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. Similar to our observations in the previous section, the higher clock rate of the i7-5500U helps the Broadwell unit gain a slight edge over its Haswell counterpart.

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 i7-5500U in the BXi7H-5500 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 GIGABYTE GB-BXi7H-5500 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, and only the power-hungry Iris Pro-equipped BRIX Pro (Core i7-4770R) fares better than the BXi7H-5500 amongst all the compared PCs.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Gaming Benchmarks
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  • cobalt42 - Friday, January 30, 2015 - link

    I think you're actually kind of agreeing -- as implied by the OP, 1366x768 is closer to 1280x720 than it is to 1280x1024. (768p is 80% of 12x10, 720p is 70% of 12x10). Either way, 1280x1048 is rather too many pixels.
  • milkod2001 - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    This seems more reasonable build compared to ASrock a few days back you posted review about. But Im still not sold on temperatures it reaches. 90c is way too much. Looks like even Broodwell could not help. Problem must be the case, it's just way too small.

    My suggestion to vendors would be to completely ignore Intel's NUC standard build entirely and put everything into bigger aluminium case Apple mini like.
  • milkod2001 - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    in other words, clone Apple mini, make RAM + SSD upgradable and slap windows OS on that. Then we talk.
  • nwrigley - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    I haven't seen anything that comes close to the Mac Mini on an engineering level. It's a real shame too, the Mac Mini has been out for 10 years and nothing has bested that design.

    I hope we start to see some more innovation. If you go a step above the Mac Mini in size/weight/performance you've probably doubled your size and weight (at least). I wish they would make parts for systems larger than a laptop, but smaller than a tower. I would gladly trade off some of the size and weight of the Mini for more performance.
  • Kalessian - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    This review hit my browser like a sack of brix. Thx.
  • ericgl21 - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    This i7-5500U is not impressive at all.
    Even now with 14nm, a 15W CPU (with iGPU) from Intel still doesn't cut it.
    Hopefully, Intel will release a proper quad-core CPU that would take on the i7-4770R in all respects, including a lower TDP.
  • BlueBlazer - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    Getting close and often surpassing AMD mobile APU offerings that has higher TDPs. Source of comparisons and Although differrent resolutions, 1280x1024 has more pixels than 1366x768. Furthermore not forgetting that this Core i7 5500u is just a 15W part!
  • Hulk - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    Not that I don't appreciate this fantastic review but are we going to see a Broadwell review?

    Broadwell, Haswell, Ivy, and Sandy with clocks normalized so we can see IPC improvements Work normalized so we can see a few generations of power efficiency improvements?
    And finally head-to-head for each iGPU (with games and compute benches)?
  • TheinsanegamerN - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    Looks good. cant wait to pick up the hd 6000 varient. I may have missed it, but does the broadwell NUC allow for the TDP to be raised like the haswell ones did? that, combined with 2133 memory let hd 5000 stretch its legs and perform quite well. hd6000 would be even better.
  • kgh00007 - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    Yeah I hope so! I have raised the TDP on my D54250WYK to 25W and also have 2133 RAM, makes a big difference in performance over 15W TDP and 1600 RAM in games!!

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