Benchmark Results: Applications
The Atom-based X2700 takes so long to load Adobe’s popular image editing app and open the test .tif that our Photoshop benchmark consistently fails to run. AMD’s Athlon X2 4050e encountered some start-up issues as well, but we were eventually able to get a 203 second run from it. Early on we see that shedding performance in favor of a smaller form factor is not the way to go if you’re an artist.
Without optimizations for threading, it’s the Athlon X2’s clock speed and architectural advantages that push it past the Atom.
WinRAR will run in multiple threads. Incidentally, both the Atom and Athlon X2 support threading—the former through Hyper-Threading and the latter by leveraging a pair of physical cores. But AMD’s advantage widens here, as the Athlon’s dedicated execution resources crank through the compression job significantly faster than the 1.6 GHz Atom.
In this threaded virus scan, AMD’s Athlon X2 finishes our benchmark in less than a third of the time taken by an Atom-based X2700.
ATOM is targeted for systems that use low amounts of power so it makes absolutely no sense to try to load Vista on it.
- Vista treats memory like a RAM drive. It doesn't intelligently determine what should be loaded, it just starts loading stuff (watch your memory after a fresh install and if it reports what is actually in the memory then I sure haven't been able to find it amongst all the clutter). 2GB is enough for most systems and the vast majority of games with the page file disabled though Vista "requires" about 4GB to run smoothly which there in and of itself negates the point of Microsoft shipping 32 bit version.
- Since Vista treats memory like a RAM drive it creates unnecessary wear on the hard drive. If you're looking to maximize the life span of your system (as well as ensure it's responsive) you should only load what you're using and with an INTELLIGENT caching system only preload associated files. For example many games have launchers (launcher.exe and game.exe)...obviously this is an example of when you DO want to cache something. User habits (loading Firefox after Open Office numerous times) would also justify caching.
It's good to finally see computers physically getting smaller. It's a decent system, maybe a decent starter system for someone who isn't in to gaming.
As a main system, I promise this thing would frustrate the heck out of you. I personally love the concept, but couldn't work with the implementation. Give me a low-power desktop configuration, at least, for performing desktop tasks.
It's still going to be a huge performance difference, and the 4670 really didn't play too big of a role here since I didn't run games. Should you wish to sub in the standard 740G or 780G graphics, however, you can also subtract $90 from the price tag of the desktop setup.
for me, the shuttle x27 is bang on if the tasks are internet surfing, email, or microsoft office. this is sufficient for my sisters. :)
also can be 24 hour computer that serves various media while downloading/uploading torrents. :p
for home theater setups, as said in the article, is futile.
but, that doesn't say the atom 230 is bad at all. we can buy a motherboard embedded with an atom 230 that has pci express and install a 4670 on it. in the future,i am sure there will be integrated graphics that could.
if the market says im wrong,well intel can produce lots of atom 330 dual core immediately.
it will be killer for HTPC and still use low amounts of power.
I would have liked to see a 780G compete against the Atom platform too. Especially regarding power consumption. IMHO you missed the point by comparing an Atom system to a system with dedicated graphics.
I do see your point--one angle could have been trying to pare both systems down to an absolute minimum. But if you're going to end up paying $400+ for the X2700, why not compare what you could get from a comparable lightweight desktop as well? In this case, you can add a $90 graphics card and still come in under the Shuttle's price--AND do exceptionally well in Vista.
Basically there are two ways of comparing an AMD based system to an Atom based system. Either you take the prize tag as a lead, thus one could add more horsepower (either graphics, as in your case, or CPU power, Phenom f.e.) to the AMD system. Or one could take the capabilities as a lead, thus one could come up with an AMD system that might be cheaper and with only marginally higher power consumption on average. IMHO the last way is the more logical one, as Intel doesn't market the Atom platform as a new, powerful all purpose platform, but as a cheap, "good-enough" platform with unmatched power efficiency. And as I doubt the last point, I would have appreciated a 780G based competitor in this review even more.
It would have been good to throw in a low end E series cpu and match up the video a bit better - I note your reasons above.
You would be hard pressed to out match a low end X2 in terms of value for money as a HTPC.
Perhaps that might make a good future review.
Another choice might be to play with the various X2 and Core2 low end cpu's in a bit of an underclocking experiment to get the best of power vs performance.
Some users have gotten stellar results underclocking the new 45nm Intel core2 line as well ...