General Performance: PCMark Vantage
To get an idea about the average platforms performance under various types of workload we used PCMark vantage test that provides a number of different analysis approaches.
The total score is calculated from the systems performance in single- and multi-threaded general purpose applications typical of home PCs. Dual-core Celeron E1200 is the fastest here. The second fastest is dual-core Atom 330 that outperforms all single-core testing participants. VIA Nano L2100 runs as fast as the youngest Celeron 420 on Core microarchitecture leaving Atom 230 far behind. Since all processors except Nano work at the same 1.6GHz frequency, the obtained results illustrate perfectly the simplicity of Atom 2-Issue and In-Order microarchitecture.
Memories pattern estimates the systems performance during work with a digital media archive of pictures and home videos. The situation doesn’t really change that much under this type of processor workload. Dual-core Atom 330 is the only low-power processor to outperform the youngest single-core Celeron 420 on 65nm Conroe-L core based on Core microarchitecture. However, even in this case the performance difference doesn’t exceed 10%. It once again proves that Intel and VIA’s new microarchitectures for nettop devices are not intended to hit any significant performance heights.
TV and Movies test uses HD video playback and decoding. The processor’s ability to work in multi-threaded mode matters most here. A single-core VIA Nano L2100 rolls back to the last place: even Atom 230 working at a lower frequency shows better results. Although it has only one core, it supports Hyper-Threading. However, it still can’t catch up with Celeron 420: Core microarchitecture is much more progressive. However, dual-core Atom 330 performs very well here: it is only 10% slower than dual-core Celeron E1200.
Gaming patterns tests the platforms in 3D gaming applications. That is why the results turned out so low. The workload here falls not only on the CPU, but also on the graphics cores. And they are evident weaknesses of the today’ testing participants. The thing is that integrated graphics accelerators also use system memory, which in our platforms works in very slow single-channel mode.
Music pattern deals with audio files encoding into different formats. The results are quite typical here. Nettop processors lose even to the youngest LGA775 CPUs. VIA Nano L2100, however, does pretty well: it is 16% faster than Atom 230, but 4% slower than Atom 330.
These results are obtained under typical Internet workload, which is exactly what Intel Atom and VIA Nano were developed for. The test emulates internet surfing, work with e-mail client and IP-phone. The obtained results suggest that systems built on contemporary Celeron processors cope with this type of tasks way better than new nettop solutions. As for the new low-power solutions, the fastest here is Atom 330 with Nano L2100 following close behind. However, you should keep in mind that it is not only the performance that matters here, but also power-consumption, which we are going to discuss later on. In reality, all processors including the slowest Atom 230 are fast enough to ensure comfortable Internet-experience.
Productivity is another simple pattern emulating work in typical office applications. As we see from the obtained results, Atom and Nano processors compete successfully against Celeron 420 that is often used for office systems these days. In other words, nettops may find their way not only into homes but also into office environments.