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  • Alouette Radeon - Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - link

    The Athlon 64 2650e is the CPU in my Acer Aspire 5515. It's by no means a scorcher but I often have 10-15 Firefox tabs open with no noticeable decrease in speed. I think RAM might be the difference here. As for power use, keep in mind that you're comparing the latest Atoms to an Athlon 64 that's about 2 years old. There's not much really to expect there. Remember just how low these numbers really are. Those performance bars look big but the scale must be taken into account. We're splitting hairs. I doubt we'd really notice from one to the next except in very isolated circumstances. Reply
  • FlyTexas - Monday, January 04, 2010 - link

    Dell wants $65 to upgrade to the dual core CPU, right?

    NewEgg sells an Intel dual core CPU at 2.4ghz for $52 that will run rings around any of these CPUs... It is almost as fast as the one in the review.">

    So, what am I missing? This is an overpriced computer from Dell in a fancy mini case. Maybe that makes it expensive, but lets be honest, you're paying for the small pretty case, not the weak computer inside.

    Just buy a Dell Inspiron 537s slim desktop, it even comes with the rubber mounts to put it flat with the rest of your components, looks good (in the right color of course) with your XBox/PS3/DVD Player/Whatever...

    How much? About the same $450 this thing costs, and it comes with a 2.6Ghz Pentium Dual Core. It just lacks the super small case.

    Just my opinion... :)
  • bearshat - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    Small form factor and attractiveness is definitely a feature you have to pay a premium for but that doesn't make it overpriced. I can think of a few other things in this world that small and pretty is better than fast and powerful. :)

    I bought the Zino with Neo X2 6850e and Radeon 4330. I wish I could see the test benchmarks with that configuration.
  • orionmgomg - Sunday, January 03, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the great article and info on these AMD CPUs.

    Been building AND selling performance systems for years using only intel until just a few months ago, when I had a client insist on an AMD Quad Core CPU for his gaming system.

    I was SHOCKED to see that for less than 200$ dollars (Phenom II X4 965) I could get a Quad Core CPU with 8MB cache and clocked at 3.4 factory, using a sub 100$ASUS AM3 EVO mobo and Radeon 5870 GPU all for the price of a single Intel QX9650! (999$)

    Umm, lets just say I have been using AMD ever since - in these touch economic times, and out here in the mid west of the US in the middle of winter - people need the very best bang for their buck, dual cores are even "enough" for most people and at the higher end price points - Intel products just become un-necessary... (for the average consumer who cares about base performance and not how much cache or microseconds his latencies run at)

    Of course for me…

    PS: My current system is:
    Core i7 920 @ 3.3
    Cooler Master V8
    ASUS P6T Deluxe V2
    6GBs DDR3 OCZ Gold
    Samsung DVD & 3x1TB HDDs
    Corsiar TX850W PSU
    No case - spagetios!

    Dream Build:
    Intel i7 980XT (or just a i7 920 with D0 stepping:)
    Cooler Master V8
    ASUS P6X58D Premium
    6 GBs DDR3 OCZ Gold
    ASUS Radeon HD 5970
    Samsung DVD & 4x1TB HDDs - or the new OCZ SDD you just reviewed!
    Corsiar PSU 850
    Cooler Master CosmosS 1100

  • marraco - Sunday, January 03, 2010 - link

    A bit late, but:

    Thanks for a great work in 2009.

    Have an excelent 2010, Anand!!
  • jaydee - Saturday, January 02, 2010 - link

    Wonder how the Neo x2 stacks up... Reply
  • Cogman - Saturday, January 02, 2010 - link

    Come-on, from a tech site I would expect a little more :P.

    x264 is an H.264 encoder (or MPEG-4 AVC if you prefer). There is no such thing as x264 video format as it adheres very strictly to the H.264 standard.

    You meant to say H.264 acceleration, not x264 acceleration.
  • Cogman - Saturday, January 02, 2010 - link

    The exact line is on page two, "The first test is H.264 decode acceleration. I fired up the latest version of Media Player Classic and tested x264 acceleration."

    You got the first right, the second slipped in as an x264.
  • Penti - Sunday, January 03, 2010 - link

    Actually it's right as that's the solution for accelerated bitstream decoding(-only) x264. They didn't test acceleration for H264 blu-rays for example. Then it also does motion compensation and IDCT on the GPU-hardware. So the description is correct in that he tested x264 acceleration. As in x264 encoded videos in MKV format not (fully) supported by standard commercial codecs. And not as in commercially encoded downloaded H264 or H264 BD. Formats matter even if it's details especially when the decoding is done with different decoders and software. The test and x264 reference is valid. Reply
  • Cogman - Monday, January 04, 2010 - link

    x264 follows the H.264 standard. Any optimizations for "x264" apply to all H.264 film, that is the standard.

    There is NOTHING that says that an x264 output stream has to be shoved into an MKV. It can be put into an MP4, AVI, whatever. It is a H.264 video stream, so it can go anywhere that the H.264 video streams go.

    x264 acceleration would be a test to see how long it takes to encode a video.
  • Penti - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    But retard, he tested the solution people use to playback H.264 material encoded with x264 (homebrew encoder) and put into an MKV container. So it's still valid as he didn't test another solution that would probably have problems with it. He tested the built in decoder (not x264 but FFMpeg with modifications) in MPC-HC thus the test is valid. He didn't do a blu-ray playback test that would have been different (higher bitrate, MC and iDCT done in hardware plus decryption of the disc). -- He did test x264 warez playback as that is what all people would use rather then legally bought BDs or pirated un-rencoded BDs. He also did do a x264 encoding test. (All the diagrams referring to x264 is referring to testing the x264 software encoder, but in Page 3 he tests MKV x264-encoded h264 decode acceleration in MPC-HC. Which is specific as it uses a different decoder solution and doesn't fully offload to the hardware. Only bitstream so its as said very relevant to the readers.)

    People use warez, Anand use warez, the readers use warez get in with the game. Just a MKV-splitters usually results in lousy unwatchable playback. But more importantly this is the solution people uses. So testing it as something differentiated from something produced by commercial encoders in standard containers is valid. When testing BD playback your testing the BD-player (PowerDVD, WinDVD, Arcsoft TotalMedia Theatre) It will differ with choosing a different one, there can be performance problems in one but not the other. You can remux a H.264 bitstream from a commercial codec too, but who cares. He's testing what people use. As other solutions are feature incomplete.
  • nubie - Saturday, January 02, 2010 - link

    I am way ahead of them already, I have two of my desktops converted to Turion ML-30s (1.6ghz 1MB level 2 cache).

    Mostly for the silence, partly for the low power draw.

    They cost $10 (for both, $5 apiece) on ebay.

    You can lower their voltage using RightMark CPU utility.

    Just pick up a Socket 754 motherboard and a mobile 754 chip. The only real work is modifying the heatsink to fit a processor without the integrated heatspreader.

    If you want to do this on the cheap that is (I know, it is a DDR1 platform, but eh, the price is right.)
  • Oberst - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    Hello and a happy new year to all,
    what mobo did you use for the AMD cpus? The Zino HD only uses cpus that have a tdp of 22W or less, so there is probably only a one- or two-phase vrm. But even µATX mobos with 780g often support 140W cpus, so the vrms will not be very efficient at 22W. So the AMD systems will get nearer to the Atom when using a dedicated mobo. I hope dell did so and made a dedicated mobo for these low power cpus.

    Also the price is quite cheap (at least in Germany). The HD is 20€ more expensive than the standard Zino. The CPUs are both 1,6GHz (Atom 230/2650e) but the HD has double Ram (2GB), double hdd (320GB) and Win7 (home64) instead of XP (home32).
    So compared to the standard Zino the Zino HD seems to be the better choice.
  • KidneyBean - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    I suppose now that the ATX 2.3 spec requires 80% efficiency at 20% of the rated power supply, we can just use 300W power supplies for these low power systems, but I thought I'd share a link to an interesting power supply manufacturer that makes 80-150W power supplies. The great thing to me is that they are completely fanless.">

    I would love to hear if anyone knows of any more silent power supplies for these low power systems.
  • strikeback03 - Monday, January 04, 2010 - link

    I tried to use an M3-ATX (a version of the picoPSU) in my carputer using the LF2 board (Atom 330), but it didn't last too long, from other forum reports the 5V draw is too high. That is likely to be a complication with any of those PSUs, needing to know with more detail than usual what power is being drawn from where. Reply
  • KidneyBean - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    Seems to me we don't need to buy these CPU's. We could get ~2.7GHz AMD K8/K10 CPU's and underclock/undervolt them. Would get us similiar power usage. Maybe a little higher, since AMD might bin these low power CPU's specifically for this purpose.

    Is it not possible to underclock/undervolt AMD CPU's to these speeds and voltages? Last I heard AMD doesn't clock lock below the default multiplier.

    Interesting review nonetheless. I think I'll go take a look at that interesting OCZ DDR3 advertisement.
  • Kobaljov - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    The power consumption of the old Atom 230 is a little bit strange, compared to the 330 and the Pineview both in idle and load, there is not enough difference which indicating the other core (1 Atom core is about 6 W as I remember). At the x264 HD playing the CPU load on the Atoms was 100% ?

    Other issue with the AMD CPUs is the cooling as both models needs active cooling and the dual core probably needs a normal (not brick) power supply which uses fan too, the necessary size and the noise can be bigger than the Atoms (the new dual core Pineview on the Intel's mobo runs with passive heatsink and with the Broadcom Crystal HD chip it can handle the video acceleration)
  • mindless1 - Wednesday, January 06, 2010 - link

    It is not an issue, even the X2 AMD CPU could be passively cooled with an appropriately designed heatpipe. Recall that desktop video cards with higher TDP are also passively cooled.

    Further it is not a safe assumption that a brick PSU would be beyond it's limits, recall that laptops not only run off of one but recharge a battery while doing so and with far more power hungry CPUs than those including powering the LCD display.

    However, I for one would like at least a very low RPM 60-80 x25mm thick fan in such a box even if it needed a few centimeters increase in size to have one. That could be inaudible and likely to increase the product lifespan. If they then wanted to duct that exhaust fan's intake across a passive CPU and/or chipset 'sink too, I'd be fine with that so long as they used a decent quality fan instead of the low end sleeve bearing junk too often seen in low cost equipment.
  • signorRossi - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    Does the desktop Pineview even provide HDMI? If not it is not really suited for a HTPC system. And doesn't it also have the same crappy dual-monitor capabilities as the mobile version? Reply
  • Kobaljov - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    Yes, the HDMI is really missing, I hope that maybe other motherboard companies can and will include it soon (I don't know that it's supported by the chipset or no) Reply
  • AznBoi36 - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    Pinetrail is useless for an HTPC ... There is HDMI, but you're limited to a max resolution of 1366x768. Pretty useless for anything above 720p HD. Reply
  • signorRossi - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    I read somewhere that Ion 2 for Pinetrail is in the works... Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, January 03, 2010 - link

    They can just make a mobile graphics card that sits on some of the four PCI-e lanes available, it's PCI-e 2.0 and is more then enough for a low-end graphics solution. There's no problem there. One lane (x1) for Gigabit ethernet, One lane (x1) for wireless (Mini PCI-e) leaves two lanes (x2 or 1000MB/s uni-directional) for graphics. It's enough. Easily faster then an IGP solutions. But most will probably just go with the Broadcom Crystal HD. Reply
  • Kobaljov - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    The Zotac created a new mini-ITX board with dual-core Pineview with HDMI (similary limited res) and 2 PCIe Mini Card and a PCIe x1 slot! Price is unknown but hopefully closer to the Intel prices than the previous Ion boards. Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, January 05, 2010 - link

    Sounds good, will definitively check it out. But it's still too resolution limited and a discrete chip would solve that. But you can solve that with a x1 graphic card :) Though not that cheap, I only know of HD4350. But at least you get full resolution HDMI then. Reply
  • essemzed - Thursday, December 31, 2009 - link

    Just looking at the picture I think something is conspicuously missing: a socket for a microphone jack beside the phone one.

    Being a nettop it is very likely it will be used for VOIP applications too (Skype or whatever) and I'd really like to plug my headset jacks, both phone and mike, in the same place, not one in the front and one (hopefully) in the back.

    Bad design, IMHO.

  • signorRossi - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    Ever heard of USB-attached headsets? ;-)
    Mic/headphone tu USB adapters exist too...
  • Calin - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    Also, there are USB webcams with integrated audio. Reply
  • essemzed - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    my point was not that it is impossible to attach an headset to the box (of course it is), but that it would be impractical if you already own one of the typical kind, i.e. analog. Reply
  • hardwareguy - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    There's a mic jack on the back of the Zino HD, along with another headphone jack.">
  • signorRossi - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    Sorry if I sounded impolite or nitpicking, it wasn't meant so. I just wanted to point out that it isn't a big deal that the Zino hasn't a mic jack on the front.
    But you actually can get an adapter for your analog headset for a few bucks.
  • bse8128 - Thursday, December 31, 2009 - link

    When comparing power consumption, isn't really fair to compare with the old Atom boards with a i945GC chipset. I'd much prefer to see a comparison with for example the Intel D945GSEJT, using a i945GSE chipset like the EEE Box. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 31, 2009 - link

    I agree, but I needed something that allowed me to use a standard ATX power supply in order to do an apples-to-apples comparison. I included DC based platforms as a reference point though.

    Take care,
  • ganeshts - Thursday, December 31, 2009 - link

    Anand, I believe AMD has made it very clear in its driver release that support for Adobe Flash acceleration will be restricted to the HD4000 series and later. Users of the 3xxx series (and as a result the chipsets with Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics like the ZinoHD) will probably never be able to benefit from GPU Flash acceleration.

    Not wanting to sound like a Nvidia fanboy here (actually my HTPC uses a 3450 from ATI), but ATI really has a lot of catching up to do in terms of software support for its great hardware.
  • johnsonx - Sunday, January 03, 2010 - link

    This AMD engineer here:">

    claims he was able to get flash acceleration working on the ZinoHD.
  • AznBoi36 - Friday, January 01, 2010 - link

    We'll just have to wait for Flash to get out of beta and actually work properly, before we draw any of these conclusions. Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 31, 2009 - link

    AMD told us that the 3200/780G would be accelerated and that the release notes were just pointing out their focus for acceleration.


    Take care,
  • Wirmish - Thursday, December 31, 2009 - link

    "Hmm, that's unexpected. ION + Atom is actually a bit faster than the 2650e and AMD's integrated Radeon HD 3200."

    Intel use is CPU to boost his GPU performance:">

    World of Warcraft is in the list.
  • shabby - Thursday, December 31, 2009 - link

    Its new years eve, take the rest of the day off :) Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Thursday, December 31, 2009 - link

    I'm going to go do just that :)

    Take care,

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