Asus Ion 2-Powered Eee PC 1201PN Review

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SiSoftware Sandra & Multimedia Benchmarks

Testing with SiSoft SANDRA 2009
Synthetic Benchmarks

We continued our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA 2009, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant.  We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests (CPU Arithmetic, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth, Physical Disks). All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running at its default speed along with 2GB of DDR2 RAM running in dual-channel mode.

CPU Arithmetic Test; Click To Enlarge

CPU Multimedia Test; Click To Enlarge

Memory Bandwidth Test; Click To Enlarge

Physical Disc Test; Click To Enlarge

These benchmarks say it all. In terms of raw graphics performance, the Ion 2 is clearly a small step ahead of the competition. But it's about the whole package when you buy a notebook. The Atom N450 just isn't as strong as the dual core Atom chips, and we simply cannot wait for a real revolution in the Atom family. Even the N450, which was introduced half a year ago at CES, isn't a tremendous leap forward from the original Atom assortment, and these numbers show it. We're a few years into the netbook form factor, yet the benchmarks are nearly identical now as they were then. We need some serious forward progress from Intel and AMD.

To test multimedia capabilities, we attempt to play back a 720p WMVHD clip, a 720p H.264 clip and a 1080p clip. We've also included a screenshot of the 1080p clip from the Mini 311 (which uses the original NVIDIA Ion GPU) to give you a better idea of CPU utilization from a rival system.

Click To Enlarge; 720 H.264

Click To Enlarge; 720p WMVHD

Click To Enlarge; 1080p

Click To Enlarge; 1080p on HP Mini 311 w/ Ion

It's clear from these slides that it's still stressing the netbook to play high-definition video clips at full-screen, but it's certainly possible. Video playback was silky smooth (though loading each video did take a few seconds), and the Ion 2 is largely to thank. We'd say you're pretty much covered here; whatever HD media you have, the 1201PN can likely handle it. We wouldn't attempt to do any hardcore multi-tasking while a 1080p video clip was playing, but aside from that, performance shouldn't suffer much.

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