Low-Power Gaming: AMD's E-350 Vs. Intel Atom D525 And Ion 2

Benchmark Results: StarCraft 2

We developed a second StarCraft 2 benchmark after receiving a lot of feedback about the brutally demanding nature of our original test. While our original benchmark remains a good measure of how StarCraft 2 performs under the most stressful scenarios, this second version might result in a more realistic expectation of typical performance. We will add the caveat that there are some very stressful StarCraft 2 maps out there that will take the game beyond this scenario. A slightly passing grade here means that the game plays reasonably well in most matches, but may lag when there are gratuitous numbers of units.

We have to use low graphics settings for this game, as medium settings bring both platforms to a crawl. Fortunately, the graphics are attractive at low settings and this doesn’t have a major impact on the user experience.

For a real-time strategy game, the E-350's results are certainly acceptable. It’s encouraging that performance doesn’t change all that much between resolutions. This indicates that CPU performance, rather than graphics, is the limiting factor.

As for the Atom D525/Ion 2 combo, something clearly isn't working properly. There appears to be a driver glitch, as the game sometimes flashes geometry in and out of the player’s view. Hopefully, Nvidia can address this issue and bump up performance.


StarCraft 2 is playable on the E-350 at low settings, but not on the D525/Ion 2.

  • tacoslave
    so the gpu's in modern consoles are around the same as the e-350? since these gpus are mainly cpu bound? Also should have put counterstrike fun and not demanding.
  • Can they make a video game that features a Monopolistic Chip Company who threatens and bribes computer manufacturers to be zombies?
  • ujaansona
    Aamusing... ;)
  • ujaansona
    OOPS It's not "Aamusing"
    It's Pointless To Compare Them...
  • warjunkieltu
    Why are you guys not testing some good quality freeware first person shooters, that could run smoothly on those low end PCs? For example:
    Urban Terror (my favorite one), Open Arena, Alien Arena? Or at least Quake live?
    Cause it's ridiculous to test all those latest shooters on such low end machines...
  • silverblue
    I was just thinking about reinstalling either of the Star Trek: Armada titles now I've moved to Windows 7, just to see if it removes the stuttering I experienced in XP. Good to see one of those titles here.

    Good review; was kinda wishing for the HL2:LC or some previous-gen UT titles though. :)
  • nevertell
    You could've tried overclocking them :D
    But seriously, the ION seems to be bottlenecked by the cpu.
  • rolli59
    Low end graphics! How about testing them with popular MMOG for addicts that travel, but like the portability of netbooks!
  • vaughn2k
    Diablo 2? and Warcraft 3?
  • gondor
    Thank you for including older titles in your comparison ! I hope you'll be able to include even more of them in any future tests to give each major game engine of the era a fair chance :)