PCMark Vantage-based testing starts off a little rocky for Intel’s Pine Trail reference platform, which consistently crashes part-way through the suite.
The processor and graphics technically meet Futuremark’s minimum requirements (minus the Shader Model 3.0-compliant hardware needed for the GPU image manipulation test), so it’s odd that we couldn’t get a complete run in. But we’ll leave it up to the real-world tests to tell us what to expect from Pine Trail, rather than this synthetic.
Between an Atom 330/Ion combination and Intel’s Pentium E2200 and an nForce 730i-based motherboard, however, the victor is clear. The real question is whether you want to pay $150+ for a more powerful microATX setup or $150+ on a slower mini-ITX configuration.
Pine Trail’s inability to compete yet again is less of a surprise in 3DMark Vantage, which requires a DirectX 10-compatible graphics solution. The GMA 3150 core built in to the Atom D510 CPU only does DirectX 9 support.
From there, we’re able to see the Pentium processor helping Nvidia’s nForce 730i outperform Nvidia’s Ion integrated graphics implementation. The Ion setup’s G86 GPU is clocked at 450 MHz with 1,100 MHz shaders. The 730i’s core also runs at 450 MHz, but features 1,200 MHz shaders. Clearly, it’s the more muscular CPU pushing one GPU over the other here.
The 1.66 GHz Atom D510 is just a hair quicker than the 1.6 GHz Atom 330, seen in the SiSoftware Sandra 2010 Arithmetic and Multimedia tests. Meanwhile, you can clearly see the theoretical advantage held by Intel’s 2.2 GHz Pentium E2200.
More interesting, perhaps, is that the bandwidth test shows very minor gains attributable to the on-die memory controller. Granted, we’re talking about a single channel of DDR2-800, but we would have thought that the in-order architecture would have lent itself to taking better advantage of this evolutionary design element. With that said, Nvidia’s memory controller gets less overall utilization out of its dual-channel arrangement, armed with the same DDR2-800 modules.