Asus Eee PC 1000H Netbook

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The Asus EEE PC 1000H is based on the same core technologies seen in the vast majority of Asus (and other branded) netbooks on the market today. The EEE 1000H is based on Intel's popular Atom N270 processor and 945GME chipset combination, which has proved itself to be one of the most power-efficient processor/chipset pairings on the market today. While certainly not the most powerful setup in the world, it typically is regarded as "good enough" to handle the needs of what people expect from a netbook (email, browsing the web, basic office-level tasks).

Idling at 855 MHz

Full load at 1.71 GHz

The Atom N270 processor which powers the 1000H model is certainly powerful enough for netbook-level usage scenarios, although when you really start to push the system, you can see the limitations of this CPU quite clearly. For email, browsing, basic word processing, the N270 handles the load just fine. However, whenever you throw anything graphics or video related at the system, it chokes up pretty quick. Even something as simple as loading up a Flash video on Hulu, the CPU will jump up to 100% and bring the system to its knees.

Now, in this day and age, when a Flash video is maxing out your CPU, there is likely a problem of some sort. The Atom N270 processor is quite modern, as it's based on Intel's latest 45nm manufacturing technology, has support for SSE-2 and SSE-3, and has 512k of cache, which all seem quite good for a low-cost processor. However, it's lacking an awful lot, some of which is not needed for a netbook-class system, some of which we could really go for. First off, the Atom N270 is a single-core processor, not dual-core, which means that if you have a single rogue process acting up and maxing out your CPU, system performance grinds to a halt - a problem which has largely been solved with dual core based systems. Not only that, this single-core processor runs at a mere 1.6 GHz, roughly half that of most modern systems. Most systems today have a processor closer to 3.0 GHz with dual-cores at a minimum, which basically means you'll be looking at around 1/4th the processing speed of a modern day desktop. In addition, the Atom N270's architecture is nipped around many of the multimedia aspects of its desktop brethren, so playing back high-end video content will really show off the unfortunate side effects of Intel's cost/complexity cutting which employed in the Atom architecture.

Iconography used in Asus's "Super Hybrid Engine" software.

Asus does help out Intel a little bit, by offering a "Super High Performance" mode, which can be activated through Asus's "Super Hybrid Engine" software. You can switch off this mode through a software switch, or by clicking one of the top four action buttons (by default, one of the buttons is pre-linked to the software, but you can change this if need be). The highest of the four options is the previously mentioned "Super High Performance Mode", which actually overclocks the system's front side bus speed (533 MHz x 12 = 1.6 GHz) up to 570 MHz, which gives you an operating clock speed of 1.71 GHz - a 7% gain in performance. Not bad for no cost and no work, but it doesn't affect the Atom's core deficiencies in any major way.  Also, if you run at this mode long enough, you'll drain your battery quicker and the system's integrated cooling fan will switch on and activate, which does make the system audible (by default, it's barely noticeable).

"Super Hybrid Engine" also gives you the ability to clock down the CPU if you're doing low-level tasks and want to save battery life. The other three options are "High Performance" (1.6 GHz), "Power Saving Mode (1.25 GHz), and Auto, which varies between 627 MHz and 1.6 GHz, depending on system load. It's a nice, simple little tool for managing your performance and battery life - despite its awkward sounding name.

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