Performance Metrics - I

The Zotac ZBOX CA320 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 main system for comparison is the ECS LIVA, a fanless Bay Trail PC (that is alot cheaper, but comes with soldered DRAM and eMMC intead of a SO-DIMM slot and ability to take a 2.5" drive). Interesting, the AMD A6-1450 compares quite favourably with the Bay Trail Celeron J1900-based GIGABYTE BXBT-1900, even though the latter is actively cooled. Other than that, there is no surprise in these graphs - particularly, the performance lag when compared to a Haswell-Y CPU with similar TDP levels in the ZBOX CI540 nano.

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

One of the interesting aspects of the 3DMark 11 benchmarks was that we were unable to get Bay Trail-based units to complete any run other than the Entry-level workload. The Temash-based ZBOX CA320 nano had no trouble processing both the Entry and Extreme workloads. Both graphs are presented here. Temash's HD 8250 seems to be no match for the IGP in the Haswell Core i5-4210Y, but it handily surpasses the IGP in the Bay Trail SoCs. The latter aspect is the important point - Temash-based units are competing at the same price points as the Bay Trail-based ones.

Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Entry 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

Single-threaded performance for Temash seems to be quite a bit worse compared to even the Bay Trail-based Celeron N2807 in the ECS LIVA. However, multi-threaded performance is better for the Cinebench workload, thanks mainly to the presence of double the number of cores / threads (4 vs. 2) in the A6-1450. The GPU capabilities as exposed by the OpenGL run (and also seen in the 3DMark benches) is also better for Temash compared to Bay Trail.

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15 - Multiple Threads

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R15 - OpenGL

Introduction and Setup Impressions Performance Metrics - II
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  • DryAir - Thursday, November 27, 2014 - link

    I would also like to see a review for the Alpha.

    Seems to be much better than the other "gaming" mini pcs reviewed here (Brix), and its also the best deal of any PC at its price, be it OEM or DIY.
  • OtisRush - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    Good Review. Looking forward to seeing how this one stacks up to the CI320 with the Celeron N2930 4core CPU
  • milli - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    x264 Benchmark: 'However, it is no match for the quad-core Celeron J1900 at much higher clocks (but, one which also has a much higher TDP and is actively cooled).'

    The TDP difference is 8W vs 10W. Your own load testing shows 1.2W difference. How does that translate in your book into a 'much higher TDP'? The J1900 is close to double the speed.
    There are enough J1900 products that are passively cooled too.
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    There are a couple fo reasons:

    1. The J1900 was part of the GIGABYTE BXBT-1900 system - an actively cooled mini-PC, which could sustain the J1900 at higher clocks - the default BIOS took some liberty in allowing the SoC to be overclocked.

    2. Even though the load power difference was only 1.2W, the power adapters were different - the CA320 uses a power brick with, in my educated guess, a lower efficiency compared to the plug-in wall wart used by the BXBT-1900.

    I would say that the TDP difference is of the order of 4W in operation for the two PCs, and when you have 4W around the 8 - 15W ballpart, that is almost 20 - 25%. But, I do agree, I should have just used 'higher TDP' instead of 'much higher TDP'.
  • Conficio - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    Zotac's offering with the ZBOX CI540 nano aims to strike a balance. $175 for a barebones configuration is quite reasonable for this type of system.

    Was it not the CA 320 under review? Typo?
  • ganeshts - Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - link

    Thanks for spotting this! Fixed the typo.
  • Ancalagon44 - Thursday, November 27, 2014 - link

    So Zotac releases a product using Kabini 6 months after Beema/Mullins is released?

    Notice also that this is a mobile part, not a desktop part. So, considering they are using mobile parts, they could have used Beema or Mullins here.

    But I don't blame Zotac. It is nearly impossible to buy Beema or Mullins in a notebook anyway. I blame AMD for soft-launching products MONTHS before they are actually ready to go go market.
  • daisysdaddy - Friday, November 28, 2014 - link

    You all sound VERY TECHY... I am NOT.... HELP... Is this an independent functional computer that will hook up to a Monitor, keyboard and mouse? [I was told they are NOT a computer on their own... but only an ADD ON for a computer.??] Is it true they will not play a Movie recorded in 1080? These look interesting, and my computer SUCKS and always needs repair! These are also well priced... [higher in Canada.... but still good] Could someone reply ASAP? Thanks
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, November 29, 2014 - link

    It is an independent computer for sure, hook up keyboard/mouse/monitor and you are good to go. It can play your videos just fine unless they are extremely high quality, the HTPC test checks if it provides also support for various post processing and 4K, which it does not - too slow for that.
  • Throwaway007 - Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - link

    This reviewer is way more intelligent than the other idiot, the one who insists on his stupid temperature delta and power consumption delta charts.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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