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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  • Hardcore69 - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    A lot of that GPU accelerated DirectX 11.1 stuff is used way more in the Modern UI than the deskto. And where were the power figures for the desktop version of the apps? Reply
  • ganeshts - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Which apps are you talking about in particular?

    The Netflix app is the only 'Metro-specific' app that we installed. For comparison, we have power figures for Silverlight and Windows 8 too (if that is what you mean by desktop version of the Netflix app).

    Everything else was the desktop version.
    Reply
  • mavere - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Is it possible to analyze where the Windows 8 power savings are coming from? In a couple tests, the benefits were equal to the entire TDP of some systems, and you'd think Microsoft would have advertised that aspect of Win8 more.

    I think I speak for most enthusiasts here when I say that the why and how is often more interesting than the what. :D
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I think a lot of that has to do with avoiding CPU loading (Silverlight), fully functional GPU accelerated decoding (again, not through Slverlight) and possibly DRM is handled through specialized CPU instructions instead of as a Silverlight component.

    The power differences seem to be non-existent in older systems as per other commenters, but, on modern CPUs / GPUs, it is very evident. So, I suspect a lot has to do with the updates made in the CPUs and GPUs in the last couple of years
    Reply
  • Midgetsaw - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    This all very well and good but for me a htpc isn't any good without a tv tuner and windows 8 doesnt actually have media center. you have to contact ms to acquire it which is bs, all you have built is a glorified yt player, which you could have probably done with linux. Reply
  • lotharamious - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Do you have Windows 8 Pro? I'd bet you do.

    Free upgrade from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 8 Pro with Media Center until January 31.

    Go here:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/featu...

    Give them a valid email address and enter the key they give you. Done. Windows 8 with Media Center.

    So difficult to "contact ms", my ass. You just want an excuse to hate. I understand, many are like you.
    Reply
  • Cygni - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Ah yes, finally I can pay to upgrade my OS to a less usable HTPC version, then either jump through hoops (if its the next week and a half )or PAY EXTRA to restore completely un-upgraded functionality that came free with the version I upgraded from.

    Oh thank you Microsoft, you're truly a gleaming light.
    Reply
  • euler007 - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I guess free isn't good enough for you. Should they e-mail you a check to earn your anonumous forum support? Reply
  • Golgatha - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    My time spent "upgrading" isn't free. Nor do I wish to experiment with Windows 8 further after already being maddened by it's ridiculous (for the desktop anyway) UI. I did try it for a few days and then I imaged back to my Win7 install. I like it better and all my programs work with it without issue. Reply
  • lexluthermiester - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    There are a great many of us who feel your pain. I gave The Consumer Preview a shot and I kinda warmed up to it. The Release Preview ruined that warmth. And and fairness, I gave the retail release a solid month before washing my hands of it. I work for one of the few remaining brick and mortar tech shops in my area and we had a meeting with the owners a couple weeks ago. We were all prepared to tell them that we were unwilling to sell or support Windows 8 any further. To our joy they gave us those very instructions. You should have seen the smiles spreading around the room. And we are not the only ones snubbing 8. Three other shops in this area are doing the same. It was left to me to inform the MS reps of the news. Funny thing, when I did they weren't at all surprised. They didn't argue or try to talk us out of it. They simply said they'd be happy to continue supplying us with 7. I asked one of them why they didn't put up more of an objection. He answer said it all; "You're not the only company to take this position. We know that 8 is not well received or liked". When Microsoft's own reps are talking like that you just KNOW something's wrong. I think I'll leave it at that. Reply

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