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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  • kgh00007 - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    No mention of the i7-5500U turbo speeds?

    3GHz single core turbo and 2.9GHz dual core turbo, source notebookcheck.
  • voicequal - Saturday, February 7, 2015 - link

    These were provided in a previous article.
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    The only people who would pay that much money for so little performance already gave their money to apple.
  • gr8pcguy - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    Doesn't it bother anyone that the box is printed with the statement "Supports 2.5" Hard Drivers"? Obviously Gigabyte needs to do a bit of QA on their package production line!
  • Refuge - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    Ha! I noticed this to when I first clicked the link.

    Hopefully they fix the typo before full production for consumers. :P
  • skifiddle - Saturday, January 31, 2015 - link

  • Refuge - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    The Brix, now supports 2.5" Hard "Drivers"

    Is this some kind of new, super strong drivers for our HDD's?

    And yes, this is me being sarcastic :P
  • tspacie - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    The huge iGPU BIOS carve-out intrigues me. Does the iGPU not handle allocations in shared system memory (in 4K pages) ?
  • Pissedoffyouth - Thursday, January 29, 2015 - link

    Nah, neither does AMD APUs. You lose whatever you allocate.
  • rootheday3 - Friday, January 30, 2015 - link

    the BIOS carve out is not necessary. The bios reserves a little (~32mb) for some internal data structures used by the driver (graphics page tables, memory for content protection, auxilary buffer for display frame buffer compression). Otherwise, the driver gets allocations out of system memory from the OS to map into the graphics page tables.

    the DVMT pre-Allocated is a hold over from Windows XP driver model and is no longer meaningful since Vista. In fact, if the OS comes under memory pressure and starts asking the driver to stick data into that "dedicated" segment, the PCI aperture copy/swizzle process used to load the data is slower than if the driver simply used OS allocations. Likewise, on standby/hibernate the OS "pages out" all the data from dedicated segment to "normal" memory which is slow... whereas for normal system allocations on iGPU, the pages are just "there" - no extra copy required.

    The sole exception is a handful of games that are incorrectly coded to look for "Dedicated" graphics memory from OS API call and then make bogus decisions based on that (e.g. refuse to run=>PES, restrict available game resolution/settings =>SW:TOR, older Total War games, render incorrectly because they think they don't have room to load textures =>GTA IV). For this small set of games, having the BIOS option to preallocate memory (which the driver won't actually use) is a workaround to fool them into running correctly.

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