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USB Transfer And Ethernet

Nvidia's Ion: Lending Atom Some Wings
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File Transfer Via USB

Of course, life isn’t all fun and games. One of the features of today’s chipsets—especially on netbooks, where storage space is limited—is USB management. So we measured the read and write performance of each platform by transferring a large file (3.15 GB) from an internal SATA disk (a different one from the one the OS was installed on) to an external USB disk. 

It’s an open-and-shut case: the 9400M tested a lot faster than the aging ICH7, especially on write operations. The Ion provided almost identical throughput for reading and writing (at 28.5 MB/s and 27.7 MB/s respectively), where the ICH7 showed its weakness: it dropped from 27.2 MB/s for reading to 22.3 MB/s for writing.

File Transfer Via Ethernet

Since Ion also targets the nettop sector, we wanted to test its performance with file transfers via an Ethernet network. We ran into a problem with the interface, though: we couldn’t initiate a transfer in Gigabit mode, so we had to use 100 Mbps. (It’s a shame to have to do that in 2009.) Nvidia assures us that the problem is the immaturity of the test platform and its drivers, which are still in prototype stage. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that, but this will be a point to watch when the production devices start coming out.

At 100 Mbps, there were no surprises: the throughput was just about at the maximum for the interface, or approximately 11 MB/s. The 945GC performed similarly, or a little better.

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