Preview: VIA VN1000 And Nano DC Platform: An IGP With Game?

Test Settings

Test System Configuration
Via Nano DC CPUVIA Nano DC Dual Core
1.80 GHz, QDR-800 FSB, 2 x 1 MB L2 Cache
Via Nano DC MotherboardVIA VT8591B, DDR3-800/1066/1333
VN1000 Northbridge, VT8261 Southbridge, BIOS 080014 (8-27-2010)
Via Nano GraphicsIntegrated S3 Chrome 520 IGP, 512 MB System RAM
Driver Version
ION 2 CPUIntel Atom D525 Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
1.80 GHz, QDR-800 FSB, 2 x 512 KB L2 Cache
ION 2 MotherboardASRock ION3D-ITX, DDR2-667/800
Northbridge on CPU, ICH8M Southbridge, BIOS L0.9 (09-06-2010)
ION 2 GraphicsNvidia Next-Generation ION, 512 MB Discrete RAM
GeForce 258.96
ION CPUIntel Atom 330 Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
1.60 GHz, QDR-533 FSB, 2 x 512 KB L2 Cache
ION MotherboardASRock A330ION, DDR3-800/1066
Nvidia ION Single-Component "Chipset," BIOS P1.40  (07-23-2010)
ION GraphicsNvidia ION, 256 MB System RAM
GeForce 258.96
Core i3 CPUIntel Core i3-530 Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
2.93 GHz, QPI, 4 MB L3 Cache
Core i3 MotherboardIntel DH57JG, DDR3-800/1066/1333
Northbridge on CPU, H57 Southbridge, BIOS 0228 (1-25-2010)
Desktop GraphicsIntel HD Graphics, Max System RAM
DDR3 SDRAM4 GB (2 x 2 GB) Crucial DDR3-1333 at DDR3-1333 CAS 7-7-7-20, (Ion at DDR3-1066 CAS 6-6-6-12)
DDR2 SDRAM4 GB (2 x 2 GB) Crucial DDR2-800 at CAS 4-4-4-9
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

As with Nvidia’s competing parts, VIA’s latest integrated GPU is designed only to support entry-level gaming. Yet there are few “World of Warcraft” addicts among our staff, and we’ve never found a good way to benchmark that game. Instead, we simply cranked the detail levels of our popular 3D titles down to the minimum settings, with the exception of DX10, which we left enabled.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
Lowest DX10 Settings (No AA)
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Lowest DX10 Settings (No AA)
DiRT 2Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Lowest DX10 Settings (No AA)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version
Lowest DX10 Settings (No AA)
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion: x64
Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
HandBrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai (1 GB) to .mp4, High Profile
TMPGEnc 4.0 XPressVersion:
Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes)
Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX Codec 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
Xvid 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Adobe Photoshop CS4Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image
Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32 KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8
Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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    Top Comments
    D525 and ION2 is expensive combination. If VIA can deliver at price level of D400 series with ION2 or cheaper it would put good pressure on Intel.

    nVidia was late to market with GTX460, but given it's price point a lot of pressure was put on ATI.
  • Other Comments
  • damasvara
    At last, VIA! Let the triple threat flame war begins! :lol:
  • dEAne
    VIA shouldn't stop it should move right away.
  • Ramar
    I'm interested, but I guarantee that I won't be by the time this is actually released.

    Technology seems to be the one thing in which the underdog third-party can't seem to do better. =[
  • luke904
    im glad they are making a good try. I believe they will be on par (or maybe even better than an intel and ion platform) by the time the chip is manufactured at 40nm and drivers are finalized.
    D525 and ION2 is expensive combination. If VIA can deliver at price level of D400 series with ION2 or cheaper it would put good pressure on Intel.

    nVidia was late to market with GTX460, but given it's price point a lot of pressure was put on ATI.
  • firebee1991
    Very interesting. While they should take their time and not try and get into the market too quickly, I would be happy to have a third competitor to Intel and AMD. The more competition the better.
  • super_tycoon
    Oh good, Tom's did examine the performance of a d525/ion2 platform. For this, I am pleased, even if they chose relatively intense dx10 games, not oldish dx9 ones.... point being I still love my 1215n. The i3 efficiency is damning though, too bad all the optimus ultraportables are (imho) way overpriced.

    However, when the new shrunken processor arrives, I think Tom's should also include netbook-like tests. These low-energy platforms aren't meant to encode videos or apply 100 photoshop filters to a terabyte tiff. The atom was specifically built to reduce cpu overhead (it doesn't even have out-of-order execution). Maybe toss in a ulv i3 if you can scrounge one up. So ya, I'll be waiting.
  • Jarmo
    Doesn't this remind me of previous S3 GPU offerings?
    Pretty decent low end performance... if the drivers were up to the task. But they're not.
    The shipping product needs to be rock solid if Via wants to overcome the suspicion.
    5 bucks cheaper but doesn't work... is not the way.
  • sudeshc
    At least they are trying and seems like a good one. They should speed up things a bit.
  • lashton
    correct me if im wrong but i thought no intel CPU had OOO execution
  • theshonen8899
    Yay VIA! I hope they can finally topple Intel and bring back powerful mobile solutions. All hail competition and the price drops that follow!
  • Crashman
    CTPAHHIKD525 and ION2 is expensive combination. If VIA can deliver at price level of D400 series with ION2 or cheaper it would put good pressure on Intel. nVidia was late to market with GTX460, but given it's price point a lot of pressure was put on ATI.
    I will be very happy if the production version can stomp on the D525 while consuming similar power at a lower cost, mostly because I think the low-energy market is far too inflated right now.

    Yet rather than brag about what could be a performance leader in the low-energy class, VIA calls this a "mainstream desktop" solution. I think they need to rethink the marketing on this.
  • Darkerson
    All things considered, I was rather impressed by what Via has to offer, especially since its not finalized yet. While I would never game with this, I would more then consider using it for an always on file server/NAS. Heres to hoping they are able to further improve it along the way. In the long run, the more options we have, the more these companies will compete for our money. Good job Via!
  • liquidsnake718
    at least its good to know my dual core atom 330 and nvidia ion 1 12inch netbook is in good company and almost as good as a general laptop while my PC is still a beast.... asus really makes the lightest and thinnestdual core atom netbooks..... check out the asus eesashel 1020n... its a great netbook...
  • IzzyCraft
    I enjoyed you VIA when you made mobos that didn't need expensive rambus ram for intel but sorry you mean nothing to me anymore :T

    The thing i would look for was movie playback and in that arena it's not exactly a show stopper. With that platform i'd be most concerned with if it can play full 1080p movies and flash particularly flash playback. then i'd look into power consumption etc.

    Really these low power solutions are meant for cheap media playback or cheap workstation solution.
  • randomizer
    :fou: Heatsink orientation is all wrong! Must resist urge to straighten...
  • dominatorix
    I' want to see this on a netbook/notebook solution.
  • Reynod
    No AMD products in the comparison charts?

  • elbert
    I want to see the 40nm Nano DC clocked at 3GHz with an Nvidia discrete GPU compared against i3's. Good review but could the Nano DC been tested for OCing. I would like to get an ideal of how far a 40nm Nano DC can OC.
  • K2N hater
    Looks pretty good for HTPCs rather than gaming.