At the Consumer Electronics Show this past week, NVIDIA was demonstrating a new reference platform for an ultra small form-factor multimedia PC and we should underscore the word "ultra". To say this new product concept is tiny would be an understatement. Consider if you will, an entire PC, capable of decoding and playing full 1080p HD video content, in a box that fits in the palm of your hand with a 3" x 4" motherboard. Based on Intel's 1.6GHz Atom 330 processor with the hearty support of NVIDIA's GeForce 9400M core logic MCP with 16 integrated GeForce graphics cores, NVIDIA's Ion has to be one of the most capable Atom-based small form-factor solutions we've seen thus far.
From what we've seen of Ion's capabilities and the capabilities of products like the Asus N10Jc Netbook (built on Intel's 945 chipset with discrete GeForce 9300M graphics), Ion should take the Netbook and Small Form-Factor Desktop game up a notch or three. When you consider how products like the Dell Studio Hybrid could benefit from this new technology, Ion appears to be a home run in the making.
We met with Drew Henry, NVIDIA's General Manager of MCP products, at CES and he gave us a tour of Ion, as well as a demonstration of its capabilities. We've got Ion in today's HotHardware Video Spotlight, so we'll let Drew do the talkin'.
NVIDIA-Provided Benchmarks For The Ion Platform:
Atom 330, 1.6GHz, FSB 533MHz
Single Channel DDR3-1066, 2GB
GeForce 9400M, 16 graphics cores, full HD decode
7.1 HD Azalia
2560x1600 dual link DVI, 1080p HDMI
3DMark 06 Score (default)
3DMark 06 SM2
3DMark 06 SM3
PCMark Vantage Total
PCMark Vantage Memories
PCMark Vantage Communications
PCMark Vantage Gaming
PCMark Vantage Productivity
Call of Duty 4: Crew Expendable 1024x768, No AA, (FPS)