ECS LIVA Mini PC Kit Review – Intel Bay Trail-M System For Under $135

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ECS LIVA Mini PC Performance Testing

3dmark

In the latest build of 3DMark we found scores of 13,945 in Ice Storm, 1,122 in Cloud Gate and 482 in the new Sky Driver test suite. 3DMark First Strike wouldn’t run due to an error due to what looks like the 2GB of memory filling up and the benchmark was unable to run. These scores are pretty solid as the Intel NUC DN2820FYKH with the Intel Celeron N2820 processor scored 13,890 in Ice Storm and 1,114 in Cloud Gate.

cinebench

Moving along to Cinebench R11.5 we found the ECS LIVA with the Intel Celeron 2807 processor scored 5.90 FPS on the OpenGL benchmark and then 0.79 points on the multi-core CPU test and 0.41pts on the single CPU test.

memory

A quick look at the memory performance showed 6.26 GB/s of bandwidth. This sounds about right for a single channel DDR3 memory solution running at 1333MHz with CL9 timings.

aida64

AIDA64 v4.60.3124 Beta showed memory read speeds of ~7,700 MB/s and write speeds of ~5,200 MB/s with a memory latency of 89.5ns.

processor

In Sandra Processor Arithmetic the aggregate native performance score was 10.55 GOPS.

multimedia

The Sandra Processor Multi-Media aggregate performance score was 14.35 MPix/s.

sunspider

We ran the SunSpider 1.0.2 JavaScript Benchmark on Google Chrome 36 and received a score of 573.4ms.

truecrypt

In the Encryption Algorithm Benchmark that comes inside TrueCrypt we found an AES mean score of 117 MB/s.

cdm

A quick run of CrystalDiskMark v3.0.3b showed the sequential read speed to be around 105 MB/s and the sequential write speed was right around 42MB/s! The Random 4K read speed was 9MB/s and the 4K random write speed was 3.9MB/s. Not bad scores for the fixed 32GB of eMMC memory by SanDisk, but nothing to write home about either.

LST-24ghz

When it comes to wireless performance the we used LAN Speed Test to check the performance of the included the included AzureWave AW-NB136NF 802.11n Wireless Card. This is an entry level dual-band single stream Wi-Fi card with a theoretical peak speed rating of 150 Mbps. This card won’t be breaking any speed records, but it is a budget card in a budget machine. We used a desktop with Gigabit Ethernet to run LAN Speed Server that was hard connected to the ASUS RT-AC68U 802.11AC wireless router on the 2.4GHz band and moved it 15-feet away from the ECS LIVA mini PT kit to check out performance with both 1MB and 100MB packets. We ran LAN Speed Test on the ECS LIVA and found the wireless card  throughput to be roughly 60Mbps (7.5MB/s) average write speeds and 100Mbps (12.5MB/s) average read speeds.

LST-5ghz

Next we ran the LAN Speed test again on the same ASUS RT-AC68U 802.11AC wireless router, but this time we did so on the 5GHz band with both 1MB and 100MB packets. The throughput was now 60Mbps (7.5MB/s) average write speeds and 107-131Mbps (13-16MB/s) average read speeds.

bootracer

The last performance test that we wanted to run was Bootracer 4.7 to see how fast the system is able to boot Windows 8.1 64-bit. We found that it takes 8 seconds to get to the logon screen and it took a total of 24.750 seconds to get up and running on the desktop!

Let’s take a look at power consumption and CPU temperatures on the ECS LIVA.

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  • lesnessman

    I own one, and love its small form factor, it’s quiet no noise I use it as a media PC. I put Win 8.1, it ran perfect for Netflix and Kodi. Upgraded to Win 10 and i had trouble with the
    Broadcom BCM943241NG1630 BCM43142 Azurewave AW-NB136NF wifi/bluetooth card.
    Installed new driver from ECS not listed under the win 10 drivers. I found off Japanies amazon web site selling this card. It is a direct download link:
    http://download.ecs.com.tw/dlfileecs/driver/mb/wlan/wlan_1.0M_WLAN.zip
    When installing run in Win 8 compatibility mode.
    I haven’t had any issues and I speed test on a wifi 5g connection at 60mbps
    Hope this helps anyone having issues.

  • lesnessman

    Had problems with the AsureWave wifi ngff card not working after Win 10 upgrade. Checked ECS web site and installed new Win 10 drivers with no luck at all. Finally after long hard searching for hours I found it was a broadcom card and loaded drivers from their site again with no luck at all. I even ordered a new Intel 7260ngw card and installed and it would not even show up in device manager! I was trying to load new drivers, everything but it was like their was not even a card in the NGFF slot on motherboard. Sent that card back to Amazon and ordered another card, i ordered the intel 7265 wifi card. Well meanwhile i installed the AsureWave wifi card that came with my Liva and started searching drivers again. The card would work on boot but would stop working after several hours or next day. It would always show up as code 10 in device manager. I searched the exact name and numbers on this card and found a Chinese amazon site that sold this card. I had to get google to translate the web page, as i read further down on the amazon web page, they had a web link for a direct download with the device drivers on the ECS site. Removed all prevoius driver installs that were in my program files. Installed the direct downloaded file and Bingo!! Been up and running on windows 10 download speed test at 60 over wifi 5g connection. I did install drivers in windows 8 compatibility upon install. Hope this helps others with Win 10 driver issues with an AsureWave card in the Liva
    Download:

    http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fdownload.ecs.com.tw%2Fdlfileecs%2Fdriver%2Fmb%2Fwlan%2Fwlan_1.0M_WLAN.zip&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGoxYojNIa43dG2jxGESqIGjU2rBw

  • Eric Lawrence

    I have one of the units. Windows 8 and Windows 10 load on it. Put Linux Mint on it and everything worked instantly in about a 6 minute install. Effortless. BUT the AW-NB136NF type card does NOT work in any Linux due to no driver support for that set of operating systems. Setting it up as a proxy router, but it ran the World Community grid perfectly 20 days without a single problem. No crashing, no problems. UEFI type Bios was a bit hard to disable… but got it right away, as I’m familiar with shutting it off. Linux Mint though, just installed perfectly without doing anything to the unit right out of the box. I ordered a different mini PCI card that works automagically in Linux and the routers I use.

  • E. Sousa

    really wish someone could help me… I bought this and came with WIndows 8.1. They started shipping them. call me moron but during the initial boot, pc lost power and now i’m stuck at the restart your pc to continue installation.

    • Eric Lawrence

      I see, so when you boot, it goes straight to the BIOS??? If so, then toggle the UEFI settings, that works on other systems some times. The unit worked almost strangely too well for me. It was one of the smoothest installs I’ve ever done.

  • Marco –

    I’d buy it if it came with 4gb of ram. 2gb is too little for today’s standards, even on this kind of PC.

  • Untamedblade

    Does it require windows 8/8.1? Or will it work with windows 7 as well?

    • Nathan Kirsch

      There is no SanDisk eMMC storage driver for Windows 7 available, so it is out and ECS said there will not be one coming. It requires Windows 8.1. I was able to get Windows 8 installed, but was still having a tricky time with the drivers. At first I went to the ECS LIVA Support page and downloaded the 10-11 drivers there. Only 6 of them would install on my Windows 8 machine. I then installed Windows 8.1 and ran into similar issues. Turns out there are drivers on the included support CD that aren’t on the online support site, so I had to install some drivers off the support CD and then follow that up with the newer versions off the site. I hope ECS puts all needed drivers on the support sit!

      • Eric Lawrence

        Ya, their support site is terrible.

  • Digtial Puppy

    Well, I like it! I’d like to see it with some sort of mounting to a monitor, but for a cheap, low-power design to be used for surfing or e-mail, this looks to be pretty cool.

    Wonder how good it would be to use it at a Bittorrent box…

    • Okc Dave

      It would be rather trivial to put some screws and standoffs on a backing plate you make yourself, and that plate with vesa mounting holes for the back of the monitor. It would be better that they not include it so it doesn’t cost everyone then those who need it can pay $4 for a scrap piece of aluminum to DIY.

  • Axiomatic

    I have mine doing my home network justice as an authoritative DNS server + DHCP using Lubuntu. There is still plenty of headroom on the device. I might try to run my Starbound server off of it as well.

    • I could see doing something similar, although my thought was to load Ubuntu Server 14.04 with OpenVPN to act as a DIY VPN server. I’m a fan of Lubuntu, as well, but would the GUI really be necessary?

      • Axiomatic

        So I tried that first and got stumped trying to figure out how to load F2FS during install time so Ubuntu Server could find the hard drive. I eventually gave up, loaded Lubuntu which has F2FS at install time and then did “sudo init 3” and then unloaded the GUI.

        If you find a way to load F2FS for ubuntu server 14.04 during install time please let me know? 😉 Thanks!

        • Your way might actually be easier in the long run. I had previously been running a Raspberry Pi using Raspbian with OpenVPN, so i didn’t even think about F2FS. Thanks!

        • Eric Lawrence

          WOW. Axiomatic, smart person you are! Linux Mint JUST worked and I installed to the integrated 32GB on the system. The tiny little computer works instantly….. BUT the included Ethernet adapter was a PAIN… It seems there STILL is no Linux driver for it at all. I ordered a Intel based card for the slot so that my 3 versions of LINUX work. ALSO, I’ll be installing FreeBSD based PFSense on the unit as a Proxy, VPN, firewall, packet inspector unit. I’m checking the wear on the integrated Flash. If you are a knowledgeable person in this area… I’d like to hear from you. Hopefully you get this.

  • Steven Kean

    I could see this in use for older people that just want a PC for windows browsing type apps, or for vacation homes. I have several friends that have lake homes that have a full PC to use on the weekends just so they can check email/weather/etc at the lake house. This would be a good solution for those uses. One of them switched from a full PC to the NUC and loves the small form factor, so this wouldn’t be too bad for them either.

    • Eric Lawrence

      YES… Put a better operating system on it. Winblows 8.1 costs, and Old people would like a cleaner interface. You can setup Linux Mint 17.1 or better in under an hour to work with no packages installed other than Firefox, VLC, whatever word processor (recommend Libre Office) etc. Package manager allows one click installation. Google Chrome browser works perfectly and you can put addons in for Netflix, etc. Mine did 1080p Netflix, VLC, etc with high settings without a single skip. Remember that the speaker output is a COMBO jack and using a $2 pair of earbuds with a mic just worked, drivers automatically loaded under Mint 17.1. Use the MATE or Cinnamon desktop, KDE desktop also works. Simplify the screen so the old folks don’t get too confused with a zillion options they will never use. Just put the icons on and loose the toolbar… don’t make them an administrator!

  • Cicero_68

    Biggest issue is that you need to buy a Windows 8.1 license, which nearly doubles the price of the system. Otherwise a cute little system.

    • Nathan Kirsch

      Agreed! Many asked ECS to look into bundling software with it. Maybe a company like ASI Corp will purchase some of these and sell them assembled with Windows 8.1 Pro.

    • Gustavo

      You don’t need to, you can install Linux, and no, Linux is not hard to use, there are distros even more user-friendly than Windows or Mac, you just need to be a little ready for it.

  • Dan

    Definitely looks like a decent little system. I could totally see throwing this on a TV to troll the interweb from the comfort of my couch!