Beyond Atom: Exploring Performance ITX Solutions

General Performance: Cinebench & LAME MT

Cinebench R10 is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by 3D animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others.  It's very demanding of system processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput.

Cinebench R10
3D Rendering

This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a single 3D scene and tracks the length of the entire process. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.

Cinebench was not kind to the Atom/Ion reference machine. With only two very low power cores, not to mention less cache, the Atom 330 simply couldn't compete. The competition between the DG41MJ and the GF9300-D-E was much closer with the DG41MJ taking a slight lead.  Then again, you're likely not going to be processing any high end 3D rendering with a machine that is targeted as a Home Theater PC.

Audio Encoding

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content.  LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications. In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenically-induced Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Once again, shorter times equate to better performance.

The two boards are completely deadlocked in the LAME MT MP3 encoding test. Both the DG41MJ and the GF9300-D-E post identical scores for both single-thread and multi-thread encoding. This is simply because the encoding process is very CPU dependent and the already small performance differences between the two boards don't weigh heavily enough to make a difference in the final scores.

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