Coffee Lake i3 NUC Review (NUC8i3BEH)
Performance and Benchmarks
I installed Windows 10 Enterprise version 1803 on the NUC without much effort and made sure it was up-to-date. The graphics driver version 188.8.131.5226 and BIOS version 0048 were used for all the following benchmarks. The system was equipped with a 2×4 GB DDR4-2400 RAM modules ($69.94 on Amazon) and an AData XPG SX7000 M.2 NVMe drive (that one I cannot recommend, too slow).
3DMark is a popular benchmarking suite that benchmarks video and gaming performance of the computer.
I was in for a nice surprise when running the tests. This i3 NUC is on the same level of performance as the Kaby Lake i7 NUC! See below for the results and a comparison to the Kaby Lake NUCs.
Cinebench runs 3 separate benchmarks and gives us figures that are comparable. First a simple 3D car chase that measures mainly the GPU (OpenGL) performance. The result is in frames per second. Second there’s a rendering of 3D model with all cores. This stresses purely the CPU. Finally there’s another rendering of the same model, this time using just a single CPU core.
In the OpenGL test the i3 Coffee Lake NUC shines again and is basically on a par with the Kaby Lake i7 NUC.
The raw CPU power test shows that the Kaby Lake i7 is still nicely ahead of this Coffee Lake i3, but it manages to beat the Kaby Lake i5 by a noticeable margin.
The Geekbench 3 benchmarks seem to confirm it. This i3 is almost able to match the last years i7 model that scored 4150/8847 in the same test.
PassMark CPU test
The score for PassMark CPU performance test was 6251.
Thoughts on Performance
This NUC packs some punch! Keep in mind that this is the lowest end Coffee Lake NUC and it’s still able to beat the highest end Kaby Lake i7 NUC in 3DMark Fire Strike. I’m really impressed of the performance and it’s nice to say that the fan noise has been kept low as well. I’ll describe that in the next chapter a bit more.