Three Slim Atom/Ion 2-Based Nettop PCs Compared

Benchmark Results: Productivity

The PCMark Vantage system score gives us an idea of how fast these Atom-powered nettops are in comparison to one another, and to the powerful Core i3-330M-equipped ASRock solution.

The Atom nettops are neck and neck, while the ASRock Core 100HT-BD delivers about twice the raw performance. The Giada Slim-N20 and its 1.66 GHz Intel Atom D510 CPU doesn’t seem to be at much of a disadvantage compared to the 1.8 GHz Atom D525 in the Zotac and Jetway PCs.

The PCMark hard drive bench shows that the 320 GB 7200 RPM Seagate Momentus in the Giada Slim-N20 provides a sizable hard disk performance advantage compared to the 5400 RPM drives in the other PCs. This might help even the odds in the benchmarks and offset the N20’s slower CPU.    

When it comes to image editing and video encoding tasks, the ultra-slim nettops are neck and neck again, but the ASRock Core 100HT-BD flexes the power of its desktop-class Core i3.

Data encryption, compression, and scanning algorithms are CPU-centric tasks, and the Atom-equipped nettops struggle when compared to the Core i3-330M processor.

When it comes to word processing, email, and Internet-based tasks, the Giada Slim-N20 stands slightly above the other Atom-equipped nettops, probably because of its hard drive's faster rotational speed. The mobile Core i3 CPU walks away with another win here.

Keep in mind that this benchmark primarily tests how quickly these PCs can transcode audio, but it's not a measure of sound quality. The Giada’s hard drive performance helps it here, but this CPU-intensive task is owned by the ASRock Core 100HT-BD.

The HD video benchmark test uses two simultaneous threads, one transcoding HD video to a media server archive and the other playing back HD video in real time. This is a CPU-intensive task that doesn’t reflect the quality of the video playback, something we’ll be investigating in a few pages. The ASRock system leads in this benchmark, with the Giada Slim-N20 taking a distant second thanks to its relatively fast hard disk.

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  • reprotected
    Nettops fail.
  • DjEaZy
    ... it may be a good mac mini hackentosch...
  • hmp_goose
    Retest the N20's playback with a RAM drive for the temp files; I suspect the drive system is the issue . . .
  • dEAne
    Overall it is good. The benchmark is fair enough - And it is presentable too.
  • cushgod
    SHould test results with a SSD complared to a "mechanical" HDD to see how much that can help an Atom move along :)
  • fullcircle_bflo
    So if I wanted a computer simply to stream internet videos to a television via HDMI(such as Hulu or CBS website), would any of these be a good candidate?
  • kriminal
    ^^ guess so.. fullcircle
  • mchuf
    For $150 - $200, you can buy a used Pentium D or C2D pc off of craigslist. Add a $50 HD5450 gpu and a $40 wireless KB/M combo and your all set. That would be a more capable box than one of these things and at a lower price (even if you upgrade to Win 7 HP). Hell, even a used Mac Mini (old model) might be a more cost effective solution. Unless you're extremely tight for space, I don't see the appeal for an overpriced "net" device.
  • nonameworks
    ^^ Only if you ignore the cost of electricity
  • tipoo
    Zino HD review, please! At close to the cost of many of these nettops, it blows them away in performance and is almost as small and consumes almost as little power.
  • azcoyote
    I would love one of these for only one reason. To get rid of the clunky box I let my kids play games on. Not sure they have enough guts for the pig that is Flash though.
  • Anonymous
    The last page seems to imply that the Zotac box is the only one of the group lacking TrueHD. Is that correct?
  • gs92110
    Recently connected my Gateway 17" laptop to TV by HDMI, it works fine, but a large footprint, might be interested in one of these little Nettops, "IF" they would let me surf/email/streaming videos to TV[without pixelation messing up the videos]...I don't expect much, but need these features...
  • ethaniel
    Good read, and a good thing that you opened all of them.
    I'll pass on Nettops until they can easily handle games like Metro 2033 and Crysis with the highest settings.
  • ProDigit10
    Jetway mini has slower readings because it's harddrive is massively slower!
    I'd replace it with an SSD, and do the tests again, and see how it'll outperform the other nettop platforms..
  • Sandburner20
    Interesting that the D510 system can't play Flash video fullscreen. I have run into the exact same problem with the Shuttle D510 system. Even more interesting that the D525 can. Could this be a timing issue with the D510 since the FSB is apparently different?
  • JohnMD1022
    We can scratch the Giada immediately.

    Why you ask?

    A Seagate drive.

    Can anyone remember the Yugo? That's Seagate.
  • naturalandtech
    ASRock always rock! especially Vision 3D Series coming with:
    # Intel® Core™ i7 / i5 / i3 Mobile Processor Family
    # 2 x 2GB DDR3-1066MHz
    # NVIDIA® GeForce GT425M Graphics, NVIDIA® 3D Vision, 3DTV Play Capable
    # 2T2R WiFi 802.11b/g/n
    # 3 x USB 3.0
    # 7.1 CH HD Audio with THX TruStudio Pro™
    soon it will be on my hand,,, muhaha
  • teeth_03
    Your USB port totals are a bit off when you are forgetting the eSATA combo ports. So the Giada actually has 3, not 2, and so fourth.