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3D Gaming Performance

First of all let’s check out the performance of our netbooks’ graphics in synthetic Futuremark 3DMark suite.

The very first test, 3DMark06, immediately eliminates the traditional Pine Trail platform from the list of acceptable gaming choices. Intel GMA 3150 is failing miserably here. So, a netbook built exclusively from Intel components can never become an entertainment center. It can’t handle HD video playback and is unable to deliver any acceptable 3D performance.

Both netbooks with a 10-inch screen failed to pass 3DMark Vantage test. Eee PC 1015PX netbook based on Intel Pine Trail refused to work because of the missing DirectX 10 support. And Eee PC 1015B on AMD Brazos platform does support DirectX 10, but still fails the 3DMark Vantage test because of the too low supported screen resolution.

As for the comparison between Brazos and ION platforms, they seem to be more or less on the same page. However, this conclusion comes from the results of synthetic benchmarks. And what will we see in real games? Let’s find out. The tests were performed in netbooks native resolution with minimal image quality settings.

Overall Brazos platform with Zacate processor produces higher fps rate. However, even the Eee PC 1215B netbook based on it can hardly qualify even as an entry-level gaming system. Even with the previous-generation games and the lowest possible image quality settings, we still failed to reach acceptable fps rate. In other words, even netbooks with fastest graphics inside are unsuitable for gaming. Moreover, some games, such as Starcraft 2, for example, stumble upon insufficient computational resources rather than the slow graphics core.

So, the owners of Brazos or ION based netbooks can at best enjoy the graphically-simplest causal games, like The Sims 3, World of Goo, Portal 2 or popular 3D shooters from the previous century, such as Quake 3. And if this is your thing, then the best bet would be a netbook with Zacate processor inside.

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