As I installed Windows and the appropriate drivers for the X2, I had the feeling of a system no faster than the LIVA X that preceded it. I must point out the difference in system specs between the two, with our LIVA X unit at 4 GB of memory and a 64 GB eMMC drive, and the X2 arriving with only 2 GB of memory and a 32 GB drive. This lower RAM/storage number seem to be the standard for Braswell systems in general, if the base specs of the new Intel Braswell NUC can be used a reference.
The LIVA X2 uses the Celeron N3050 Braswell SoC, a dual-core 1.6 GHz processor with 2 MB of L2 cache and turbo boost speeds up to 2.16 GHz. This is (at least on paper) a slight upgrade to the LIVA X's Celeron N2808, a dual-core Bay Trail-M SoC with only 1 MB of L2 cache but similar base/boost speeds.
Moving right into some benchmark results, let's see how the LIVA X2 performed compared to last years model – with performance from a quad-core Bay Trail-M part (Pentium N3540) via a Dell Inspiron 11 3000-series laptop thrown in for reference.
I separated the CPU arithmetic tests here to more easily show the single vs. multi-thread results.
The N3540 in the Dell Inspiron 11 is a quad-core part, and it of course will lead in every multi-threaded benchmark against the dual-core parts. Of interest is how closely the Braswell N3050 and Bay Trail-M N2808 parts perform, with the newer N3050 holding the advantage with integer performance.
Here we see a shift with the Bay Trail-M parts displaying higher per-thread performance during the floating-point tests; first with single-float, and then double-float performance:
Next we'll look at the aggregate multi-media performance:
Once again last year's LIVA X out-performs the Braswell LIVA X2, with the Bay Trail-M N2808 providing a slight advantage in both single and multi-threaded performance.
To provide another look at the CPU performance from these SoCs, I ran the latest version of Geekbench (in 32-bit mode) on the systems.
Here we see a repeat of the SiSoft Sandra tests, with the Braswell SoC taking the lead in integer performance, but trailing in floating-point performance.
3DMark – Cloud Gate
These mini-PCs certainly aren't going to allow anything but casual gaming, but I ran the Cloud Gate benchmark to see what improvement there might be in the graphics department with this new LIVA.
Here we see significant graphics performance gains with the Braswell SoC in the LIVA X2, though physics performance was higher with the LIVA X. The LIVA X2's graphical advantage extends to desktop productivity, as the X2 immediately recognized my 2560×1440 monitor and permitted full native resolution, while last year's LIVA X was limited to 1920×1080 output (both connected via HDMI).
Next I'll cover my experience with network performance, video playback, and general desktop use.