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Test Setup And Benchmark Configuration

Shuttle XS29F: Is VIA's Nano Processor Powerful Enough?
Test System Configuration
VIA Nano U1700 1.0 GHz
1MB L2 Cache
200 MHz QDR FSB (FSB-800)
Intel Atom 330 1.60 GHz
1MB L2 Cache
133 MHz QDR FSB (FSB-533)
Intel Celeron 430 1.80 GHz
512KB L2 Cache
200 MHz QDR FSB (FSB-800)
CPU Cooler
Shuttle CPU/Chipset Passive SinkShuttle Proprietary CoolersIntel Retail Boxed Cooler
Shuttle FM23, BIOS (05/25/2009)
VIA VX800 Chipset
Shuttle SFM27, BIOS 11/04/2008
Intel 945GC/ICH7 Chipset
ECS G45T-M2, BIOS 08/29/2008
Intel G45/ICH10R Chipset
Via Chrome9 HC3 IGP
166 MHz, 256MB Shared Memory
Intel GMA 950 IGP
400 MHz, 224MB Shared Memory
Intel GMA X4500HD IGP
800 MHz, 256MB Shared Memory
PNY 2GB DDR2-667
at DDR2-667 CAS 5-5-5-15
PNY 2GB DDR2-667
at DDR2-533 CAS 4-4-4-12
PNY 2GB DDR2-667
at DDR2-667 CAS 5-5-5-15
Hard Drive
Seagate Momentus 7200.2 160GB: 7200 RPM, 8.0 MB Cache
Integrated HD Audio
Integrated Gigabit Networking
Shuttle internal 12V to ATX, Seasonic external 100-240V to 12V/5ACorsair CMPSU-850HX
EPS12V, 80-Plus Gold
Opticarc BD ROM BC-5500S
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit SP1
VIA 21.09.01LIntel GMA GMA
VIA HyperionPro 5.24AIntel INF INF

VIA’s Nano processor might be 64-bit capable, but Windows Vista x64 requires a hotfix to operate with it. Since that hotfix has not been rolled into a service pack and integrated into a DVD, users would be forced to slipstream it to their installation DVD prior to installation. This might not be a problem for Windows 7 users, but our benchmarks have not been updated to run under this yet-to-be-released OS. Thus, all systems were tested using Vista x86 and a few of our benchmarks were rolled back to the 32-bit version.

We tried to keep the performance-per-watt comparison as fair as possible by carrying over most parts, though the power supply used by the Nano and Atom didn’t have an ATX12V output required for the microATX platform. A further search of our labs revealed no high-efficiency low-power units.

Normally this would be a problem, since power supply efficiency often drops significantly at anything below 20% of its rated capacity. The 80 PLUS Gold rating of Corsair’s CMPSU-850HX, along with its highly-favorable certification charts, gave us hope, and further testing proved this enormous unit capable of delivering superior efficiency compared to any of our previous-generation, lower-capacity units.

Benchmark Configuration
Adobe Photoshop CS3
Version: 10.0x20070321
Filtering 69MB TIF Photo
Benchmark: Tom's Guide-Benchmark V1.0.0.4
AVG Antivirus
Version 8.5 build 287, Virus Database 2094
Scanning 334MB folder of compressed files
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion
5 Minutes Terminator II SE DVD to MPG4
DivX 7Codec Version: 6.8.5: Insane Quality, Enhanced
Multi-Threading, SSE4, Quarter Pixel Search
Xvid 1.2.1Version 1.2.1-04122008
Display encoding status = off
WinRARRelease version 3.80
Recompressing 334MB folder of compressed files
WinZip 12Version 12.0 Pro (8252), best compression
334MB folder of compressed files
WinZip Command Line version 3.0
PCMark VantageVersion (32-bit)
Sandra 2009Version 2009.4.15.92

Our hopes for a test of true office applications were dashed when we found the VIA Nano platform unable to complete any version of SYSMark. Its graphics driver was most troublesome, appearing incompatible with one of SYSMark 2007 Preview’s video encoding tests, while SYSMark 2004 SE threw fits under Windows Vista x86.

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