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. The ordering of the scores seen in the SYSmark and PCMark 8 CPU benchmarks repeats here also.

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 1

Video Encoding - x264 5.0 - Pass 2


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.

7-Zip LZMA Compression Benchmark

7-Zip LZMA Decompression Benchmark


As businesses (and even home consumers) become more security conscious, the importance of encryption can't be overstated. CPUs supporting the AES-NI instruction have acceleration for the encryption and decryption processes. The Core i7-6500U has AES-NI support. TrueCrypt, a popular open-source disk encryption program can take advantage of the AES-NI capabilities. Its internal benchmark provides some interesting cryptography-related numbers to ponder. In the graph below, we can get an idea of how fast a TrueCrypt volume would behave in the GIGABYTE GB-BSi7HAL-6500 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 GB-BSi7HAL-6500 is only bettered by the Skull Canyon NUC.

Dolphin Emulator Benchmark

Performance Metrics - I Storage and Networking Performance
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  • GhostOfAnand - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    Any news on when Intel iGPU will support VESA adaptive sync?
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    "will support" is a bit of an overstatement.

    Right now VESA Adaptive Sync mode is an optional feature. See:
    "Adaptive-Sync (not to be confused with NVIDIA’s Adaptive V-Sync), the eDP feature that allows for variable refresh monitors, has been added to the DisplayPort 1.2a standard as an optional feature."

    Intel may or may not implement this feature at their discretion. I wouldn't really expect it for another year, to be honest, given that product releases are from heavily researched, tested, and fabricated products designed year(s) ago. Since Adaptive Sync is now an (optional) VESA standard feature, we might see Intel iGPU support maybe next gen, hopefully, and if not, the next gen after that.
  • Flunk - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    I believe they announced that support was coming with Kaby Lake.
  • Samus - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    I love my BRIX Projector, but it also cost $200 as a shell shocker years ago in i3 barebones form. After $100 in components and upgrading the wifi to .ac it's a great $300 media PC, but in all honesty isn't worth much more. The cost of these skylake nucs is ridiculous.
  • RadiclDreamer - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    I would pick up a lenovo mini with 1 lan port and add another via USB3 before buying this vastly overpriced attempt
  • powerarmour - Wednesday, September 21, 2016 - link

    Indeed, having an extra $10 port is hardly a selling point. Even a USB2 adaptor would do, or a cheap switch.
  • Ro_Ja - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    What? The Price of NUC6i7KYK is still cheaper.
  • Ro_Ja - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    Not to mention the i7-6500U's performance is bad per dollar :\
  • Xajel - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    Regarding that this not the best HTPC system, I wonder when you guys will make another HTPC GPU's comparison.. the latest one you guys made is 5 years old and it was only for discrete GPU's... we desperately need a new comprehensive comparison...
  • u.of.ipod - Thursday, September 22, 2016 - link

    They say in the review that since Haswell all GPUs from AMD, nvidia, and Intel are pretty much on par.

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