HP Mini 311 Ion-Based Netbook Review

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 N270 CPU is rather weak in testing, and it's rather weak in practice. The 2GB of RAM and Ion GPU definitely helps on those fronts, but the 5400RPM is predictably sluggish when compared to other options. Still, for a netbook this is about as good as it gets when the current lineup of available technology.
To test multimedia capabilities, we attempt to play back a 720p WMVHD clip, a 720p H.264 clip and a 1080p clip.

Click To Enlarge; 720 H.264

Click To Enlarge; 720p WMVHD

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

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

The Mini 311 was able to handle each and every HD file we threw at it. Even the high-bitrate 720p and 1080p movie trailers were played back smoothly. The CPU was severely taxed, but if we kept it from running any other heavy duty tasks in the background, we never saw a single hiccup or stutter in playback. That's really, really impressive for an Atom N270-based netbook. This feat of multimedia prowess was literally impossible with older GMA500/Windows XP-based setups. Add an extra gigabyte of RAM, Windows 7 and NVIDIA's Ion, and suddenly you've got a netbook that can play back 720p and 1080p with no issue.

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