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Testbed Configuration and Testing Methodology

To test our DC3217IYE mini-system, we completed our barebone with two 4 GB DDR3-1600 SO-DIMM modules with 11-11-11-28-1T timings and an Intel SSD 520 180 GB mSATA SSD drive.

This configuration received a pretty high Windows Experience index of 5.5, and according to Windows, Intel HD Graphics 4000 core was the primary bottleneck of this system.

For comparison purposes, we decided to use a Zotac ZBOX Nano with similar geometrical parameters, namely, the flagship AD12 PLUS model. This miniature computer has almost the same size (127x127x45 mm), but is built on AMD Brazos 2.0 platform with an 18 W dual-core E2-1800 processor working at 1.7 GHz frequency and equipped with a built-in Radeon HD 7340 graphics core.

As you can see, Zotac ZBOX Nano is very similar to Intel NUC. However, the use of an AMD platform limits its memory sub-system to a single-channel mode only, so the AD12 PLUS configuration we tested featured only one 4 GB memory module. Moreover, the BIOS limitations forced us to clock the memory as DDr3-1333 with 9-9-9-24 timings. However, Zotac engineers managed to fit a 2.5-inch drive into their system, so we could use a fully-fledged Intel SSD 520 240 GB solid state drive.

Moreover, we will also compare the performance of Intel NUC against that of Mini-ITX systems assembled using traditional components. So, today we will also test a system built on MSI Z77IA-E53 mainboard with desktop Core i3-3225 and Pentium G2120 processors. This platform featured 8 GB of dual-channel DDr3-1600 SDRAM and an mSATA Intel SSD 520 180 GB drive.

As a result, we benchmarked four different systems within our today’s test session:

All tests were performed in Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise x64 operating system.

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