Performance Testing

For our quick dive into the raw benchmarks with the Intel NUC5i5RYK we have lined up a good grouping of competitors. The new NUC, with the Intel Core i5-5250U is going to be compared to a slightly different Broadwell CPU, the Core i7-5500U. Both are dual-core HyperThreaded processors but the 5500U inside the Gigabyte Brix runs at 300 MHz faster peak Turbo clock speeds on the CPU cores. But the Core i5-5250U actually has the faster graphics system – Intel HD Graphics 6000 compared to the Intel HD Graphics 5500. So while the Brix is rated with a faster CPU, the NUC should have a slightly faster GPU.

Also included are the Haswell-based Intel NUC with the Core i5-4250U, a typical Ultrabook with the same processor integration, AMD's A4-5000 Kabini processor, an Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge CPU for legacy comparisons and even an AMD Trinity APU, the A10-5800K.

The new NUC's processor has a TDP of just 15 watts – the same as the Core i7-5500U and the Core i5-4250U. Some of the older processors will stretch much higher than, ending with the AMD A10-5800K at 100 watts.

In our first results from SiSoft Sandra, the new Broadwell Core i5-5250U is faster than the Haswell CPU of the same classification. Integer performance is 8.8% faster and floating point is 29% faster in the CPU Arithmetic test and multimedia scores are about 7% faster. But notice that the Gigabyte Brix using the Core i7-5500U scores even higher than that – 15-16% over the Intel NUC 5i5RYK.

Though single threaded performance between the 5250U and the 4250U are identical, the Broadwell CPU shows an advantage when utilizing all threads on the system (14%). The Brix with its Core i7-5500U does better still, beating the Core i5-4250U by 20% in single threaded scores and 33% in multi-threaded.

Our encoding test with Handbrake shows a performance lead of 12% compared to the Haswell-based Core i5-4250U for the new Broadwell processor used in the NUC. The Brix's processor again is the stand out, besting the NUC by another full 15%!

Things are more interesting in our 3DMark result where the different GPUs start to make themselves known. The Graphics score on the Intel NUC5i5RYK are about 3% faster than the result from the Gigabyte Brix BXi7H-5500, but that reverses in the Physics sub-test where the Brix is 16% faster. The overall score weighs in favor of the Brix over the NUC but by a fairly small margin of 4.5%.

Again, even though the A10-5800K is aging in AMD's APU lineup, the fact that both Broadwell processors from Intel continue to push forward in the GPU performance space, out running the 100 watt 5800K graphics score at incredibly low TDPs, is impressive. 

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