According to the popular 3DMark Vantage graphics test, ION2 graphics has become 1.5 times faster than it used to be in ION. In fact, this is the result of the graphics core speeding up and using its own proprietary video memory.
However, the increase in graphics core performance doesn’t mean that ION2 may be considered a decent entry-level gaming platform. Back during our ION platform tests, we concluded that Atom-based systems couldn’t become fully-functional gaming platforms, but not because of insufficient graphics performance, but because of extremely limited CPU capacity. The new Atom D510 used in ION2 platform is a little better than its predecessor in this respect. Here are the results obtained in our gaming tests:
More or less contemporary games, like Far Cry 2, work really poorly on ION2 even when the image quality settings are at the minimum.
You can get acceptable gaming experience in older shooters, such as Half Life 2, but also only at the minimum quality settings. Although we do not see any qualitative improvement in the fps rate compared with the previous-generation ION platform, the 20% performance boost is a very nice bonus.
Arcade games represented in our test session by Trackmania Nations Forever demonstrate almost 30% performance improvement on the new platform with low quality settings. In other words, ION2 platform can be called powerful enough for launching games like that. Of course, high image quality is out of the question, but you can always relax for a few minutes playing an arcade game on this system.
One of the most interesting parts of our test session was checking out the system performance in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. And I have to admit that ION2 platform proved suitable for playing this popular strategy game. As always, we had to set all image quality settings to the minimums, but we did get pretty acceptable performance in return.
The games written using Flash technology are still a problem for ION2 platform. Contemporary Flash player versions can use the GPU power only for video decoding. However, when it comes to creating the images in Flash games, this is a sole responsibility of the CPU. As a result, it is completely impossible to play any colorful Flash games on ION2. And our performance tests in a popular multi-player 3D action Flash game called Tanki Online show it clearly.