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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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  • nVidia is doomed. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:50PM (#26713253) Homepage Journal

    I hate to say it because they do good work, but I think nVidia is ultimately doomed as it is today. Everyone rips Intel's integrated 3d graphics but they just keep getting better every year. Although AMD should have bought nVidia instead of ATI, they do own ATI, and so have a pretty good graphics system on their own. Eventually, both AMD and Intel are going to wind up with 3d calculations on the die in some fashion, and that's going to leave nVidia for what?

  • Valve games (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:50PM (#26713265) Homepage Journal

    Well of course Half Life 2 is choppy on the platform -- the Source engine is very CPU-intensive. Almost every system is going to be CPU-bound with Valve games, unless you happen to be running a Core i7 with an entry-level video card, at 1920x1200. As for the other games, you're still running on integrated graphics, and there's only so much you can do before you need a separate card.

    Disclaimer: I work for Intel, but I've been a fan of Valve's games for much longer than that.

  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:24PM (#26713969) Homepage Journal

    Totally agree. who is going to be playing Half Life 2 on a 8" or 10" screen? =P

    Certainly, but looking towards platforms such as PSP, Nintendo DS and the iPhone, we can see that there is a market for games taking advantage of small format screens. While Half Life 2 won't be targeted at these platforms, there are already FPS games for some of these platforms, though then again we are more likely to see a Nvidia + ARM combination, than a Nvida + x86 combination, simply because of battery limitations.

  • I'd buy some. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Big Boss ( 7354 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:27PM (#26714035)

    With recent developments in VDPAU, the HD capable GPU acceleration for Linux, I could use this board. The only thing I would change is to make it wider and move all the ports to the back. Include an LCD or VFD if you want to get fancy, and and IR receiver on the front. Perfect MythTV frontend machine. I would like the dual-channel RAM though, to help with 1080i playback.

    Put it in a nice small case like those used for modern DVD players, and they have a winner.

  • Re:I'd buy some. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by QuasiEvil ( 74356 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:30PM (#26714111)

    My first thought exactly - gimme, gimme, gimme, need a new Myth frontend. Let's see - low power, good Linux-supported decompression acceleration, and has an HDMI port. This is exactly what I've been waiting on.

  • by jhfry ( 829244 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:54PM (#26714521)

    I see this being the hot new frontend for mythtv. With VDPAU supported for HD decoding, fanless/quiet fan, atom processor, a bit of ram, and a SD card for storage I could make one hell of a nice tiny front end.

    I want one now!

  • Re:Damn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @04:22PM (#26716177)

    "Serious question: what does that leave?"

    Flashing Neo Freerunner with stuff.
    Using it as a terminal into my servers for maintenance tasks.
    Music & Movies (on the plane or sometimes hooked up to a big LCD)


    Taking places I wouldn't take a decent laptop. Or places I wouldn't think to take a normal one, but it's small enough to throw in the bag.
    Seeing something on tv and wanting to look it up on wikipedia NOW and every other computer is out of reach and takes ages to boot...

    I don't know if it's for everyone, but I use it all the time. To the extent I feared I'd stop using my vaio completely for a while. Then I remembered that I occasionally type letters or play games. Or do the odd bit of crypto-related programming.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.