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. In this particular workload, we actually don't see any improvements in Broadwell-Y over Haswell-Y, but that could be influence by a variety of factors. Since this workload involves sustained CPU loading, the likely reason is that the thermal design allows the ZBOX CI540 nano to stay at higher clocks for more time compared to the ECS LIVA Core.

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


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 M 5Y10c in the ECS LIVA Core does have AES-NI support. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of the AES-NI capabilities. Despite being no longer in development, 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 ECS LIVA Core 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. In our case, the reasons behind the ordering in the Futuremark benchmarks can be applied here also.

Agisoft PhotoScan Benchmark - Stage 1

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 Zotac ZBOX CI540 nano is the only system with a similar TDP to perform better than the ECS LIVA Core (likely due to the same reasons that the x264 benchmark is in favor of the former).

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Networking and Storage Performance
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  • cjb110 - Thursday, October 8, 2015 - link

    It's probably a side effect of them being soldered on the board, they've counted 4 of chips, each being 8 gigabit. If it had used sticks, then I doubt they'd have been counted as such. Some GPU reviews have done the same.
  • GatesDA - Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - link

    It's weird, but the lower-case "b" matters. For some reason it's listed in gigabits, and 8 gigabits (Gb) = 1 gigabyte (GB).
  • mctylr - Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - link

    No, it's not weird if you are use to using SI (metric), where prefixes are case sensitive as well (i.e. Mega versus milli).
  • frenchy_2001 - Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - link

    And if you want to be pedantic, they are NOT using the right symbol either.
    It should be 4 x 8Gib = 4 GiB
    Gi = 2^30
    G = 10 ^9, SI notation
  • mkozakewich - Thursday, October 8, 2015 - link

    Yeah, but that's stupid anyway. Only drive manufacturers use base-10 units. We should just call a billion byes "drive gigabytes" and leave the rest as regular GB.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, October 8, 2015 - link

    Disagree, there are actual standards on this kind of thing.

    Drive units are using correct SI order of magnitude prefix notation, whereas RAM manufacturers are not, and most people do not use them correctly. Windows reports sizes incorrectly (using the traditional, incorrect method). OS X reports sizes using SI notation these days, correctly.
  • Vepsa - Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - link

    I think this would be great for a LSTP thin client.
  • bznotins - Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - link

    Feels like no hardware H.265 support is a deal-killer.

    Looking-forward to the lower-power Skylake CPUs for future streaming boxes.
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, October 8, 2015 - link

    That's my thought as well. Looking at it purely from a HTPC perspective, without HEVC support, it really offer very little over a much cheaper Atom-based Liva. As a generic workstation, you can't upgrade the RAM and the SSD upgrade path is very limited. It lacks a second gigabit port, so you can't make a router out of it either. For gaming, it's worthless unless you use it as a streamer, but then you can do that with much cheaper units as well. For $450-500, it's a terrible purchase no matter what your end goal is.

  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, October 8, 2015 - link

    "The only unfortunate aspect here is the complete absence of any sort of hardware acceleration for HEVC."

    It strikes me as particularly ridiculous that Intel has rolled out their 14nm parts with iGPUs that have no H.265. WEAK.

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