Asus Ion-Powered Eee PC 1201N 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).

 
CPU Arithmetic Test; Click To Enlarge


CPU Multimedia Test; Click To Enlarge


Memory Bandwidth Test; Click To Enlarge


Physical Disc Test; Click To Enlarge

You'll notice that the Atom 330 CPU stomps the single-core options that it is tested against, and it certainly felt that much faster in use. Granted, a full-fledged Core 2 Duo makes it look shameful, but remember that we're talking about a sub-$500 netbook here. Memory Bandwidth and the HDD test both showed some weaknesses, and we agree with the numbers; booting up applications did indeed feel a touch slow.



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 two screengrabs of the 1080p clip from prior test rigs to give you a better idea of CPU utilization from rival systems.


Click To Enlarge; 720 H.264


Click To Enlarge; 720p WMVHD


Click To Enlarge; 1080p on Asus Eee PC 1201N w/ Ion


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


Click To Enlarge; 1080p on Lenovo S10, Atom + 945GME

The Mini 311 that we reviewed earlier this month could handle both 720p and 1080p content, but it was definitely being taxed. The CPU was severely loaded during playback, and multitasking was all but impossible. The 1201N, however, makes multimedia playback seem like child's play. Both 720p and 1080p movie clips played back without issue, and in most cases, the CPU utilization hovered at or near 20%. A few intense scenes pushed that up to around 50%, but never did the clip stutter or pause. We even had a few things going on in the background, and never once did the video stall. We're crediting the Ion for the playback ability, and the dual-core CPU for that extra multitasking headroom. No matter how you slice it, it's a winning combination.


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