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 Celeron N2930 at 1.83 GHz manages to surpass the N2806 (at 1.6 GHz) in the ECS LIVA as well as the AMD A6-1450 in the CA320 nano. It does lose out to the actively-cooled 2.41 GHz Celeron J1900 in the GIGABYTE GB-BXBT-1900.

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. Unfortunately, the Celeron N2930 SKU doesn't support AES-NI. 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 Zotac ZBOX CI320 nano 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

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.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Networking and Storage Performance
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  • josephandrews222 - Thursday, January 8, 2015 - link

    I enjoy reading the comments from ars experts in a thread like this...and I have a question/comment similar to one posted earlier.

    My wife's computing needs are minimal (word processing, downloading pdfs and filling out forms for job-related stuff, paying bills online, light web-surfing, occasional Netflix etc.).

    Would this box work for her? Flawlessly? No driver issues etc.? Plug it into a simple 1080p monitor via DVI/HDMI or VGA and all is well?
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, January 10, 2015 - link

    Sounds like the ECS Liva would fit the bill. It has been as cheap as $95. Slap Windows 10 preview on it and you don't even have to pay for a Windows license.
  • sonicmerlin - Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - link

    Can you install a cablecard in this thing? I guess you could always use an external usb tuner but I would prefer something internal.
  • Zim - Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - link

    What about the pipo x7 from gearbest ? Baytrail T Z3736F Quad Core 2GB/32GB WiFi Bluetooth Windows 8.1 /bing $89 shipped.

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