UL Benchmarks: PCMark and 3DMark

This section deals with a selection of the UL Futuremark benchmarks - PCMark 10, PCMark 8, and 3DMark. While the first two evaluate the system as a whole, 3DMark focuses on the graphics capabilities.

PCMark 10

UL's PCMark 10 evaluates computing systems for various usage scenarios (generic / essential tasks such as web browsing and starting up applications, productivity tasks such as editing spreadsheets and documents, gaming, and digital content creation). We benchmarked select PCs with the PCMark 10 Extended profile and recorded the scores for various scenarios. These scores are heavily influenced by the CPU and GPU in the system, though the RAM and storage device also play a part. The power plan was set to Balanced for all the PCs while processing the PCMark 10 benchmark.

The Frost Canyon NUC comes in the middle of the pack, getting bettered by either systems with CPUs capable of higher TDP or better-performing storage. The hexa-core capabilities do not deliver any substantial benefits across various PCMark 10 scenarios, and the absence of Iris Plus Graphics / eDRAM pulls down the 'Gaming Score'.

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Essentials

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Productivity

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Gaming

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Digital Content Creation

Futuremark PCMark 10 - Extended

PCMark 8

We continue to present PCMark 8 benchmark results (as those have more comparison points) while our PCMark 10 scores database for systems grows in size. 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, and the scores roughly track what was observed in the PCMark 10 workloads.

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Home OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Creative OpenCL

Futuremark PCMark 8 - Work OpenCL


UL's 3DMark comes with a diverse set of graphics workloads that target different Direct3D feature levels. Correspondingly, the rendering resolutions are also different. We use 3DMark 2.4.4264 to get an idea of the graphics capabilities of the system. In this section, we take a look at the performance of the Intel NUC10i7FNH (Frost Canyon) across the different 3DMark workloads.

3DMark Ice Storm

This workload has three levels of varying complexity - the vanilla Ice Storm, Ice Storm Unlimited, and Ice Storm Extreme. It is a cross-platform benchmark (which means that the scores can be compared across different tablets and smartphones as well). All three use DirectX 11 (feature level 9) / OpenGL ES 2.0. While the Extreme renders at 1920 x 1080, the other two render at 1280 x 720. The graphs below present the various Ice Storm worloads' numbers for different systems that we have evaluated.

UL 3DMark - Ice Storm Workloads

3DMark Cloud Gate

The Cloud Gate workload is meant for notebooks and typical home PCs, and uses DirectX 11 (feature level 10) to render frames at 1280 x 720. The graph below presents the overall score for the workload across all the systems that are being compared. The absence of eDRAM / Iris Plus Graphics results in the Frost Canyon performing significantly worse compared to the Bean Canyon.

UL 3DMark Cloud Gate Score

3DMark Sky Diver

The Sky Diver workload is meant for gaming notebooks and mid-range PCs, and uses DirectX 11 (feature level 11) to render frames at 1920 x 1080. The graph below presents the overall score for the workload across all the systems that are being compared. At 1080p, Frost Canyon falls further behind, and is below Baby Canyon's performance - pointing to the lack of GPU prowess.

UL 3DMark Sky Diver Score

3DMark Fire Strike Extreme

The Fire Strike benchmark has three workloads. The base version is meant for high-performance gaming PCs. Similar to Sky Diver, it uses DirectX 11 (feature level 11) to render frames at 1920 x 1080. The Ultra version targets 4K gaming system, and renders at 3840 x 2160. However, we only deal with the Extreme version in our benchmarking - It renders at 2560 x 1440, and targets multi-GPU systems and overclocked PCs. The graph below presents the overall score for the Fire Strike Extreme benchmark across all the systems that are being compared. The results are similar to the Sky Diver workload.

UL 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score

3DMark Time Spy

The Time Spy workload has two levels with different complexities. Both use DirectX 12 (feature level 11). However, the plain version targets high-performance gaming PCs with a 2560 x 1440 render resolution, while the Extreme version renders at 3840 x 2160 resolution. The graphs below present both numbers for all the systems that are being compared in this review, with results being similar to the 1080p Sky Diver workload.

UL 3DMark - Time Spy Workloads

3DMark Night Raid

The Night Raid workload is a DirectX 12 benchmark test. It is less demanding than Time Spy, and is optimized for integrated graphics. The graph below presents the overall score in this workload for different system configurations.

UL 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score

Overall, for CPU-bound graphics workloads, the Frost Canyon performs well, but, in other cases, the absence of eDRAM and the need to share the TDP with a hexa-core CPU block shows its effects. In almost all cases, the Bean Canyon NUC either vastly overperforms the Frost Canyon NUC, or, is neck-to-neck with it.

BAPCo SYSmark 2018 Miscellaneous Performance Metrics
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  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    Bleh UHD graphics. Terrible. The previous NUCs had Iris plus GPUs. AMD APU NUCs would dominate these things.
  • drexnx - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    looks like the 2 year old 2400G already does, a 4800U would embarrass this
  • timecop1818 - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    Yeh, if only AMD had stable/working graphics. Oh, wait...
  • kaidenshi - Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - link

    If only you had something else to troll about. How about some citations to back up your claims? Going on a year with my 2400G APU based system with zero graphics issues and far outperforming any Intel iGPU. There's a reason Intel chose AMD graphics for its Hades Canyon NUC.
  • MenhirMike - Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - link

    I think he might mean the (very real) issues that the RX 5x00 drivers have, like stuttering and random driver crashes. This has been much improved in later drivers, my 5700 XT is running perfectly fine now, but there were definitive issues. That said, those are Navi cards while integrated GPUs (which are applicable here) are using Vega. And initially, there was an issue with at least mobile APUs where AMD didn't offer their own drivers - I got a Ryzen 5 2500U laptop, and for the first year, I had to deal with way outdated drivers from Dell. But AMD finally came around and is now offering first-party drivers.

    So: There were definitive issues, there might still be issues, but it seems that all the big ones are resolved.
  • HStewart - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    You got to take in account of the market of this machine, most people do not need high end graphics for games and such. This is also likely use for engineering stuff where graphics is not actually used too much - like a monitor system, or back office systems for services and possibly reports.
  • 29a - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    That's still no excuse for Intel's horrible iGPUs.
  • Qasar - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    nope.. but hstewart, will keep making excuses for them. sorry hstewart, amds new apus would be for this market, and would probably out perform this by quite a bit. face it, your beloved intel, has lost this round.
  • The_Assimilator - Monday, March 2, 2020 - link

    I strongly doubt that even AMD's latest APUs can idle with a 4K display at under 5W. That power-sipping performance is critical to the market segment these devices are aimed at.
  • evernessince - Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - link

    Well yes if you are comparing desktop APUs vs the mobile chip in this system. If you compare apples to apples though, AMD certainly does have chips capable of idling that low even on the high end: https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T495...

    And that's with last generation Zen+, not Zen 2.

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