Intel's Tiny NUC "Next Unit of Computing" PC

SiSoft Sandra & Cinebench

We continued our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth, Physical Disks).
Preliminary Testing with SiSoft SANDRA
Synthetic Benchmarks


Intel's Core i3 3217U processor is a 22nm chip based on the company's Ivy Bridge architecture. It's the main reason why the NUC's performance is so much better than a typical mini PC or nettop, which typically use lower performing CPUs. In this case, the NUC benefits from two cores running at 1.8GHz with HyperThreading support and 3MB of cache. As SiSoft Sandra shows, it's a very capable processor.


How you choose to look at memory performance is relative to what you're comparing it with. Next to a run-of-the-mill mini PC, the NUC memory subsystem is generally superior. Compared to a traditional desktop, however, it's slightly below what we see on most systems, especially high-end systems. That's not troubling here, because overall it's a good score.

Much more impressive is the SSD performance. Your own metrics will depend on which specific SSD you slap in this thing, but armed with an Intel 520 Series SSD, the storage simply flies.


Cinebench R11.5 64bit
Content Creation Performance

Maxon's Cinebench R11.5 benchmark is based on Maxon's Cinema 4D software used for 3D content creation chores and tests both the CPU and GPU in separate benchmark runs. On the CPU side, Cinebench renders a photorealistic 3D scene by tapping into up to 64 processing threads (CPU) to process more than 300,000 total polygons, while the GPU benchmark measures graphics performance by manipulating nearly 1 million polygons and huge amounts of textures.

As we've pointed on out on many occasions, Cinebench is a particularly unforgiving benchmark, as it's geared to content creation and high level design work. You're not going to want to try and tackle CAD chores on the NUC, nor is it designed for that type of computing to begin with.

Tags:  Reviews, Intel, systems, NUC

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