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Portables Graphics Software Entertainment Games Hardware

Ion Platform For Atom Tested With Games, HD Video 115

J. Dzhugashvili writes "Nvidia has already pulled the curtain off its Ion platform, which couples GeForce 9400 integrated graphics with Intel's Atom processor. But how does it perform? The Tech Report has taken the tiny Ion reference system for a spin in games and video decoding to see if the GeForce GPU really helps. The verdict? 1080p playback is actually smooth, and the whole system only draws 25W during playback. Fast-paced action games are another story—Half-Life 2, Quake Wars, and Call of Duty 4 are all choppy with a single Atom core and single-channel RAM, although they do run. TR concludes that Ion is nevertheless a clear improvement over Intel's 945G chipset, especially since Nvidia doesn't expect Ion-based Atom systems to cost significantly more than all-Intel ones." Update: 02/04 09:14 GMT by T : HotHardware is one of the several other sites offering some performance benchmark numbers on the new chipset.
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Ion Platform For Atom Tested With Games, HD Video

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  • Re:nVidia is doomed. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:56PM (#26713381)

    Insightful. If one looks at the post here today: []

    About the new Acer with Intel's highly-integrated N280/GN40 chipset, you've got to wonder about the long-term viability of nVidia.

  • Re:Damn (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:20PM (#26713887) Homepage Journal

    Right. The only way you can really be screwed by new hardware coming out is if you buy right before a price reduction. If you pay attention to the market, you pretty much know when those are going to happen. Athlon X2 price drop when Conroe was released, Penryn price drop when Phenom II was released, etc.

  • 25 Watts? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:28PM (#26714065) Homepage Journal
    25 watts during playback? Huh? This is more than twice what my current netbook with Intel graphics uses. It generally runs less than 11 watts, and I can get it to a bit less than 9 with some tweaking. I don't suppose anyone's seriously proposing an Atom platform that pulls 25 watts during playback.


  • by frieko ( 855745 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:39PM (#26714261)
    If I may take a moment to be a smartass: Assuming your P4 has a 25 watt power supply, the internet is about infinity times faster.
  • Re:nVidia is doomed. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @05:33PM (#26717291) Homepage Journal

    According to Anandtech, currently Creative still has the best game compatibility, because the game devs write to their cards, but Asus' Xonar line has better sound quality, and nearly the same level of game compatibility. I know if I were to build a new machine I'd take their advice on that, what with Creative's driver troubles, especially on x86-64. []

    Based on Valve's stats [], it looks like only about 3.5% of Steam users have an X-Fi card. I do know of a large portion of people who were weary of the X-Fi series though, and kept buying Audigys, and people like me who kept their "Creative Live!" cards, which are likely a good portion of that 33% with "other" sound devices.

    GP is right though; most people are perfectly happy with onboard sound. This is especially true in the laptop market, which last I heard was now well over 50% of total computer sales.

  • by forkazoo ( 138186 ) <> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @05:59PM (#26717713) Homepage

    Intel is simply going to put more of the functionality of GPUs into its CPUs. Meanwhile they are talking about a future with "thousands of cores" in the computers of mainstream users.

    Actually, AMD is out front on putting GPU functionality into CPU's with the "fusion" platform. Intel is taking the long way around with Larrabee and putting X86 into the GPU. Go figure. Anyhow, the end result will be to reduce chip counts and take advantage of the high number of transistors that can cheaply be put on a single chip and integrate as much as practical.

    Personally, I'm surprised we haven't seen more in the way of SOC's marketed at the desktop market yet. I'm sure it'll come, and you'll just get a motherboard with PCIe slots, DIMM slots, and a CPU socket, but no chipset or anything soldered on.

  • Re:nVidia is doomed. (Score:3, Informative)

    by ogdenk ( 712300 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @01:51AM (#26721533)

    Raster rendering used to be extremely slow as well before much R&D money was pumped into making cheap hardware with enough oompf to do it well on affordable computers.

    I had a PowerVR2-based card back in 1996 and it struggled with Quake 2 at 512x384 in a K6 233. Software rendering almost as fast. The 3DFX Voodoo1 was less than impressive as well.

    Give it time, raytracing hardware will become viable eventually.

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