Performance Metrics - I

The Zotac ZBOX CI540 nano was evaluated using our standard test suite for low power desktops / industrial PCs. We revamped our benchmark suite earlier this year after the publication of the Intel D54250WYK NUC review. We reran some of the new benchmarks on the older PCs also, but some of them couldn't be run on loaner samples. Therefore, the list of PCs in each graph might not be the same.

Futuremark PCMark 8

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. The real tussle is between the CI540 nano, the BXBT-1900 and the ECS LIVA. Amongst these three, the CI540 nano and ECS LIVA are the only passive PCs. Given these constraints, it is indeed creditable that the unit performs the best amongst the three.

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Home OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Creative OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Work OpenCL

Miscellaneous Futuremark Benchmarks

Futuremark PCMark 7 - PCMark Suite Score

Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Extreme Score

Futuremark 3DMark 2013 - Ice Storm Score

Futuremark 3DMark 2013 - Cloud Gate Score

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15

We have moved on from R11.5 to R15 for 3D rendering evaluation. CINEBENCH R15 provides three benchmark modes - OpenGL, single threaded and multi-threaded. Evaluation of select PCs in all three modes provided us the following results.

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15 - Single Thread

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15 - Multiple Threads

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15 - OpenGL

Introduction and Setup Impressions Performance Metrics - II
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  • p@nc@k3s - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    To me, it really is the footprint and fanless design that would make me buy this over a notebook.
  • james16 - Monday, November 3, 2014 - link

    Same for me. From my own anecdotal experience and expecting to use a PC for 6+ years, fans can suck in a lot of dust over time. The dust can cause overheating and throttling issues. Sometimes, the fans fail at some point too. I'm done with opening up PCs to clean/replace things. It's just not worth my time anymore. Also, notebooks are even more time consuming to open up to clean/replace stuff.

    So far with my experience with fanless devices is that they don't attract as much dust and, of course, no fans that can fail. However, you have to choose the right device. I've encountered some devices where the thermal design wasn't very good and you get throttling under normal conditions.
  • Aikouka - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Sure. Pretty much anything can be a HTPC as long as it meets your media needs. Some people just have different needs. For example, you probably cannot VESA mount a laptop on the back of a monitor/TV, but you can do that with a NUC/UCFF PC (I do that with my touch-based HTPC).
  • Spectrophobic - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    Pretty sure it isn't that hard to DIY a mount for a laptop behind a monitor/TV.
  • gopher1369 - Friday, October 31, 2014 - link

    In a corporate environment installing 500 of them at once?
  • barleyguy - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    In a corporate environment the solution would be to check the laptops out to employees and buy docking stations for the desks. My current corporate environment is primarily that way, as was my previous employer.

    They did have quite a few thin clients as well, but in general, people hated them.

    That said, my work laptop is WAY more powerful than this. It's a Dell mobile workstation with a Quad i7, an SSD, Radeon graphics, and 16 GB of RAM. Only downside is that it weighs about 10 pounds.
  • Johnmcl7 - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    I'm not sure how we've suddenly jumped from a single HTPC to 500 devices in a corporate network however having been down both routes in a corporate environment, I preferred the laptop mounting option. There are standardised brackets available and it meant we could use a standard laptop that was properly supported (the company was a large one and standardised on a handful of models from a single supplier) making them much quicker to set up and much easier to get them fixed thanks to next day on site warranties.

    I immediately lost all interest in the Zotac when I saw the price, there's no way I'd pay such a huge premium when there's plenty of cheaper laptops with similar hardware that can do the job.

  • barleyguy - Monday, November 3, 2014 - link

    Keep in mind the retail price is probably temporary. The Gigabyte BRIX products tend to sell for about half of retail after they've been out for a while. This will probably be the same way.

    Right now Newegg is bundling a free 4 GB memory stick with this.
  • wintermute000 - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    Absolutely correct, aside from aesthetics.
    my standard go to recommendation for semi-technical friends is to grab a 200-300 dollar laptop and leave it connected to the telly permanently.
  • Michael Bay - Saturday, November 1, 2014 - link

    And it instantly becomes a dust magnet.

    Not even mentioning how extremely nice cheap laptop fits into TV cabinet aesthetic.

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