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.