General Performance: Dual-Core Beats Single-Core

Futuremark PCMark05

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering - CINEBENCH R10

Video Encoding - DivX

Video Encoding - x264

Video Encoding - x264



We've shown these results in our ASUS Eee PC 1005PE review, so there's nothing new to say here. Dual-core Atom 330 is significantly more powerful than Atom N280 and N450, but it's also a big step down from CULV. Look at the HP Mini 311 results to see just how much doubling the cores in Atom gets you. In tasks that are heavily threaded (i.e. video encoding and 3D rendering), the four threads on 330 can at times match a 1.3GHz CULV. The best result is in DivX encoding where the 330 is only 4% slower than the EC5409u. Other multithreaded tasks like x264 put the EC5409u 30~40% faster, and in CINEBENCH CULV is nearly three times as fast in the single-threaded mode and still almost twice as fast in multithreaded mode.

Futuremark 3DMark03

Futuremark 3DMark05

Futuremark 3DMark06

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Looking at the 3DMark results gives us some idea of what's to come in the gaming section. The problem is that 3DMark stresses the GPU far more than it stresses the CPU, so these results are more an indication of what the 1201N can do in games that don't need much from the CPU. As we'll see on the next page, the gap between the 1201N and the Dell Studio 14z (basically the same GPU) is often quite large. In that sense, the 1201N is similar to the MSI X610: an underpowered CPU paired up with a reasonable GPU.

Test Setup Mobile ION Does Gaming… Sometimes
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  • YpoCaramel - Friday, January 22, 2010 - link

    130cd/m2 is too dim for portable use. These levels might be useful for getting accurate color in lighting controlled rooms, but most ultra-portables don't have that luxury. Even if they are kept indoors they will encounter a variety of lighting conditions, some of which will make the screen quite difficult to see at such low brightness. What's worse, the screen is reflective. Sufficient brightness can minimize reflections, but the 1210N just doesn't have the brightness. The competition can do better - even old the eeePC 1000H. Reply
  • darkryft - Monday, December 28, 2009 - link

    I personally feel the 1201N is a great evolution for the netbook, but probably represents the limit. To go any further in size any number of other features would drive the cost to where it is no longer a netbook, it's a laptop.

    There are some drawbacks, yes, and there are laptops that can be had for nearly the same money the perform better, but this is a fantastic feature set in the ultra-portable class. I'm personally phasing myself out of PC gaming and desktop computing as a whole, and I will probably invest in a full-on laptop at some point, but for documents, music, and netsurfing this will easily handle the tasks.

    If only it were cost-feasible to drop a Patriot Torqx in this thing.
    Reply
  • SmCaudata - Saturday, December 26, 2009 - link

    The ASUS 14" laptop seems like the best portable out there right now. The battery life is good enough were you really don't need to bring your charger everywhere and it's price is not much more than this dual core netbook for much better performace. There are a few select situations where one may absolutely need 11" or smaller, but for 99% of the users out there I cannot imagine that the 14" thin and light ASUS is too big. If I were in the market for a laptop it is certainly the one that I would buy. Reply
  • Rsaeire - Saturday, December 26, 2009 - link

    "...video decoding and in particular gaming are too much for the 4500MHD."

    The Intel GMA 4500MHD supports full hardware acceleration of HD video codecs, MPEG-2, VC-1 and H.264/MPEG-4 AVC.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, December 26, 2009 - link

    Yes, but Flash 10.1 still struggles on HD movies. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, December 28, 2009 - link

    Yes, but Flash 10.1 is currently at beta 2, a full-featured release isn't available yet. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 28, 2009 - link

    Exactly, and do you buy something with GMA 4500MHD with the hope that everything gets worked out in the next couple of months as far as Flash goes, or do you wait and see first, or do you go with ION? I'm inclined to take one of the latter two approaches, as buying something with the assumption that it will work later (see GMA 500 -- no recent XP driver updates, and as far as I can tell the Acer 751h still has major issues with stability) isn't a great plan. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, December 28, 2009 - link

    Alternately, I might just wait for something like this.

    http://www.windowsfordevices.com/c/a/News/Broadcom...">http://www.windowsfordevices.com/c/a/News/Broadcom...

    Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, December 28, 2009 - link

    Actually, having seen Adobe in action, I'd probably wait. Haven't seen too many things they can't break to some degree, even sometimes after they have fixed them.

    Ion is cool, don't get me wrong. However, Intel's 4500 onboard video has been the first video product I've seen from them that seems to work well for almost everything except gaming. I rarely switch on my Radeon 3470 mobile graphics (I have a ThinkPad with switchable graphics) for this reason. If I was in the market, I'd rather get an SU2300 laptop than an N330 once I've seen what Flash 10.1 release looks like --and your review actually convinced me of that, as I'd have been on the fence before.
    Reply
  • Spivonious - Monday, December 28, 2009 - link

    But that's not due to the 4500MHD, it's due to Flash not taking advantage of it. Reply

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