Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080 SFF PC Review: A Premium Gaming Powerhouseby Ganesh T S on December 19, 2016 8:30 AM EST
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.
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 Core i7-6700-based ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080 comes out with leading numbers. Actual x264 encoding performance with the Skylake processors and using the latest x264 releases (with AVX512 support) is bound to be even better compared to the numbers below.
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.
As businesses (and even home consumers) become more security conscious, the importance of encryption can't be overstated. Almost all modern CPUs support AES-NI for acceleration of the cryptographic processes. The Core i7-6700 in the ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080 does have AES-NI support. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of the AES-NI capabilities. In the graph below, we can get an idea of how fast a TrueCrypt volume would behave in the Zotac ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080 and how it would compare with other select PCs. This is a purely CPU feature / clock speed based test.
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.
Results are similar to what we saw with the EN980. Given NVIDIA's focus on CUDA, Photoscan's use of OpenCL for GPU acceleration doesn't yield as much benefit as one would expect. However, in the CPU-bound stages, the ZBOX MAGNUS EN1080 comes out easily on top.
Wrapping up our application benchmark numbers is the Dolphin Emulator benchmark mode results. This is again a test of the CPU capabilities, and the Core i7-6700 has no trouble in completing the benchmark in the least time of all the SFF PCs that we have evaluated.