Intel Bay Trail-M feat. ECS LIVA X: Worthy of Desktop Status?

Written by Antony Leather

May 5, 2015 | 17:06

Tags: #mini-pc

Companies: #ecs #intel

Performance Analysis

Intel's other low power offering, Core-M, is widely claimed to be on par with a Haswell-based Core-i5 low voltage laptop CPU such as the Core i5-4250U, but Bay Trail-M sits well below this. In fact, it's the slowest CPU in any of our benchmarks with even AMD's super low-end Kabini-based Athlon 5350 able to better it in all the tests. There's little doubt that it would perform just as poorly, if not worse in game tests too so we've omitted those.

These lowly scores aren't the full story though. Windows 8 was responsive enough for a stutter-free experience and basic tasks such as word processing were possible and we encountered no issues heading to the Internet and streaming content from YouTube and Netflix. So for basic tasks, the Celeron N2808 is enough, which is a similar story to what we saw with AMD's Kabini platform.

Intel Bay Trail-M feat. ECS LIVA: Worthy of Desktop Status? Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Click to enlarge

When it comes to power consumption, there's no disputing the Celeron N2808's prowess here, with only Raspberry Pi able to dip below the load figure of 15W - half that of the low voltage Core i3's and i5's. The low power consumption was just as impressive in the flesh too, with the chassis barely getting warm and CoreTemp reporting a distance from TjMax at 46°C - clearly a long way from any danger zone, yet this was fanless and under 100 percent load.

Intel Bay Trail-M feat. ECS LIVA: Worthy of Desktop Status? Performance Analysis and Conclusion
Click to enlarge

Conclusion

The Celeron N2808 in particular is clearly a poor choice for any kind of content creation. If you're on a tight budget then even AMD's Kabini is noticeably better, while a Core-i3 or Core-i5 Intel NUC are much better choices, culminating with a Pentium G3258 being a great option if space and power aren't primary concerns.

Bay Trail-M isn't and has never been about performance in any way shape or form though. Low power consumption, fanless operation with enough grunt to run Windows is what the focus is here and it does this with flying colours - just. At $200 for a complete system minus an OS, this isn't a terrible price tag either (we have yet to see it available in the UK). The ECS LIVA X is a perfect partner for the platform too although it admittedly has limited appeal to home users.
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