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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  • ganeshts - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I wish :) But, to be honest, MS doesn't even provide keys to us (We have to use the eval period, unactivated)

    That said, I first set up Win 8 for a relative on a newly purchased notebook, and I seriously hated it. Even now, I am not used to the various new features available to interact with the OS. But, I have now come to realize that, technically, the OS has some very interesting improvements in terms of efficiency and multimedia support (at least). Give the eval version a try without activating, you might be pleasantly surprised :)
  • glugglug - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - link

    Replacing multiple DVRs is the primary use of my PC..

    I suppose you could have a Media Center w/CableCARD build separate from the HTPC you have here, but IMO, Media Center is **the** killer HTPC app.
  • NikosD - Friday, January 25, 2013 - link

    4K decoding ? Why not benchmark at that resolution ?
    Ivy and VP5 are the only GPUs (VPUs) capable of HW accelerated H.264 4K decoding.
  • CSMR - Sunday, January 27, 2013 - link

    Power consumption of around 40W is high for doing something as simple as media playback.
    With an Ivy Bridge chip you should be able to get sub 20W easily, and in fact sub 10W is achievable (
    For a fanless system, this is important and will improve reliability and difficulty of cooling.
  • mr0000000000 - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - link

    Lordy that thing is beautiful - is that just a rendering or does that actually exist?
  • PokerGuy - Monday, February 4, 2013 - link

    From the article: "I would strongly suggest HTPC users relying on WMC (irrespective of the OS) to move on to other platforms."

    What other platform could I move to that would allow me to use cablecard? I have HD Homerun Prime and absolutely love it. I can watch any and everything on any PC in the house, including my HTPC for my main tv in the living room. I use XBMC as my library manager for all my movies and music, but I can't use it with cablecard, so I still need WMC for that purpose.

    Win 8 comes without WMC, unless you want to pay extra, so for me it's a step backwards from Win 7. Paying to downgrade in functionality doesn't seem like a good idea.
  • connor2k - Friday, February 15, 2013 - link

    I have looked through most of the comments. Is it listed elsewhere?
  • Deuge - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - link

    Hi Ganesh, i notice the new haswell NUC with HD5000 is coming out. Will you be doing an HTPC review of it?? Seems like the perfect HTPC to me.

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