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Testing Methodology

In order to test our ZBOX HD-ID11 system extensively we did our best to find a 4 GB DDR2 SODIMM memory module. Kingston provided us with their KVR800D2S6/4G featuring desired capacity and supporting DDR2-800 mode with CAS Latency 6.

The last BIOS versions for ZBOX HD-ID11 are already compatible with 4 GB memory modules, so we didn’t have any problems.

Besides their memory, Kingston also provided us with their 128 GB V-series SNV425-S2/128GB SSD, which we also used in our tests.

The ZBOX HD-ID11 nettop we put together didn’t look very appealing in terms of price, but at least it gave us confidence that we really “squeezed all juices” out of the new Nvidia ION2 platform. Our nettop showed 3.4 Windows Experience Index, and according to Windows 7, its primary bottleneck was Intel Atom D510 processor, which is, in fact, not surprising at all.

For the purpose of comparison against ION2 platform we took several mainboards with dual-core Intel Atom processors based on ION and Pine Trail platforms. ION was represented by ZOTAC ION-ITX-A mainboard with Atom 330 CPU, and as for the “original” Pine Trail, we took a reference Intel D510MO solution with the same Intel Atom D510 processor as in our ION2 platform.

As a result, the list of the used hardware and software components used for our today’s test session, looked as follows:

  • Platforms:
    • Intel D510MO (Intel Atom D510 + Intel NM10 Express);
    • Zotac IONITX-A-U (Intel Atom 330 + GeForce 9400);
    • Zotac ZBOX HD-ID11 (Intel Atom D510 + Intel NM10 Express + NVIDIA GT218).
  • Memory:
    • 2 x 2 GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM DIMM, 6-6-6-18 (GEIL GX24GB8500C5UDC);
    • 4 GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM SODIMM, 6-6-6-18 (Kingston KVR800D2S6/4G).
  • Hard drive: Kingston SNV425-S2/128GB V-series SSD.
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Graphics Media Acceleretor Driver 15.​12.75.50.​5.2117;
    • Intel Chipset Driver 9.​1.​1.​1025;
    • NVIDIA ION Chipset Driver 15.51;
    • NVIDIA GeForce/ION Driver 258.96.

I have to point out that although all three nettop platforms tested today are based on dual-core Atom processors, they differ dramatically from one another. For your convenience we put together the following table describing the primary distinguishing features of the participating platforms:

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