BAPCo SYSmark 2018

The Intel NUC10i7FNH (Frost Canyon) was evaluated using our Fall 2018 test suite for small-form factor PCs. In the first section, we will be looking at SYSmark 2018.

BAPCo's SYSmark 2018 is an application-based benchmark that uses real-world applications to replay usage patterns of business users in the areas of productivity, creativity, and responsiveness. The 'Productivity Scenario' covers office-centric activities including word processing, spreadsheet usage, financial analysis, software development, application installation, file compression, and e-mail management. The 'Creativity Scenario' represents media-centric activities such as digital photo processing, AI and ML for face recognition in photos and videos for the purpose of content creation, etc. The 'Responsiveness Scenario' evaluates the ability of the system to react in a quick manner to user inputs in areas such as application and file launches, web browsing, and multi-tasking.

Scores are meant to be compared against a reference desktop (the SYSmark 2018 calibration system, a Dell Optiplex 5050 tower with a Core i3-7100 and 4GB of DDR4-2133 memory to go with a 128GB M.2 SATA III SSD). The calibration system scores 1000 in each of the scenarios. A score of, say, 2000, would imply that the system under test is twice as fast as the reference system.

SYSmark 2018 - Productivity

SYSmark 2018 - Creativity

SYSmark 2018 - Responsiveness

SYSmark 2018 - Overall

SYSmark 2018 also adds energy measurement to the mix. A high score in the SYSmark benchmarks might be nice to have, but, potential customers also need to determine the balance between power consumption and the efficiency of the system. For example, in the average office scenario, it might not be worth purchasing a noisy and power-hungry PC just because it ends up with a 2000 score in the SYSmark 2014 SE benchmarks. In order to provide a balanced perspective, SYSmark 2018 also allows vendors and decision makers to track the energy consumption during each workload. In the graphs below, we find the total energy consumed by the PC under test for a single iteration of each SYSmark 2018 workload. For reference, the calibration system consumes 5.36 Wh for productivity, 7.71 Wh for creativity, 5.61 Wh for responsiveness, and 18.68 Wh overall.

SYSmark 2018 - Productivity Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Creativity Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Responsiveness Energy Consumption

SYSmark 2018 - Overall Energy Consumption

The 'Creativity' workload benefits from the extra cores in Frost Canyon compared to the Core i7-8559U in the Bean Canyon. Our Bean Canyon review configuration is also equipped with a WD Black 3D NVMe SSD (PCIe 3.0 x4) that delivers much better performance compared to the PCIe 3.0 x2 Kingston A1000-class in the Frost Canyon configuration. This results in the responsiveness score for the NUC10i7FNH coming in the middle of the pack compared to the other systems in the sample set. This pulls down the Frost Canyon NUC well below the Bean Canyon NUC in the overall score. The energy consumption is also worse off.

Introduction and Platform Analysis UL Benchmarks: PCMark and 3DMark
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  • YB1064 - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    In the temperature charts (thermal performance page), the green graph shows huge temperature spikes (~ 20 C, Furmark). Is this real? The package graph is less noisy. How are you measuring this?
  • ganeshts - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    All parameters are recorded using HWiNFO. We have been using the program since 2013 for recording the sensor values in all our SFF PC reviews.
  • abqnm - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    "A new set of value-added features include the ability to configure a RAM disk in the BIOS, mount iSCSI volumes prior to boot, and set up various network interface characteristics."

    These are all actually possible in the NUC8 visual bios too, though the settings are a lot harder to find, buried in the boot tab.
  • Ratman6161 - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    This system isn't making a lot of sense to me from a price/performance standpoint. $605 for a bare bones? $940 as configured? Yikes!.

    One of the things I noticed is that there were a lot of benchmarks where the Asrock mini with the i3-8100 did pretty well against the i7 "u" cpu's. Particularly for just a standard office sort of machine, which is what I have
    in mind, the i3 performs just about as well and definitely well into the more than good enough range. Of course the i3-8100 will use more juice but its also way cheaper. I just had to satisfy my curiosity so I priced out a system. The Asrock mini with an i3-9100 (vs the 8100 in the review), 16 GB DDR4, 500 GB Samsung 970 Evo (previous gen without the + to save a few bucks) and a Noctua low profile cooler for a grand total of $465.00. I've got plenty of decommissioned 2.5 inch disk drives if I need to expand. Or if I want to cheap out completely, I could use an old 2.5 inch 850 EVO 256 GB I've got laying around which would bring the price down to $375.00.
    If I really wanted more CPU power, the mini would actually take an i7-9700K which would be +$275 from my local Microcenter and take the $465 configuration up to $740...still $200 under the NUC. Or a more reasonable for this system i5-9400 would add just +$65 to $530 total.

    So, keeping in mind that graphics don't matter for my usage and neither does the power savings of the "U" cpu's, I just can't see the reviewed system as a viable option
  • Holliday75 - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    I need 10k of them to install at buildings across the country. How soon can you build these and deliver?
  • Holliday75 - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    EDIT: Oh and I need ongoing hardware and kernel level support for the next 5 years with an option to extend that to 7 if needed. We boot a custom Linux image via PXE and this image changes on a regular basis along with our network infrastructure that serves it.
  • PeachNCream - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    I get teh point you are making, but there are also other mass-produced options other than NUC systems. Yes they are sometimes physically larger, but a SFF Dell or HP box may cost somewhat less in a bulk buy than a NUC with comparable compute power. If you need 10k fixed location systems, that would be where I would turn first rather than NUCs and certainly not use DIY builds.
  • sandtitz - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    That'll take about 3-4 months since Intel can't provide the CPUs...
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - link

    "I need 10k of them to install at buildings across the country. "

    So? You have a different need than me. I just need one :). If you need them mass produced all the major manufacturers build something that's in this general size range with many different options for CPU, RAM, storage etc.

    But my main point still holds. There are options for PC's that are both cheaper and more powerful than the NUC.
  • Irata - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    You guys are still using Bapco benchmarks? Really?

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