BAPCo and UL Benchmarks

The Intel NUC8i5BEB (Akasa Turing) was evaluated using our Fall 2018 test suite for small-form factor PCs. In the first section, we look at BAPCo's SYSmark and various UL benchmarks.

BAPCo SYSmark 2018

BAPCo's SYSmark 2018 is an application-based benchmark that uses real-world applications to replay usage patterns of business users in the areas of productivity, creativity, and responsiveness. SYSmark 25 was released recently, but the Turing build was benchmarked prior to its release.The 'Productivity Scenario' covers office-centric activities including word processing, spreadsheet usage, financial analysis, software development, application installation, file compression, and e-mail management. The 'Creativity Scenario' represents media-centric activities such as digital photo processing, AI and ML for face recognition in photos and videos for the purpose of content creation, etc. The 'Responsiveness Scenario' evaluates the ability of the system to react in a quick manner to user inputs in areas such as application and file launches, web browsing, and multi-tasking.

Scores are meant to be compared against a reference desktop (the SYSmark 2018 calibration system, a Dell Optiplex 5050 tower with a Core i3-7100 and 4GB of DDR4-2133 memory to go with a 128GB M.2 SATA III SSD). The calibration system scores 1000 in each of the scenarios. A score of, say, 2000, would imply that the system under test is twice as fast as the reference system.

SYSmark 2018 - Productivity

SYSmark 2018 - Creativity

SYSmark 2018 - Responsiveness

SYSmark 2018 - Overall

SYSmark 2018 also adds energy measurement to the mix. A high score in the SYSmark benchmarks might be nice to have, but, potential customers also need to determine the balance between power consumption and the efficiency of the system. For example, in the average office scenario, it might not be worth purchasing a noisy and power-hungry PC just because it ends up with a 2000 score in the SYSmark 2014 SE benchmarks. In order to provide a balanced perspective, SYSmark 2018 also allows vendors and decision makers to track the energy consumption during each workload. In the graphs below, we find the total energy consumed by the PC under test for a single iteration of each SYSmark 2018 workload. For reference, the calibration system consumes 5.36 Wh for productivity, 7.71 Wh for creativity, 5.61 Wh for responsiveness, and 18.68 Wh overall.

SYSmark 2018 - Productivity Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Creativity Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Responsiveness Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Overall Energy Consumption

For the most part, the scores of the passively-cooled and actively-cooled versions closely track each other. In the overall energy consumption, we actually see the standard kit being more efficient - in part due to the completion of the tasks in a slightly faster manner for some of the components.

UL Benchmarks - PCMark and 3DMark

This sub-section deals with a selection of the UL Futuremark benchmarks - PCMark 10, PCMark 8, and 3DMark. While the first two evaluate the system as a whole, 3DMark focuses on the graphics capabilities.

PCMark 10

UL's PCMark 10 evaluates computing systems for various usage scenarios (generic / essential tasks such as web browsing and starting up applications, productivity tasks such as editing spreadsheets and documents, gaming, and digital content creation). We benchmarked select PCs with the PCMark 10 Extended profile and recorded the scores for various scenarios. These scores are heavily influenced by the CPU and GPU in the system, though the RAM and storage device also play a part. The power plan was set to Balanced for all the PCs while processing the PCMark 10 benchmark.

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Essentials

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Productivity

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Gaming

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Digital Content Creation

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Extended

PCMark 8

We continue to present PCMark 8 benchmark results (as those have more comparison points) while our PCMark 10 scores database for systems grows in size. PCMark 8 provides various usage scenarios (home, creative and work) and offers ways to benchmark both baseline (CPU-only) as well as OpenCL accelerated (CPU + GPU) performance. We benchmarked select PCs for the OpenCL accelerated performance in all three usage scenarios. These scores are heavily influenced by the CPU in the system. Again, the standard kit and the Turing perform fairly similarly, with the actively-cooled kit getting a slight edge for most components.

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Home OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Creative OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Work OpenCL

3DMark

UL's 3DMark comes with a diverse set of graphics workloads that target different Direct3D feature levels. Correspondingly, the rendering resolutions are also different. We use 3DMark 2.4.4264 to get an idea of the graphics capabilities of the system. In this section, we take a look at the performance of the Intel NUC8i5BEB (Akasa Turing) across the different 3DMark workloads.

3DMark Ice Storm

This workload has three levels of varying complexity - the vanilla Ice Storm, Ice Storm Unlimited, and Ice Storm Extreme. It is a cross-platform benchmark (which means that the scores can be compared across different tablets and smartphones as well). All three use DirectX 11 (feature level 9) / OpenGL ES 2.0. While the Extreme renders at 1920 x 1080, the other two render at 1280 x 720. The graphs below present the various Ice Storm worloads' numbers for different systems that we have evaluated.

UL 3DMark - Ice Storm Workloads

3DMark Cloud Gate

The Cloud Gate workload is meant for notebooks and typical home PCs, and uses DirectX 11 (feature level 10) to render frames at 1280 x 720. The graph below presents the overall score for the workload across all the systems that are being compared.

UL 3DMark Cloud Gate Score

3DMark Sky Diver

The Sky Diver workload is meant for gaming notebooks and mid-range PCs, and uses DirectX 11 (feature level 11) to render frames at 1920 x 1080. The graph below presents the overall score for the workload across all the systems that are being compared.

UL 3DMark Sky Diver Score

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme

The Fire Strike benchmark has three workloads. The base version is meant for high-performance gaming PCs. Similar to Sky Diver, it uses DirectX 11 (feature level 11) to render frames at 1920 x 1080. The Ultra version targets 4K gaming system, and renders at 3840 x 2160. However, we only deal with the Extreme version in our benchmarking - It renders at 2560 x 1440, and targets multi-GPU systems and overclocked PCs. The graph below presents the overall score for the Fire Strike Extreme benchmark across all the systems that are being compared.

UL 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score

3DMark Time Spy

The Time Spy workload has two levels with different complexities. Both use DirectX 12 (feature level 11). However, the plain version targets high-performance gaming PCs with a 2560 x 1440 render resolution, while the Extreme version renders at 3840 x 2160 resolution. The graphs below present both numbers for all the systems that are being compared in this review.

UL 3DMark - Time Spy Workloads

3DMark Night Raid

The Night Raid workload is a DirectX 12 benchmark test. It is less demanding than Time Spy, and is optimized for integrated graphics. The graph below presents the overall score in this workload for different system configurations.

UL 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score

The graphics workloads show more balance - while the actively cooled version has the slight lead in some workloads, the fanless one leads in others. However, the differences across all tests are almost all within the regular run-to-run variance.

Build Process Miscellaneous Benchmarks
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  • Hulk - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    Great review. I'm very critical regarding computer noise and built a system using a Seasonic fanless power supply, Noctua cooler with 120mm fan and one 120mm case fan, both Noctua fans. I run the fans at about 1000rpm and the system noise is below my ability to hear unless I put my ear next to the case, and even then it's tough to hear anything. This is a "normal" 4770k non overclocked and it runs fine stock.
    My point is that I suggest anyone needing a silent system might be able to go with a passive power supply, large CPU air cooler, and quiet low rpm fans. You'll get virtually the same result for less money and a more powerful system.
    Reply
  • emgarf - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    Completely agree. It's not "portable", but I always build my systems in a full-size ATX tower and install 2x 140mm front intake, 1x 140mm bottom intake, and 1x 140mm rear exhaust Noctua fans. That way I can run them all at 700-800 rpm and maintain acceptable temps and essentially silent operation. I also usually oversize the (titanium-rated) power supply so that its fan never comes on in normal (< 50% capacity) operation. Reply
  • Hulk - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    Yup. A number of large, high quality fans run at low rpm are virtually silent and move enough air to keep temps down. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    ‘Virtually silent’ is a vague concept. People with partial hearing loss may label quite noisy things in that manner. I also don’t know to what degree what someone notices is a 1:1 correspondence with what can irritate the person’s hearing.

    Droning fans, even when quieter than some noise sources, can be more irritating for a person with tinnitus. I presume this is due to a lack of rest intervals. High frequency emissions may also play a role. Some ball bearing fans are tuned to emit high frequencies.
    Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    Many people also live in places with high levels of ambient noise pollution. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - link

    You're right about the vague concept. The fans they're describing will be running with FDB bearings, though, and not running at a speed that would produce any human-audible droning at common operating distances (1m+), assuming the sort of noise floor you'd expect in even a very quiet household environment.

    I'm not just stating that as an opinion - it's the sort of conclusion SPCR used to come to with their testing, and it's also my personal experience from building similar systems and testing them in quiet environments (quiet house, no HVAC, not near main roads).
    Reply
  • AT_comma - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    Look a lot like the new Xbox form factor. Perhaps made also to stay in place. Reply
  • Maksdampf - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    I am pretty sure the Akasa Turing was designed to sit upright, not flat on the table. Upright position increases the thermal performance by a significant margin, even though it is already quite good thanks to the beefy heatsink.

    The way it was tested by Anandtech only uses the upper half of the heatsink for convection, the two lower parts are basically dummies with no possibility for natural airflow whatsoever.
    Positioning the Case upright should not only improve overall thermal performance, but also speed up the cooldown time and improve the ssd temperatures a bit.

    Apparently Akasa designed this to embedded standards, as there are no holes in the sides of the motherboard compartment which would improve airflow along the SSD due to natural convection, but would also be susceptible to Dust. A feature that is very liked in dusty Enviroments like industrial manufacturing, or weathery semi-outdoor applications etc.
    Dust is one of the major drawbacks to "almost noiseless" fan designs like the one Hulk mentions in his Post below.
    Reply
  • dontlistentome - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    Maybe, but my 2 previous cases, the orientation made little difference in my room with no active air circulation. There's just not enough convection to cool the 30-40w heat coming from such a small area. Reply
  • The Von Matrices - Monday, October 26, 2020 - link

    Look at the logos on the case. They're designed for the case to be horizontal, like it was reviewed. Reply

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