September 05, 2017
Choosing the right DC-DC PSU
August 27, 2015
AMD's Project Quantum
August 13, 2015
The Redstone PC is the ultimate Mini-ITX Minecraft Machine
October 09, 2014
The "Restomod TV"
April 09, 2013
February 28, 2013
Building an XBMC 12 Home Theatre PC
January 25, 2011
XBMC Guide updated to version 10.0
August 06, 2010
Building a Green PC
February 15, 2010
Building an ION powered HTPC with XBMC
October 10, 2008
The "Cambridge Autonomous Underwater Vehicle 2008"
September 12, 2008
"Florian", the DVD burning robot
September 05, 2008
May 22, 2008
April 14, 2007
The "Digg" Case
January 19, 2007
December 07, 2006
The "Tortoise Beetle"
October 02, 2006
The "DOS Head Unit"
August 31, 2006
The "Janus Project"
August 05, 2006
The "Leela PC"
June 26, 2006
Nano-ITX in a Football
May 17, 2006
The "EPIA Alloy Mod"
April 11, 2006
Neatorama's Collection of Case Mods
February 18, 2006
October 24, 2005
The "ITX TV"
October 06, 2005
August 05, 2005
The "Waffle Iron PC"
July 21, 2005
July 18, 2005
July 07, 2005
May 25, 2005
The "Accordion ITX"
May 16, 2005
May 15, 2005
The "Mini Falcon"
May 13, 2005
The "Bender PC"
May 11, 2005
The "BBC ITX B"
May 10, 2005
April 20, 2005
March 09, 2005
The "Cool Cube"
January 30, 2005
First Nano-ITX Project?
January 17, 2005
January 15, 2005
The "Gumball PC"
December 15, 2004
The "Deco Box"
December 03, 2004
October 06, 2004
September 17, 2004
August 26, 2004
The "C1541 Disk Drive ITX"
August 25, 2004
August 13, 2004
The "Quiet Cubid"
August 06, 2004
July 14, 2004
The "Moo Cow Moo"
July 02, 2004
The "Mini Mesh Box"
Full alphabetical archive on right hand side of page...
EPIA MII 12000 Review
Sisoft Sandra Benchmarks
Sandra is a comprehensive diagnostic, analysis and testing
package. We tested the most relevant benchmark modules using
the Standard 2004/SP1 version 9.104 on all 5 machines. Benchmarks
do not always represent a true real-life performance, but
they are useful to compare the speed of various CPUs, and
elements of the system. We would have liked to have used the same version we used in our previous test, but unfortunately didn't have the installer handy.
Estimated Performance Rating
Sandra can quickly estimate a performance
rating for a system, based on various factors such as CPU
speed, RAM size etc. We were interested to see what numbers
it came up with, and how they would translate to real world
usage later on in our tests. The faster CPU of the MII 12000 was to Sandra's liking, giving 20% more the other 1Ghz CPUs.
The Dhrystone benchmark is a long standing
industry benchmark used to measure CPU performance using a
standardised sampled of mainly numerical operations. The result
is given in MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second). All boards
produced approximately 1.65 MIPS per 1 MHz of CPU speed - apart
from the MII 12000, which attained almost 2 MIPS per MHz. This represents a 20% boost in performance, as expected.
The Whetstone benchmark measures FPU (Floating
Point) performance, although many modern processors have a
number of newer features such as out-of-order execution, pipelining
and SSE2 which are not tested using this benchmark. No surprises here - a 20% boost in performance.
CPU Multi-Media Benchmark
The CPU Multi-Media Benchmark uses all the
Multimedia Extensions available to the CPU to draw a Mandelbrot
fractal. Multimedia Extensions are additions to the x86 instruction
set designed to make repeated or parallel operations run faster.
Digital imaging or streaming video applications can make good
use of these extensions, which use Single Instruction Multiple
Data (SIMD) techniques. Changing the contrast of an image
or MPEG decoding and encoding all require a large amount of
data to be manipulated by the same instructions. This benchmark
is therefore a good test of raw PVR (Personal Video Recorder)
and MPEG2 playback functionality.
The Nehemiah has SSE (Streaming SIMD Extension)
support, which was Intel's answer to AMD's 3DNow!, the first
extensions with floating point support. All the other EPIAs
use the Ezra-T core, which supports 3DNow! This is the most
impressive Nehemiah benchmark - clearly demonstrating the
superiority of the Nehemiah core, and boding well for our
later DVD playback tests.
Historical Note: Intel subsequently released
SSE2 in retaliation to an AMD 3DNow! Enhanced broadside,
which added further SIMD instructions, but support is limited.
Graphics cards have developed at an unheard of pace since
the Intel released MMX, and now directly support DirectX in
hardware. The networking, audio and video functionality that
was supposed to be taken over by today's CPUs hasn't happened.
The Floating-Point improvements were not so
marked as the Integer results, but were still respectable.
Real world results will therefore depend on the particular
SIMD instructions used by a particular task.
The MII 12000 scored 20% better here in both tests, with all the other boards evenly matched.
Sandra's Memory Benchmark creates several
large arrays in memory and performs simple memory-bound arithmetic
computations on them - thus reading and writing memory broadly
independent of the CPU. It is slightly more objective than
simply reading and writing to a large block of memory.
In this test the maximum memory bandwidth of the boards is 1.06 GB/sec, due to their 133 MHz bus frequency and 64bit single data rate processor interface. The FPU test showed the MII boards to be efficient at utilising the available bandwidth, with the EPIA TC slightly behind (the TC of course uses an SODIMM, different to the DDR DIMM used by the other boards). The Integer test was slightly less clear-cut, with the EPIA CL emerging as the winner. It has to be said here that these variances only amount to a few percent, and don't mean much in isolation.
Benchmarks - PCMark 2002