Logic Supply LGX ML300 Fanless NUC

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TEST METHODOLOGY

Measurement and Analysis Tools

Our first test procedure is designed to determine the overall system power consumption at various states. To stress CPUs we use either Prime95 (large FFTs setting) or CPUBurn depending on which produces higher system power consumption. To stress the GPU, we use ATITool or FurMark, which ever application is more power demanding.

Our second test procedure is to run the system through a video test suite featuring a variety of high definition clips. During playback, a CPU usage graph is created by the Windows Task Manger for analysis to determine the average CPU usage. High CPU usage is indicative of poor video decoding ability. If the video (and/or audio) skips or freezes, we conclude the GPU (in conjunction with the processor) is inadequate to decompress the clip properly. Power consumption during playback of high definition video is also recorded.

Lastly, we run a short series of performance benchmarks — a few real-world applications as well as synthetic tests.

All nonessential pre-installed software is removed prior to testing, and certain services and features like Superfetch and System Restore are disabled to prevent them from affecting our results. Aero glass is left enabled if supported. We also make note if energy saving features like Cool'n'Quiet and SpeedStep do not function properly.

GENERAL USE NOTES

First impressions were very positive. The first tasks undertaken was updating of Windows 7. Compared to a full-ATX desktop system running a i7-2500K, 8GB RAM, an AMD HD6870 video card and a 240GB Intel SSD, this Logic Supply NUC has nothing to be ashamed of. Subjectively, in routine Windows tasks, the experience was extremely similar. It is a zippy little system.

TEST RESULTS

Performance

The performance of the D53427RKE and its i5-3427U processor are very good, a close match to the desktop Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge in most of the real-world tests we ran. It is a substantial improvement over the original NUC DC3217U, besting it by at least 25% in most applications, and in our Photoshop tests, more than doubling the performance. An AMD A8-5600K on an Asus A85 chip FM2 board gives it a good run for the money, too, but that system draws far more power across the board (for example, more than 87W DC running TMPGEnc, compared to 25W AC for the LGX ML300 system.)



Video Playback

The quality of HD 720p and 1080p video playback was consistently good, even with clips that reached >30 Mbps peaks. The 13~14W typical power draw during HD playback is essentially as low as we've seen in any system. CPU utilization was very low, not higher than 15% with any of our standard clips.

System Power Consumption

The D53427RKE NUC board in this system managed to shave a single watt in idle power from the NUC DC3217BY kit we reviewed a year ago, making it the first desktop PC on our test bench to venture into single digit wattage territory. It manages the same single watt drop verusus the original NUC in HD video play. Only the last Logic Supply system tested here, the AG150 with a much less capable Atom processor, matches it for low power. The discrete CPU + mini-ITX motherboards are not compeitive in this regard, not even the Thin-ITX Gigabyte H77TN (admittedly run with a 55W TDP processor).


Power consumption in idle and video play.


Power consumption under high loads.

Power draw under high load activities exceeded that of the original NUC by 4-6W, except for absolute maximum load, where it ran 2W lower. It is quicker all around, however, so tasks are finished more quickly, which means the total power (in W/hr) will actually be less.



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