Three Slim Atom/Ion 2-Based Nettop PCs Compared

Benchmark Results: Response Time

While the productivity benchmark results show us that Intel's Atom D500-series performs CPU-intensive tasks far slower than a desktop, folks who buy a nettop aren’t using these machines to perform tough tasks in the first place. For a nettop PC primarily used for basic--to surf the Internet and compose documents--the important criteria is responsiveness.

From experience, we can say that the Core 100HT-BD feels just as responsive as a low-end desktop. Let’s measure the time it takes to initialize Firefox and Word 2007 using these competitors:

On its first run, the Giada Slim-N20 is actually a bit quicker than the Core i3-330M-equipped ASRock PC, probably because of its faster hard disk. When it comes to opening a large Word document that includes images, the ASRock Core 100HT-BD demonstrates superiority, though. The Jetway Mini-TOP suffers an odd performance penalty here.

On subsequent runs of the same program, Firefox starts up at about the same speed across all of these platforms, but opening the large Word document continues to be a strength for the Core i3-330M CPU. The message here is that the Atom D500-series-equipped nettops are quite responsive, so long as you’re not opening large files. This mirrors our subjective tests, as these nettops do not feel nearly as sluggish as the benchmarks might suggest. When you use them for typical tasks like surfing the Web or navigating around Windows, these PCs don’t feel slow at all--a far cry from the first-generation single-core Atom CPUs.

  • 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.