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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  • iwayman1001 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I think most if not all commenters here are completely missing the point on Jriver. Jriver can be your DLNA server, your media cloud server located in your own house. I've tried most MC software, WMC, TotalMedia, NextPVR, BeyondTV, XBMC, etc... None of them can be set up easily as media server cloud so that you can watch your live/recorded TV, all your ripped TV shows, movies, songs, etc over the Internet, your Android phones, your iPhone. You can watch your US live TV, your own movies, recorded TV shows, songs while you'r in Europe provided you have Internet access in the hotel or your smart phone. It take 5 minutes in Jriver to set that up after you build your home Jriver's media library. You do not have to know about public IP/private IP address, etc. Tryi it and you will find out all other MC servers are just for in home, not roaming on the road like Jriver provides. Reply
  • Monkeysweat - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    were you using a RC candidate or last stable release (v.11)? Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Frodo RC2

    However, I have seen the VC1 issue in previous stable builds too.
    Reply
  • Iketh - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I haven't been able to respond to a post on this site for a couple months now. Can only make a new thread. I'm using IE9. When trying to reply to someone, it hangs with the working GIF twirling forever. Probably is related to the fact that I can't stay logged in from 1 page to the next either... Reply
  • Laststop311 - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Maybe I'm in the minority but I like an HTPC that can game as well. Yeah the htpc cases that can properly operate a full size high end gpu are bigger and louder. But with careful hardware choices and quality noctua fans you can make them nearly silent. You got to have a good furniture set up as well to make gaming with a wireless keyboard and mouse a reality. Proper high end gpu will give you better video playback in some situations as well.

    I can see a place for both. But I don't think ivy bridge is a good choice to jump in on the fanless htpc's. Haswell is perfectly suited for this application, power consumption lowered cpu performance and especially gpu performance increased greatly as this is a tock release which is always the best one. The Haswell version of this pc should run even cooler temps while providing better performance, especially on the gpu side (and intel better have fixed the 24hz bug)
    Reply
  • gamoniac - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Thanks Ganesh, for comparing Win7 and Win8, and Metro vs Silverlight video rendering. I am surprised that the Netflix Metro apps are so much more efficient. Having just switched to Win8 two days ago, after reading this article, I checked and am able to confirm that on Win8, Netflix Metro app uses only 2% of my 6-core AMD 1090T CPU (on SSD), compared to the 8% of desktop IE10 browser (Silverlight), which is still better than Win7.

    Furthermore, the Metro Netflix app better renders in HD than in Silverlight, which periodically fails to render in HD for certain movies. Thanks again.
    Reply
  • don_k - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I probably ask for this in just about every article in this, truly excellent, website so at the risk of becoming a broken record, could we please oh please have linux tests to go along with Windows on these things?

    HTPC, 'enterprise' product tests, file server type tests, all of these are simply incomplete without linux
    testing without going into the reasons why as it will likely result in yet another flame war :)

    I realise Linux isn't exactly your area of expertise but is it really that much more difficult to boot a linux based XBMC[1] live CD than it is to sit through yet another Windows installation?

    Please consider doing this, I would love nothing more than to see Linux tests in my favourite hardware/review website.

    http://mirrors.xbmc.org/releases/XBMCbuntu/xbmcbun...
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    We definitely do Linux testing in our NAS reviews (using a CentOS guest OS). Also, my primary workplace m/c is RHEL 6 :) Reply
  • don_k - Monday, January 28, 2013 - link

    Glad to hear it! :)

    So, are you going to be testing HTPCs with linux based XBMC or..?
    Reply
  • coolhund - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    Nice HTPC setup, but Windows 8? Really?
    How much did MS pay for that?
    Reply

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