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. As expected, the lower turbo frequency of the Core i5-6200U and operation of the platform at its default TDP make the Beebox-S 6200U come in the lower half of the pack in this benchmark.

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 1

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 2

7-Zip

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. Results are similar to what we observed for the video encoding case.

7-Zip LZMA Compression Benchmark

7-Zip LZMA Decompression Benchmark

TrueCrypt

As businesses (and even home consumers) become more security conscious, the importance of encryption can't be overstated. Hardware-acceleration for the same is available in the Core i5-6200U in the form of AES-NI support. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of the AES-NI capabilities, and it comes with an internal benchmark. In the graph below, we can get an idea of how fast a TrueCrypt volume would behave in the ASRock Beebox-S 6200U 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 the configuration of the Beebox-S platform unfortunately make it end up at the bottom of the lot.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Networking and Storage Performance
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  • tipoo - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    I like how they'll keep including CDs after they removed DVD slots, lol Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    Yeah, that is sort of silly. It probably boils down to cost. Cheap little USB drives are several dollars whereas a disc is a few pennies and can't be accidentally erased by the end user...though you could write protect any other storage medium too. Reply
  • Chaitanya - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    There are couple of NAND based products that follow: write once read many scheme. I wouldnt mind having a read only USB flashdrive containing drivers and bios for safe fall back option. Reply
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    Yes, Zotac and GIGABYTE do that. ASRock is following the feedback from this article, so they will be getting the message :) Reply
  • thegreenhundred - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    Or we can save the OEM a few bucks and lots of supply chain/production work by downloading & backing up any drivers we want for the infamous "what if" scenereos........ that and getting said drivers from component vendors is likely to give much newer/better versions of said drivers than what the OEM could assemble at time of production. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, August 11, 2016 - link

    It's good to know ASRock is taking feedback into account. Even if the company elects to continue shipping products with drivers on discs, the fact that they're at least considering feedback at all says a lot of nice things about them. Reply
  • Shiitaki - Sunday, August 14, 2016 - link

    What Asrock and the rest of the PC industry should be looking at is a proper drive curation system. Microsoft COULD be better here. Any modern UEFI motherboard should be able to phone home for firmware updates and even download a driver package. If Apple can pull this off, then the board manufactures certainly could as well. After all you would only need to write the UEFI app once and then include it in every firmware upgrade. Even older boards could be upgraded retroactively. The option to dump them on to a flash drive should be a standard method. That way real drivers and firmware updates are both easy and available. Though Microsoft should be releasing updated images every month instead of every OS release. Reply
  • Ro_Ja - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    I'd still pick the Intel NUC6i5SYK over this. Is the Samsung 950 Pro more expensive than Samsung SM951? Sorry guys I'm really new to these things. Reply
  • fanofanand - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    I was thinking the same thing, the 5SYK has much better Wi-Fi, a faster processor, and though it would be about $90 more if the SSD capacity were identical, you would also be getting Intel QC. Slightly better timings on the RAM used on the 5SYK as well. I am still holding out hope that I can get one of these for my son instead of building out a rig. I don't think we are quite there yet. Great for office and light browsing, facebook etc., but still not ready for primetime. Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - link

    I'm not sure you're looking at this the right way. The i5-6200 CPU should be faster than the i5-5250U. The RAM typically doesn't come supplied with either unit, you buy/install whichever you want. The Wifi card is an easy replacement for either, I wouldn't let that be a determining factor either. Reply

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