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Windows Experience Index, PCMark 7, And 3DMark

Good Things In Small Packages: Seven Nettop Platforms, Tested
By , Benjamin Kraft

Windows Experience Index

Though not exactly a benchmark, and not necessarily scientific, the Windows Experience Index does serve as a first indication of what we can expect from each of these platforms and their components.


Zbox ID82 Plus
(Core i3-2330M)
Zbox ID81 Plus
(Celeron 857)
Zbox ID80 Plus (Atom D2700)
Zbox Blu-ray 3D ID36
(Atom D525)
Zbox AD04 Plus
(E-450)
Zbox nano AD10 Plus
(E-350)
Zbox nano VD01 Plus
(Nano X2 U4025)
Processor
6.5
4.13.8
3.5
3.9
3.8
3.1
Memory
5.5
5.55.2
4.9
5.1
5.5
5.5
Graphics
4.6
4.45.1
4.8
4.2
3.9
4.1
Gaming Graphics
6.1
5.55.8
5.6
5.5
5.6
3.1
Hard disk
5.9
5.95.9
5.9
5.9
5.9
5.6


Windows correctly identifies Intel’s Core i3-2330M as the most powerful processor of the bunch, followed by its pared-back Celeron sibling. AMD’s E-450 leads the real nettop platforms, carving out a lead over the E-350 and Intel’s most modern Atom CPU. The older Atom D525 places second-to-last, with VIA’s Nano X2 bringing up the rear.

PCMark 7

Again, the Sandy Bridge-based CPUs can take a clear lead in the overall score of this semi-synthetic benchmark. To be fair, though, they were also designed for a completely different environment, borne out by their respective TDPs as well. The rest of the field remains largely unchanged, with AMD’s E-450 once more leading the nettop-oriented CPUs. E-350 and Atom D2700 come next, trading blows, with Atom D525 and Nano X2 following behind.

Looking at the individual results, the ranking shifts based on how big a role threading or graphics performance plays. Remarkably, VIA’s Nano X2 is able to beat Intel’s Atom D525 in the Lightweight and Productivity tests, despite being a much older design, running at a lower clock speed, and lacking the Intel part's Hyper-Threading functionality.

PCMark 7: LightweightPCMark 7: LightweightPCMark 7: ComputationPCMark 7: Computation

PCMark 7: EntertainmentPCMark 7: EntertainmentPCMark 7: CreativityPCMark 7: CreativityPCMark 7: ProductivityPCMark 7: Productivity

3DMark 2006

While the Atom D2700 in the Zbox ID80 isn't very powerful, Zotac pairs it with a GeForce GT 520M, giving it quite a bit of graphics muscle. Interestingly, the Core i3’s HD Graphics 3000 achieves parity with the discrete GPU in both tested resolutions. AMD’s integrated GPUs don’t fare as well in this synthetic DirectX 9-based benchmark, and we see the E-450 trailing the Celeron 857, while the E-350 appears outmatched by Nvidia's Ion 2 chipset. On the other hand, Intel has a reputation for unpolished drivers, so while the graphics performance may look good on paper, the end result in games may be very different. Meanwhile, VIA’s Chrome9 engine is the only one to suffer a triple-digit score.

3DMark Vantage

The more modern 3DMark Vantage paints a different picture. At first, it seems that the Core i3-2330M outclasses its competition, with the GeForce GT 520M-supported Atom D2700 taking second place ahead of the Celeron 857 and the first of the Fusion systems. Looking at the individual scores reveals how Futuremark’s suite comes to this conclusion, though.

The GPU score yields a more expected result, with the GeForce GT 520M taking the lead, just ahead of the Zbox ID82’s HD Graphics 3000. Third place goes to the Radeon HD 6320 in AMD’s E-450. The remaining three systems place much closer together. Three? Aren’t we forgetting someone? Nope, lacking DirectX 10 support, VIA’s Chrome9 graphics has to sit this one out.

The two Sandy Bridge-based parts dominate the CPU score, although the Hyper-Threaded Atom D2700 isn’t all too far behind the dual-core Celeron 857. Next up are AMD’s E-family APUs, and this time it’s the Atom D525 that comes in last.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Nintendo Maniac 64 , July 6, 2012 7:04 AM
    What I really want to see is a nettop using AMD's 17w A6-4455M. Being a Trinity APU, it actually WOULD have enough grunt to run Crysis, and without it looking like crap to boot!
  • 18 Hide
    friskiest , July 6, 2012 6:59 AM
    bavmanThese things suck. Why would you dish out the $300-400 theyre asking for them? I recently built a file server that was basically a dumbed down tower with an g620 cpu, 4 gigs of ram for under $200 (excluding all the hdds). Throw in a $50 graphics card and it would dominate any of these nettops.


    You pay for the size, power and niche factor in here,.. these are Nettops,.. you're not supposed to play AA or AAA games in here,. just browse the net,. watch movies and listen to music- as implied
  • 12 Hide
    we_san , July 6, 2012 6:58 AM
    Just curious. Are these in the same price segment ?
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    falchard , July 6, 2012 5:13 AM
    I think this review is bias. Its missing the AMD small form factor benchmark. Any game.
  • 7 Hide
    A Bad Day , July 6, 2012 5:34 AM
    JOSHSKORNIn all honesty, when it can run Crysis...I'll be impressed. Until then...alrighty.


    Well, if you run it in:

    -320p resolution
    -Directx 8
    -All eyecandy off

    You'll get around 5-10 FPS.
  • 12 Hide
    we_san , July 6, 2012 6:58 AM
    Just curious. Are these in the same price segment ?
  • 18 Hide
    friskiest , July 6, 2012 6:59 AM
    bavmanThese things suck. Why would you dish out the $300-400 theyre asking for them? I recently built a file server that was basically a dumbed down tower with an g620 cpu, 4 gigs of ram for under $200 (excluding all the hdds). Throw in a $50 graphics card and it would dominate any of these nettops.


    You pay for the size, power and niche factor in here,.. these are Nettops,.. you're not supposed to play AA or AAA games in here,. just browse the net,. watch movies and listen to music- as implied
  • 21 Hide
    Nintendo Maniac 64 , July 6, 2012 7:04 AM
    What I really want to see is a nettop using AMD's 17w A6-4455M. Being a Trinity APU, it actually WOULD have enough grunt to run Crysis, and without it looking like crap to boot!
  • 3 Hide
    molo9000 , July 6, 2012 7:47 AM
    Shame these still aren't good at H.264 decoding. They would make great HTPCs.

    The hardware decoding of the VIA chipset would be a killer feature, if there actually was some software that supported it. Seems like XBMC doesn't support it either.
  • 1 Hide
    hmp_goose , July 6, 2012 9:33 AM
    The point of the Nano was power consumption, right? Didn't we just debunk that?
  • 9 Hide
    daglesj , July 6, 2012 9:55 AM
    I rolled out a load of Ion 330 Asrock boxes a couple of years ago for business use. Customers still love their little black boxes. These were the early 1.6Ghz dual core Atoms.

    For work use (basically 95% of what 95% of the worlds computers users actually do in the REAL world) they work great.

    There is more to life than endless benchmarking and Crysis.
  • 5 Hide
    outlw6669 , July 6, 2012 9:58 AM
    JOSHSKORNIn all honesty, when it can run Crysis...I'll be impressed. Until then...alrighty.

    The E-350 (and by extension the E-450) already can.... without even requiring a dedicated GPU....

    http://goo.gl/zrpqN
  • 1 Hide
    outlw6669 , July 6, 2012 10:03 AM
    Something else I would have liked to seen.

    What effect does AMD's integrated GPU have on performance?
    Looking at the other AMD APU articles, it could potentially be quite a performance boost.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 6, 2012 10:40 AM
    Nice. It would be interesting to see some ARM-based Linux nettop like TrimSlice benchmarked, too.
  • 8 Hide
    Augray37 , July 6, 2012 11:07 AM
    bavmanThese things suck. Why would you dish out the $300-400 theyre asking for them? I recently built a file server that was basically a dumbed down tower with an g620 cpu, 4 gigs of ram for under $200 (excluding all the hdds). Throw in a $50 graphics card and it would dominate any of these nettops.


    Um, people want them because they're very very small. how small is your $200 tower plus Windows 7 plus the $200+ in HDDs plus $50 graphics card?
  • 5 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 6, 2012 11:30 AM
    I already use a nettop in the living room to run XBMC, wired network with all my content on NAS drives in the attic, programmed universal remote to control it, best technology investment ever
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 6, 2012 11:33 AM
    bavmanThese things suck. Why would you dish out the $300-400 theyre asking for them? I recently built a file server that was basically a dumbed down tower with an g620 cpu, 4 gigs of ram for under $200 (excluding all the hdds). Throw in a $50 graphics card and it would dominate any of these nettops.

    Because an ATX tower case PC would use more power, be noisier and look stupid attached to your TV
    ...
    These are designed to be invisible and silent so you can use them as HTPC (for example)
  • 2 Hide
    serendipiti , July 6, 2012 1:46 PM
    I don't agree with your conclusion.
    You know that all of these systems have their own niche.
    In that particular scenario is acceptable to mention Core I3 performance. That's OK.
    I have to admit that I got somehow disappointed by AMD's performance, but I think that
    the power numbers make them real winners. In that constrained space where acoustics matter is all about low power numbers, isn't it ?
  • 5 Hide
    jblack , July 6, 2012 2:36 PM
    And what about price?


    I think anyone would go for the Core i3 in this situation if they are all priced similarly. You even mention it commands a premium in price, but you don't tell us how much any of this costs......
  • 3 Hide
    Branden , July 6, 2012 2:53 PM
    anyone who knocks these compact computers obviously don't understand their purpose.
    they're not supposed to be able to handle BF3 or handbrake, they're meant to handle basic everyday tasks while using up very little power and space. these things would be ideal for 90% of people who don't do much beyond itunes or facebook (and certainly not gaming or photoshop).

    in fact my HTPC is an E-350, it's small a silent, all a HTPC needs to be. it can handle 1080p blu-ray flawlessly, and with a SSD and 8GB RAM it boots up nearly as quickly as the HDTV warms up.
    i'm so happy with it when it comes time to build a new PC for my parents (my old socket 939 is serving them just fine) something like an E-350 is what i'll be looking at.
  • 3 Hide
    Hazle , July 6, 2012 3:07 PM
    pretty glad Brazos didn't disappoint. was kinda skeptical getting an E-350 last year when i had to get a new laptop. those benches do seem about right; browsing with a Brazos may not be the best compared to my desktop, but rarely do i need more than 15 tabs, and if my Pentium M could handle office work, i didn't see why Brazos couldn't.

    best of all was the media playback with 720p and 1080p videos with hardware acceleration. a great improvement compared to how my old laptop would struggle to play HD content.
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