Productivity Applications, Video Encoding and Playback
The ultra-economical Athlon II and AMD 785G-based mini-ITX mainboard deliver higher performance than the ION platform in typical home applications. Moreover, running an audio/video encoding or image processing application on the ION will be a test of your patience whereas Athlon II X2 250u copes with it within a reasonable amount of time. Of course, the Celeron-based system is even faster, but it is a traditional PC rather than a power-efficient one.
By the way, the Celeron-based computer is not always faster when it comes to video transcoding. There are applications that can utilize GPU’s resources along with those of the CPU for this job. Cyberlink MediaShow Esspresso 5.5 is an example.
This program can put shader processors of the integrated graphics core in AMD platform to good use and runs faster than on the platforms with Intel CPUs and Nvidia integrated graphics.
Today’s multimedia players can utilize GPU resources, too. Every modern graphics core incorporates a hardware engine for video decoding. As a result, the CPU does not have much work to do during HD video payback in popular formats.
The diagram shows the CPU load during HD video playback in H.264 format (30 Mbps) with Media Player Classic Home Cinema. As you can see, it is no higher than 25%, which is a very good result. Interestingly, the results of the Celeron E3400 and Athlon II X2 250u are almost identical whereas the ION platform shows lower CPU utilization. This is not because of some exclusive technology from Nvidia, however. From the OS’s point of view, the CPU with Hyper-Threading technology has twice the number of cores and its result under low load is understated.