Now that we know Intel isn’t going to block NVIDIA from pairings its grpahics chips with the Intel Atom processor, it’s time to take another look at what kind of performance NVIDIA’s new ION platform really offers.
NVIDIA has said the platform will offer 10 times the graphics performance you get from the Intel Atom + Intel 945GSE chipset you can currently find in many netbooks. In practical terms, that means better gaming performance, higher quality HD video, and much faster performance with applications that take advantage of the GPU.
For instance, in the video you can see below, the folks at NVIDIA show what happens when you try to transcode a 2 minute video using iTunes (which relies on a CPU to perform transcoding jobs), or a tool that takes advantage of the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GPU. The difference? It takes about 2 minutes to transcode the video clip using the ION platform, and about 20 minutes using an Acer Aspire One netbook with an old school Intel Atom chip (or what passes for old school when you’re using a CPU that was released just half a year ago).
The video, which is available after the break, also shows Call of Duty 4 running pretty smoothly on an ION prototype box.
I actually wholeheartedly agree. The atom platform is *almost* perfect for the “always on” home theater pc, it’s just that the regular atom (and possibly even the dual core atom) just cannot handle 1080p video very well. This is what I’ve been looking for when it comes to guilt-free energy consumption while the pc buffers or downloads video for the TV.
The most useful use for this on netbooks is for gaming. I wonder if this thing will run Crysis (not max quality but, say, low or medium). Also is this compatible with CUDA? That would also help a bit the processor at gaming time.
I just covered my great experience with COD4 on the new MacBook with the NVidia integrated graphics. Very good gaming performance with this GPU.
OK, doesn’t the Asus N10 already have an NVidia video chip and an Intel Atom? So why does everyone have their pannies in a twist over this Intel vs NVidia catbattle?
I think the N10 has an nvidia GPU “tacked on” to an Intel chipset. There’s obviously some cost associated with that approach and the N10 is a bit pricey for a netbook. With ION, nvidia will be providing the entire chipset as an integrated solution. So it’ll be cheap and fast. Im siding with nvidia on this one. We’ve been forced to use crap graphics for years because of Intel’s unwillingness to engineer a decent GPU. Go get ’em, nvidia…
Yes if you want to do all those things you wouldn’t want to do it on a nine inch screen.
I know many won’t agree, but I think Ion will be more important for nettops than netbooks. An Ion/Atom combination with an MPEG2 encoder would make a nice little PVR.
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