Networking and Storage Performance

Networking and storage are two major aspects which influence our experience with any computing system. This section presents results from our evaluation of these aspects in the ECS LIVA Z Plus. On the storage side, one option would be repetition of our strenuous SSD review tests on the drive(s) in the PC. Fortunately, to avoid that overkill, PCMark 8 has a storage bench where certain common workloads such as loading games and document processing are replayed on the target drive. Results are presented in two forms, one being a benchmark number and the other, a bandwidth figure. We ran the PCMark 8 storage bench on selected PCs and the results are presented below.

Futuremark PCMark 8 Storage Bench - Score

Futuremark PCMark 8 Storage Bench - Bandwidth

The Transcend MTS400 SSD uses the Silicon Motion SM2246EN SSD controller together with Micron's 20nm MLC flash. While the performance will not set any benchmark records, reliability ought to be good given the use of MLC. That said, the use of a SATA SSD of relatively low capacity (128GB) means that the system ends up at the bottom of our storage benchmark charts. The close numbers in the storage bench (not bandwidth) suggests that the appearance at the graph's bottom is not as bad as it sounds when it comes to rseponsiveness.

On the networking side, we restricted ourselves to the evaluation of the WLAN component. Our standard test router is the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk configured with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. The router is placed approximately 20 ft. away, separated by a drywall (as in a typical US building). A wired client is connected to the R7000 and serves as one endpoint for iperf evaluation. The PC under test is made to connect to either the 5 GHz (preferred) or 2.4 GHz SSID and iperf tests are conducted for both TCP and UDP transfers. It is ensured that the PC under test is the only wireless client for the Netgear R7000. We evaluate total throughput for up to 32 simultaneous TCP connections using iperf and present the highest number in the graph below.

Wi-Fi TCP Throughput

In the UDP case, we try to transfer data at the highest rate possible for which we get less than 1% packet loss.

Wi-Fi UDP Throughput (< 1% Packet Loss)

The use of a 2x2 802.11ac WLAN card (the Intel AC8260) helps the LIVA Z Plus come out on top in the WLAN benchmarks. Many UCFF PCs still continue to use 1x1 cards. The choice made by ECS for the LIVA Z Plus is a welcome one.

Performance Metrics - II HTPC Credentials
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  • FireSnake - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - link

    Will be interesting once we have Ryzen builds like this :)
  • euler007 - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - link

    What do they have in the 15W TDP range?
  • Cygni - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - link

    Haven't been announced yet, but "M" series Raven Ridge processors are expected to be in the 15W window. Raven Ridge will also have "U" series mainstream mobile APUs (if we assume comperable TDP to Intel designs, perhaps this is 28W), and "H" series high end mobile APUs (perhaps 45W)
  • Shadowmaster625 - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - link

    They now have VESA mount notebook trays for $20. Zip ties cost 5 cents. So why buy this when you can buy a i5 notebook for the same price, and mount it onto the back of your display? That way you get a faster processor, a free backup screen, and best of all, a free UPS.
  • dispo-k - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - link

    Genuine question: why have so many of the reviews posted lately be these USFF barebones kits? I'm not knocking them, but I always thought they were more of a low end desktop for people who preferred the smaller form factor over performance or cost, and obviously for people using them purely for media like a HTPC. Have these systems grown in popularity or are they used in a wider range of applications than I realize?
  • dispo-k - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - link

    Apologies. After reading a number of these lately, I F'd up and didn't read the article before posting. These are apparently popular enterprise solutions, and given that IT admins are likely one of the target demographics for this site, it makes perfect sense that they'd be interested in this type of content. Sorry for not RTFA before posting. I didn't see an option to delete my original post.
  • SquarePeg - Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - link

    Nice save! The Technorati would have been on you with gleaming blades and evil intent.
  • fanofanand - Thursday, April 13, 2017 - link

    What a strange business decision to go with 1x4 Gb. That has to impact performance, just to save $5-10?
  • Ro_Ja - Friday, April 14, 2017 - link

    Basic Tasks and Browsing or Office Work don't need dual channel ram unless you want to play on this thing.
  • Kisper - Saturday, April 15, 2017 - link

    There are also some power savings to be had by going with one stick instead of two.

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