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


View All Comments

  • clarkn0va - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    Mediaportal (I hadn't heard of it until your post) seems to really play up the fact that it's "free" and "open source" on their web site, and yet it only runs on a non-free OS. XBMC, meanwhile, runs great on Linux.

    Of course not everyone cares about software freedom, but some of us certainly do, which is why I'm sticking with XBMC for now.
  • guidryp - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    " I would strongly suggest HTPC users relying on WMC (irrespective of the OS) to move on to other platforms."

    What other platforms.

    The only reason anyone I know uses WMC is for recording with a Tuner. I have an HTPC and I use it for this reason alone.

    There really is no free alternative for EPG based Tuner recording.

    I see ZERO reason to consider Windows8. Win7 Home Premium comes with WMC and if you actually need WMC this is the sane choice while it is available.
  • Bob Todd - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Very true about zero competition for people who use this for TV/DVR purposes (including me). It's probably worth posting this again even though someone else already brought it up.

    If anyone thinks they may ever want to run a HTPC on Windows 8 you can get yourself a free WMC key until the end of the month. Doesn't hurt to grab one and stash it away just in case.
  • guidryp - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    It is not free.

    First you need Windows 8, if you are not already there.

    You also need Win8 PRO, which is more expensive than Win7 Home Premium.

    Stick with win7.
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I bought windows 8 pro over the weekend for $39.99.

    Yes it is windows 8 pro not just windows 8.
  • amdwilliam1985 - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    I bought it from Microsoft site, no special deal, no discount site, no special coupon.
    Just bought it from Microsoft official site for $39.99 with no tax.
  • guidryp - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - link

    But that is an Upgrade price.

    So you are paying the price of Windows 7 + $40.

    So obviously it is $40 more than Windows 7.
  • lummoz - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    As mentioned before MediaPortal is a free (open source) alternative that allows for EPG based TV tuner recording while being a lot more flexible than WMC. It was originally forked from XBMC so it looks pretty fantastic as well.
  • jeffkibuule - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - link

    Doesn't support CableCard. Reply
  • guidryp - Monday, January 21, 2013 - link

    I tried MediaPortal and it's TV-Tuner recording is a MESS.

    I had better luck getting MythTV working under Linux. Pulling EPG from the DVB info worked in MythTV, but never really got it working in MediaPortal. Not that it is all that useful for guide recording anyway.

    So I still maintain there is no credible EPG-Tuner recording software to WMC.

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