Zotac ZBox Blu-ray HD-ID34 Nettop / HTPC 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). All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor running at its default speed along with 4GB of DDR3 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

Our gauntlet of SiSoftware SANDRA tests show exactly what we've felt all along: the Atom D525 is one powerful Atom. It's really in another class compared to prior Atom chips, and it shows in these benchmarks. Of note, we used an in-house 500GB HDD in our testing, whereas a 250GB 5400RPM drive (from Samsung) comes bundled in the $499 package. The barebones $399 kit, however, requires that you bring your own hard drive.

To test the multimedia capabilities of the Zbox, we loaded up a 1080p WMV-HD (Windows Media) clip and a 1080p QuickTime, H.264 encoded clip.  In the foreground of these shots you can see Windows Task Manager Performance Monitor graphing CPU utilization, giving you an idea of how taxed the system is during this test. We have included similar shots from our ZBox HD-ID11 review for the sake of comparing the two.

HD Digital Video Playback Tests
CPU Utilization and System Resources Required For HD Video Decoding and Playback

Iron Man 2 Trailer - 1080p, H.264 Quicktime Video (ZBox HD-ID34)

Iron Man 2 Trailer - 1080p, H.264 Quicktime Video (ZBox HD-ID11)

Speed for IMAX Demo, 1080p Windows Media HD Video (ZBox HD-ID34)

Speed for IMAX Demo, 1080p Windows Media HD Video (ZBox HD-ID11)

Truthfully, both the HD-ID11 and HD-ID34 are plenty capable of handling 1080p movies. Our ID34 didn't even hiccup when asked to play these back, even with tasks running in the background. But this machine was built to play Blu-ray Discs -- these compressed 1080p clips are just child's play compared to that. Speaking of, Blu-ray playback was impressive, with no stutters as it played over HDMI to our HDTV.

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