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How to Test the Performance of a Mini PC? | Intel Processor N95 | Test Software Included

2024-03-06 17:28:40

Mini PCs are becoming increasingly popular due to their compact size and portability. Understanding the performance of a Mini PC is crucial for making informed decisions about hardware upgrades or purchases. In this article, we will take the Beelink MINI S12 Mini PC with an Intel Processor N95 as an example, and guide you step by step on how to run performance tests with some popular test software. Let's take a look! 


1. Test Subject

To evaluate the performance of a Mini PC, we need to test these four key components: CPU, GPU, RAM, and SSD. Before testing, ensure that your Mini PC is in good working order. Close any unnecessary background programs to ensure that test results are accurate.


2. Test Software

(1) CPU-Zhttps://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

Remark: CPU-Z is a powerful tool that provides detailed information about your computer's CPU, including its specifications, performance, and other crucial metrics.


(2) AIDA64https://www.aida64.com/downloads

Remark: AIDA64 is a system information tool that provides detailed information about both hardware and installed software. It also helps users diagnose issues and offers benchmarks to measure the performance of the computer.


(3) HWiNFOhttps://www.hwinfo.com/

Remark: HWiNFO is a real-time monitoring software utility used for gathering detailed information about the hardware components and system parameters of a computer.


(4) PCMarkhttps://benchmarks.ul.com/pcmark10

Remark: PCMark benchmarks measure complete system performance using tests based on real-world apps and activities. In PCMark 10, these tests reflect common tasks performed in the modern workplace, including web-browsing, video conferencing, spreadsheeting, photo and video editing, etc.


(5) Cinebench R23https://cinebench.en.softonic.com/?ex=RAMP-1768.2

Remark: Cinebench R23 is a Cinema 4D based CPU crunching test to measure the rendering computing power of the CPU.


3. Test Unit and Environment

(1) Test Unit: To ensure the accuracy and reliability of the tests, we choose the Beelink MINI S12 Mini PC equipped with an Intel Processor N95 (8GB DDR4 RAM & 500GB PCIe *1 SSD).

(2) Test Environment:

a. Windows 11 Pro OS;

b. Ambient temperature: 30 °C; and

c. CPU TDP setting: 20W.


4. Performance Analysis

(1) CPU-Z


CPU-Z displays detailed information about the CPU of this Mini PC, such as the CPU's name Intel N95, a clock speed of 2693.41MHz, 4 cores & 4 threads, 6MB of L3 Cache, and other information. These details are very useful for understanding the basic performance of the CPU. Generally, a higher clock speed indicates better performance, and a larger cache size means stronger data processing capabilities.



In the benchmark tests of CPU-Z, the single-threaded score and multi-threaded score of the CPU respectively reflect the processor's performance in single-core and multi-core operations:

a. Single-threaded Score (366): This score represents the performance of the CPU when only using one core. The single-threaded score means the processor's computing speed when executing a single task (tasks that do not require or cannot utilize multiple cores). Single-threaded performance is crucial for applications that cannot be effectively parallelized, such as certain gaming workloads, legacy software, or single-threaded applications.

b. Multi-threaded Score (1194.3): This score represents the performance of the CPU when utilizing all cores and threads simultaneously. The multi-threaded score reflects the overall computing speed of the processor when handling tasks that can be parallelized (such as rendering, scientific calculations, and server workloads). Multi-threaded performance is crucial for modern software and applications, especially those optimized for multi-core processing.


These two scores can help users understand the performance of the CPU in different types of tasks. A higher single-thread score indicates better single-core performance, as the processor can execute single-threaded tasks faster and more efficiently. A higher multi-threaded score indicates that the CPU performs well in parallel processing multiple tasks, especially for multitasking and demanding computing duties.


(2) AIDA64

AIDA64 is a comprehensive system diagnostics and benchmarking software that provides detailed information on the hardware and software configuration of a computer. It offers a set of tools for monitoring, benchmarking, and troubleshooting virtually any computer, from entry-level PCs to high-end workstations, servers, and networks. It is widely used by hardware enthusiasts, system administrators, and professional users to evaluate the performance and stability of their computers.





a. Hardware & Software Diagnostics: Comprehensive hardware and software diagnostics for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X systems. Includes up-to-date hardware and software inventory, detailed system information, and extensive benchmarking capabilities.

b. Hardware & Software Reports: Detailed reports of system hardware and software configuration, including all system components and installed drivers.

c. Stress Testing: Comprehensive system stability and stress testing capabilities, including CPU, FPU, memory, storage, and GPU stress tests.

d. Overclocking: Easy to use overclocking and hardware monitoring tools to maximize system performance.

e. Performance Monitoring: Real-time monitoring of system performance and system parameters, including temperature, fan speed, and voltage.

f. Security & Privacy: Security and privacy features to help protect your system from malicious software and data theft.



The System Stability Test is a comprehensive stress testing tool in AIDA64, which can conduct a thorough stability check on all major components of a computer. Parameters being displayed as straight lines indicates that the performance of the CPU is stable without throttling. Otherwise, the performance is unstable.


Introduction to the System Stability Test

System Stability Test can be used to stress all major system components (CPU, caches, memory, and storage) at once, and find any possible stability or cooling issues. 


a. Stress CPU: This test mainly simulates the load on the CPU in daily usage scenarios (such as office software, web browsing, chatting, and other lightweight applications) by performing intensive integer calculations. If the CPU can remain stable in this test without crashing or displaying errors, then we can assume that it performs relatively well under normal operating conditions.

b. Stress FPU: The floating-point unit test simulates the CPU's performance in high-load scenarios such as graphic rendering, video processing, scientific calculations, and gaming by performing intensive floating-point calculations. this test works well for determining the limits of potent cooling solutions. .

c. Stress cache: The cache test examines the performance and stability of the CPU cache through intensive read and write operations. CPU cache is crucial for improving processing speed and system responsiveness, especially in data-intensive tasks.

d. Stress system memory: The memory test simulates the performance of memory under high loads by intensively reading and writing physical and virtual memory. This test helps detect any issues with memory modules and ensures proper memory management.

e. Stress local disks: The hard disk test evaluates the performance and stability of storage devices by performing intensive read and write operations. This test can help identify performance bottlenecks and potential hard disk failures.

f. Stress GPU(s): The graphics card test evaluates the GPU's performance and stability by executing graphically intensive tasks or computationally intensive workloads. This test is particularly important for gamers and users who need to perform tasks such as 3D modeling and video editing.


Running these tests for about 15 minutes allows for a quick assessment of system stability. These stress tests can be run individually or simultaneously. We typically use the FPU to test overall system stability and the processor's frequency. AIDA64 system stability test is currently the most commonly used benchmark for assessing the stability of the entire system under maximum load.

The graph shows that during 30 minutes of FPU testing, the CPU frequency of MINI S12 Mini PC displays as a straight line, indicating no throttling or performance instability during the test, so we can come to the conclusion that the MINI S12 Mini PC can handle sustained high-load computing duties.

Running these tests can help users identify potential hardware issues such as overheating, performance bottlenecks, and hardware failures.



HWiNFO (Hardware Info) is a professional hardware information and diagnostic tool that provides detailed hardware analysis, monitoring, and reporting. HWiNFO detects and displays system information on computers, such as hardware configurations and operational status.



The most important and useful feature of HWiNFO is its real-time system monitoring function, which can detect and display CPU temperature, fan speed, voltage, power consumption, GPU temperature, memory usage, and other parameters in real time. HWiNFO provides detailed monitoring of all system components for actual status and failure prediction that other software may not be able to detect, which is very useful for monitoring system health and troubleshooting.

The image shows that the MINI S12 Mini PC's real-time CPU core clocks is 3217.1MHz, the maximum CPU core temperature is 50°C, there is no overheating throttling, and the current CPU package power at idle is only 3.94W, among other detailed information.



PCMark features a comprehensive set of tests that cover the wide variety of tasks performed in the modern workplace. The score of each tasks reflects the performance level of the Mini PC in that task, with higher scores indicating stronger processing capabilities.



Scores Meaning

a. Overall Score (3145): This is the PCMark 10 test's comprehensive evaluation score, which includes the results of all test scenarios. The total score consists of three components: essentials, productivity, and digital content creation. A total score of 3145 represents the MINI S12 Mini PC's overall performance in the PCMark 10 test, which can be compared to the scores of other computers or systems to determine performance levels.

b. Essentials (7253): This score measures the Mini PC's performance when performing daily tasks such as web browsing, video chatting, and running office applications. The score indicates that the Mini PC performs well in these basic application scenarios and should be capable of handling basic tasks in daily use.

c. Productivity (4830): This score measures the performance of the Mini PC in more complex office and productivity tasks, such as large document editing, spreadsheet processing, data encoding, etc. The score implies that the Mini PC has good performance in these types of tasks, effectively supporting office and productivity needs.

d. Digital Content Creation (2411): This score assesses the Mini PC's ability to handle more complex content creating tasks such as image editing, video editing, 3D rendering, and simulations. The score indicates that the Mini PC's performance in digital content creation is average, which may be adequate for some less complex creative tasks but may be insufficient for high-load, professional-level content creation.


(5) Cinebench R23

Cinebench R23 is a performance testing tool based on Cinema 4D, primarily used to measure the rendering performance of CPUs. The R23 version offers both single-core and multi-core tests, as well as the ratio of multi-core performance to single-core performance (MP Ratio).



Scores Meaning

a. Multi-Core Score (2799 points): This score indicates the CPU's performance when all available cores and threads are used for rendering. The multi-core score represents the level of performance that the MINI S12 Mini PC's CPU can achieve when performing complex rendering tasks. A higher multi-core score means the CPU performs well in high-load multitasking and parallel computing tasks.

b. Single-Core Score (936 points): This score evaluates the CPU's performance when only one core is used for rendering. A single-core score of 936 indicates that the Mini PC's CPU can handle tasks that do not support multi-threading or require high single-core performance. Many desktop applications and games that are not optimized to use multiple cores require a higher single-core score to function properly.

c. MP Ratio (2.98x): This is the multi-core score divided by the single-core score, indicating the relative performance of multi-core and single-core processors. An MP ratio of 2.98x means that the CPU of the Mini PC is approximately 3 times faster in using all CPU cores compared to using a single core. This ratio provides insight into the CPU's efficiency in multi-core utilization. A higher ratio typically indicates good multi-core performance scalability.



5. Conclusion

It should be noted that the scores obtained by the above testing software are performance indicators in specific test environments. The actual performance of applications may be influenced by factors such as the operating system, other hardware configurations, the optimization level of the applications themselves, and the current system load. Therefore, these scores can serve as a rough performance reference, but the ultimate user experience may vary. If you plan to use the Mini PC for specific applications or games, it is recommended to refer to the system requirements of the specific applications and the actual user experiences of others.


Through these benchmark results, we have gained a comprehensive understanding of the performance of the Beelink MINI S12 Mini PC. It should perform well in general daily use and light multitasking, making it ideal for office tasks, media playback, and lightweight productivity. However, it is not suitable for intensive gaming or professional graphic and video editing work. You should combine a PC’s benchmark results with its real-world performance to determine if it is good enough for you.