Benchmark Results: Synthetics
SiSoft Sandra and PCMark 7 are good synthetics for comparing these four systems. Given a quartet of different architectures, it'll be interesting to see how the numbers fall. Let’s start with the SiSoft Sandra benchmarks, which focus on processor and memory performance:
The Sandra scores don't offer up any surprises; the Intel Core i5-2520M leads, and the Core i3-430UM falls into a distant second. The AMD E-350 and Atom D525 are tied for third place.
The multi-media capabilities of these processors mirror the arithmetic results we already saw.
The memory bandwidth results aid in demonstrating why ASRock's CoreHT dominates our benchmarks. The other competitors fall way behind in this metric.
The Core i5-2520M in ASRock’s CoreHT 252B leaves its competition in the dust when it comes to PCMark 7, which is no surprise considering this processor's relatively high clock rate and desktop architecture. The real surprise is that the Atom D525, E-350, and Core i3-430UM are so closely matched.
Now that we have an idea how these nettops perform, bear in mind that they're not built for high performance. They’re built for media playback and general productivity. Despite their modest results, these systems still provide workable performance as media centers and Web machines.
The fast 500 GB Western Digital Scorpio Black serves ASRock's nettop very well. The other systems have relatively similar storage performance, though Zotac's Zbox isn't helped by its 5400 RPM disk compared to the 7200 RPM competition.
Now, let's consider gaming performance:
The graphics benchmark doesn’t flatter any of these solutions, and even ASRock’s CoreHT can’t provide a 30 FPS rate. The Radeon-based graphics chipsets in the Zbox and MC001-BD don’t fare well, but the HD Graphics engine in the Giada i50 is hit hardest.
They are small form factor PCs or home theatre PCs, but they are not nettops.
btw: Mac mini should be in this lineup.
Mac Mini should be in this lineup? Actually, a good idea. I'd love to see how it compares to similar Wintel boxes.
I'm through with these small boxes because they're a pain in the a$$ to service and the hardware isn't good for the price ($800?! gimme a break!), but I see value in them for people who are ready to pay more for the small size.
If I would build a small form-factor box myself, I'd use something like this new Lian Li case which was in Tom's news recently - it can fit proper PCI/PCI-E cards.
Again, lovely article. Keep it up.
P.S. The ASRock box is great.