the Enthusiast configuration in the 7-Zip benchmark?!

    Is that a mistake? Should the labels be switched?
  • Teknobug - Friday, February 20, 2015 - link

    I love my NUC, barely 6W idling and 18W under load, surfs the net great, plays Netflix and YT videos great, plays my Steam games via in-home streaming perfectly.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now