General Performance Metrics

We are not going to compare our build with full-blown desktop solutions. Instead, we will see how the unit stacks up to some of the low power offerings that have graced our labs. Some of the benchmarks have been run for the first time, and hence, not all benchmarks are available for all units. In addition, we are only presenting benchmark results for our build under Windows 8.

Windows Performance Index

This metric is often considered meaningless, but we feel it serves as an indicator of what could be the bottleneck in a system. On Windows 8, systems can score up to 9.9 on this metric, compared to 7.9 on Windows 7.

Given that we have equipped the system with SSDs and the RAM runs at the prescribed maximum of 1600 MHz, it is no surprise that the HD 4000 GPU is responsible for a score of 4.7 for the system.

Futuremark Benchmarks

Futuremark PCMark 7

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark 3DMark11

Futuremark 3DMark06

Miscellaneous Benchmarks

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R11.5

Starting with this review, we are going to utilize Graysky's x264 Benchmark v5.0 for testing out x264 encoding performance. Instead of just presenting benchmarks for our build alone, we took the opportunity to run the benchmark on two HTPC units we reviewed earlier.

Video Encoding - x264 v5.0 64b

Video Encoding - x264 v5.0 64b

There are no surprises in the benchmarks, with the CPU performance befitting a 55W TDP unit. The absence of four physical cores does hurt it against the i7-based units in the above graphs (and would have showed in the x264 benchmark too, if we had run it on a i7-based system). However, this is not a concern for most HTPC workloads.


Introduction Network Streaming Performance - Netflix
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  • lexluthermiester - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I've run many tests doing the 8 VS 7 comparisons. Not only have you left out many of the comparing scores for 7, but your power usage numbers don't seem right.

    I have a Kill-A-Watt power usage adapter that plugs right into the wall, which measures total power running through it. Last night I ran tests using Netflix and 8 vs 7 on two different notebooks. The first is a Gateway P-7811FX[P9700 2.8 ghz C2D, GF 9800m GTS] and the second a Toshiba L655-S5150[i5-480m 2.66ghz, Intel HD]. The numbers for the Gateway were 67.3[8], 64.4[8 app] and 66.1[7]. The Toshiba's numbers were a bit better, 50.9[8], 47.1[8 app] and 50.8[7].

    Now I could go one for days about game benchmarks and compatibility between 7 & 8. But real issue here is the your power numbers don't seem realistic. The Netflix app does have a small advantage, but nothing as dramatic as what you are showing. The difference between 8 VS 7 numbers are statistically insignificant. I ran battery tests as well. And those numbers are also statistically insignificant.

    I'm not willing to accept your results as valid and quantifiable, unless you declare the testing equipment used and OS config setup.
  • lexluthermiester - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    And before anyone states the obvious, yes the CPU's in each of those notebook were upgraded from their factory offerings. Both have 4GB of ram. The gateway has a WD 500gb 7200rpm HDD and the Toshiba has a Seagate 320GB 7200rpm. But remember these notebooks were not compared to each other, only themselves using one OS vs the other.
  • ganeshts - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I stand by my numbers, and the tests were repeated multiple times to confirm this. Our configuration of the testbed itself is described in the first page of the review.

    For power measurement, we use the UFO Power Center from Visible Energy with a custom power measurement script described here:

    I see that both the CPUs you used have old Intel HD Graphics (yes, Clarkdale and Arrandale were released when Intel HD Graphics wasn't that great). I think a lot of the advantage for the app version has to do with very good hardware decode acceleration (improved GPU and drivers).
  • Gigaplex - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    You're claiming that minimal power savings with old architecture CPUs on notebooks (were the batteries plugged in?) as measured by you invalidates Ganesh's measurements on a desktop platform? Just... no.
  • Galatian - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Does the Windows 8 GUI actually bring something on the table for a couch potato like myself? I just retired my old gaming rig which now serves as a HTPC and I kinda tasted blood with Steam in Big Picture mode. I'm planning on running a power efficient yet graphically powerful HTPC once Haswell (or perhaps a new AMD A10) is out, but I would really like for Windows 8 to be completely controllable by an XBox controller? Has Microsoft actually included support for that or was their only new feature touch support?
  • lexluthermiester - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    You can control Windows 7 with a 360 controller? Didn't know that. Is this something natively supported? Or is it a hack? Wait... I'm on the net I'll look it up... Very cool if it works though.
  • Galatian - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Never said it did...not sure were you red this in my post??? I was just curious because for me the tile based start menu of Windows 8 would seem to be a perfect fit for a XBox controller support, hence my question. At least this would be one place in my house were Windows 8 might be useful. If not I'll jus stick to Windows 7
  • Gigaplex - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    If your TV is 720p rather than 1080p, then absolutely not. "Metro" apps don't run at 1280x720, an error message pops up telling you to change the screen resolution whenever you try to launch one.

    And no, sadly an Xbox controller doesn't work with "Metro".
  • coolhund - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    LOL seriously?
    I mean I know that the minimum is 1024x768, but hell, everyone knows 720p is often used and thus I thought they were smart enough to allow that resolution, even if its not quite as high in the vertical. The stupidity of MS never ceases to amaze me...
  • powerarmour - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Unfortunately the Metro/Modern UI is neither remote friendly, nor controller friendly.

    Waste of time for a HTPC tbh.

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