Lab Equipment

Commonly Used EUC Score Lab Equipment

Benny Tritsch Last update: 10 October 2022

Prerequisite for building an EUC Score performance benchmarking test lab is a local area network with 100Mbit/s or more, Internet connectivity, a "lab controller" PC or laptop with video recording software installed, and one or multiple monitors.

[Mandatory] Reference Client Device

Repeatable testing requires a standardized physical endpoint where a real or synthetic user interacts with a remote session. Depending on the target system, remoting client software such as Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection, Microsoft WVD Client, Citrix Workspace App, or VMware Horizon Client must be installed on the client device.

The typical specification of a reference client may look as follows:

  • Intel NUC NUC8i7HNK with Intel Core i7-8705G @3.1GHz
  • Radeon RX Vega M-GL (embedded GPU)
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB M.2 SSD
  • Keyboard and mouse
  • Full HD or 4k monitor
  • Windows 10 or 11 operating system

[Mandatory] Video Capture Device for Screen Recording

In the past, capturing on-screen footage has relied on specialized software. Such screen capture software consumes local system resources, including CPU, memory and graphics cards. For simple video capture use cases a software solution might be good enough, but when you are serious about quality and accuracy of on-screen recordings, a dedicated capture device is an essential tool to minimize the impact on system resources. A capture device will alleviate any frame-rate drop which can occur while recording and is therefore regarded as an essential item.

The design goal of a video capture device is to hardware-accelerate the process of converting a video signal produced by a television tuner, gaming console, tablet or personal computer to digital video and sending it to local storage. The resulting digital data are referred to as a video stream which may be recorded as a computer file.

Using a video capture device for recording simload screen videos is a mandatory element in the context of benchmarking perceived remote user experience. Here is a list of compatible video capture devices:

  • Epiphan DVI2PCIe or DVI2USB (www.epiphan.com)
  • Epiphan AV.io 4K (www.epiphan.com)
  • Inogeni 4K2USB3 (inogeni.com)
  • Elgato Game Capture HD60 S (www.elgato.com)
  • Elgato Game Capture 4K60 S+, including built-in HEVC/H.264 encoder
  • Hauppauge HD PVR Pro 60 4K with built-in HEVC/H.264 encoder
  • Hauppauge HD PVR 2 Gaming Edition Plus with hardware H.264 encoder
  • Razer Ripsaw Uncompressed HD 1080p at 60fps
  • MiraBox USB 3.0 HDMI Game Capture Karte 1080P 60fps Portable HD Video Recorder
  • Blackmagic Design Atem Mini
  • MYPIN 1080P HD 60fps USB 3.0 Type C HDMI Game Video Capture Card

Typically, such a video capture device comes with two accompanying items: an HDMI cable and a USB cable. The USB cable connects between the video capture device and the computer used for recording. The HDMI cable connects to the video capture device and the video out on the endpoint device you’re wanting to capture the footage from. VGA-to-HDMI and DVI-to-HDMI converters can be used if the endpoint device doesn’t have an HDMI video output. The video stream produced by the video capture device can be used as the input signal for video recording software, such as OBS Studio.

[Optional] WAN Emulator

WAN emulation devices incorporate a varying amount of standard network attributes into their designs. This may include the amount of available bandwidth, the round-trip time across the network (latency) and a given degree of packet loss. In addition, attributes such as duplication of packets, reordering packets, corruption and modification of packets, and/or the severity of network jitter may be included. By nature, the network emulator appears to be a network. End-systems can be attached to the emulator and will behave as if they are attached to a network.

Adding a WAN emulator to an EUC Score test lab is optional. Here is a list of suitable hardware WAN emulators:

  • Apposite Linktropy Mini2 (hardware appliance, $2,000 - $6,000)
  • Apposite Netropy N60/N61 (19" hardware appliance, $15,000 - $20,000)
  • Trinegy INE Ultra/Enterprise and NE-ONE (starting at $4,000)
  • InterWorking Labs Mini Maxwell and Maxwell G ($2,000 - $5,000)

For simple test setups, software WAN emulators, such as WANem, SoftPerfect or NetLimiter may be sufficient. But for more advanced and accurate test setups, a hardware WAN emulator is recommended.

[Optional] Measuring User Input Delay

User input delay and user interface response times are critical factors for remote user satisfaction. An optional device designed to measure the time between a mouse click and the resulting user interface update on the local physical screen can be used to analyze user input delay.

  • NVIDIA Latency Display Analysis Tool (LDAT)
  • NI-SP Click-to-Photon Device (CTP)