Zotac's Ion Board On Windows 7: Nvidia Re-Arms Intel’s Atom

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SpadeM

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Granted, we could have done significantly better in the power department had we been a little choosier with our CPU. The Athlon X2 7850 was attractive due to its $69 price tag, 2.8 GHz clock speed, and unlocked multiplier, but its Kuma core is still rated at 95 W. You can dip down to the $60 Athlon X2 5050e (running at 2.8 GHz as well) and cut your maximum TDP down to 45W for $10 less.
If you knew you could have done better with a 45W not a 95W processor .. what gives? The supplier didn't have it in stock or why go for the obvious power monster?

On a different note, I'm looking forward to the transcoding article.
 

one-shot

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Everyone down-rates the first post which is posted by the author of the article. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed that yet because I see every author's first post down-rated many times.
 

hellwig

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I almost wish you hadn't even tried playing games on it, but I suppose you needed some sort of comparison for the performance of the ION chipset.

How many people will use this as a satellite PC in their homes, and what ever happened to Windows Home Server? I would think you let your central PC/server handle the computing and just use this guy as a remote terminal to stream media to.
 
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I'm looking for a low power system like this... my old father leaves his p4 system on ALL the time, and wonder why his electric bill is so high :-\
 

siliconchampion

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I love that they mentioned the GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi board at the end of the review. I used that board with an e7400, 4GB corsair, a low profile 9800 GT, a 320GB 7200RPM 2.5 inch drive, and an Antec 380 watt PSU. The reason I love it so much is three-fold.

First, I put all of the above mentioned components and put them into the case from the original Xbox (while maintaning totally stock appearances except for the back.

Second, the board boots lightning fast, and is a pleasure to work with.

Third, before we put the 9800GT into the build, using the same 9300 chipset as the Ion platform, we were running HL2 on max settings at 1680x1050 resolution (except with only 2x AA) and getting 35-45 FPS. We also played Halo 2 on medium settings and that played very well also. Obviously, after the 9800 was added, the computer flies. That just goes to show you that the Atom really is what is holding back the capabilities of the 9300 chipset.

All of this was accomplished with about $500, so it is a good budget computer that is inside of an Xbox. My i7 system has nothing on the "coolness" factor of this computer.
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]teeth_03[/nom]I thought the ION platform used the Geforce 9400 and not the 9300?[/citation]

The difference between 9300 and 9400 is clock speed. This one is slower than the 9300, even.
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]I almost wish you hadn't even tried playing games on it, but I suppose you needed some sort of comparison for the performance of the ION chipset.How many people will use this as a satellite PC in their homes, and what ever happened to Windows Home Server? I would think you let your central PC/server handle the computing and just use this guy as a remote terminal to stream media to.[/citation]

GPU power is one of the main advantages that Nvidia has over Intel's Atom-oriented platforms--it's worth looking at, even if you aren't going to be able to run much on it.
 

quantumrand

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The point of a nettop is low power consumption, and a small footprint. Its uses really dont go any further than general office productivity, web browsing, file serving, or maybe as an HTPC.

As long as you're not planning to use it as a file server or HTPC, you might as well get a netbook and a docking station of some sort. There really wont be much difference in real use performance, but you'll get the added option of portability.
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]gotdiesel[/nom]and the review with Linux ?[/citation]

At least officially, there are no Linux drivers for Ion yet. That'd make the review a little tough to write ;-)
 

vinehoyle

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Granted, we could have done significantly better in the power department had we been a little choosier with our CPU. The Athlon X2 7850 was attractive due to its $69 price tag, 2.8 GHz clock speed, and unlocked multiplier, but its Kuma core is still rated at 95 W. You can dip down to the $60 Athlon X2 5050e (running at 2.8 GHz as well) and cut your maximum TDP down to 45W for $10 less.

ok, let's pick this statement apart. Tom's has really lost it's way of late, and this is yet another example of what's really wrong. Ok the first obvious mind blowing error here is 5050e @2.8ghz. Unless you plan to overclock it, negating it's 45 TDP effectiveness, it arrives to you at 2.6 ghz.I own one, that's exactly how I know. Course if Tom's had done a review of it, they'd know this..but they didn't...I suppose their too busy writing boatloads of I7 reviews... Now to go farther with this, yeah this might sting a bit I grant ya, but oh well, a person who's considering an Atom Platform or a Low Energy AMD platform, their NOT EVEN LOOKING at a Kuma 95 watt core. Their looking at 45 watt, at most, like that 5050E, or maybe some LE-1600 series. I've said this before, but Tom's needs to start comparing oranges to oranges...what they really did here was compare a kiwi to a grapefruit. Tom's better start thinking or this site will lose it relevance very soon. Hard times are here, and shoppers are indeed shopping like this too. I fully recommend that Tom's redo this article with a proper watt AMD cpu, in this case 5050e or an LE-1600 series. Geeezzzzz..........95 watt kuma??? Roflao!!
 

cangelini

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It would have probably been enough to point out the typo ;-) If someone is looking for an Atom platform to use in any of the environments being sold here (gaming, HTPC, or desktop), then the benchmarks should show them that maybe they SHOULD be looking at a Kuma-based Athlon. Or, if they must go mini-ITX, the Zotac board suggested at the end of the story with a Core 2-class chip. Does the fact that the micro-ATX comparison platform used more power under load? If that's your only criteria, sure. But it hardly invalidates all of the other Ion-only observations.

I actually *used* this board. Why put a bunch of anemic platforms up against each other, suggesting, "Hey, if you're fine with creeping along at 2 MPH, here are five different solutions that'll make you pull your hair out as an anti-virus runs in the background?" The point is that, on the desktop or in a gaming situation, *you can do much, much better.*

Thanks for the feedback, though! =)
 

The Schnoz

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[citation][nom]one-shot[/nom]Everyone down-rates the first post which is posted by the author of the article. I'm not sure if anyone has noticed that yet because I see every author's first post down-rated many times.[/citation]
That's us sending a message that we don't like it. Why post a comment with a link to the article we just read on the same page?
 

The Schnoz

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I'm thinking about getting the 775 chipset version of this to use with my old 2160. I would like to see a comparison of these two, or something comparable, but I guess that's wishful thinking.
 

Mygind

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Why not a E7200 + Nvidia 9400 based Mobo (e.g. Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H) ?

That will give you more GPU power + much more CPU power.

Powercompsumption will be app. 35-40 watt at IDLE - using a 80 plus power supply

Even price is comparable (200$ for mobo+CPU).
 

The Schnoz

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[citation][nom]Mygind[/nom]Why not a E7200 + Nvidia 9400 based Mobo (e.g. Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H) ?That will give you more GPU power + much more CPU power.Powercompsumption will be app. 35-40 watt at IDLE - using a 80 plus power supplyEven price is comparable (200$ for mobo+CPU).[/citation]
not miniITX
 
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The reviewer doesn't understand the target market for this board AT ALL.

The target market for these low power ITX boards is:

#1 HTPC crowd
#2 LOW POWER 24/7 HOME SERVER crowd
#3 MAME / EMULATION CROWD

Gaming and encoding benchmarks...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Totally pointless to the low power ITX crowd!

The mATX system the reviewer put together is a power gobbling joke! No one in the Zoltac's target market would ever seriously consider that system.

Learn this market! Compare the ION to other Atom solutions (945G and 945GSE). Compare it to VIA ITX solutions.

WE ALL KNOW THE ATOM IS SLOW. WE ARE OK WITH THAT. DO NOT TRY TO NUDGE US INTO BUYING A 95W OR EVEN 45W DESKTOP SOUTION.

IE WE NEEDED OR WANTED DESKTOP PERFORMANCE WE WOULD NOT BE READING THIS REVIEW!
 

cangelini

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mrhands,

I am not a sales person. Nvidia is trying to position this as a HTPC/Gaming/Desktop product. I'm the guy standing on the sideline trying to let you know that it is *not* two out of those three things. I know this because I actually got hands-on to *test* in those environments (perhaps you missed the page of HTPC testing?). For the folks who *are* looking for a gaming or desktop machine, alternatives are provided.

In the third segment--HTPC--I give the setup its dues, let you know where Nvidia needs to do some driver work still, and look forward to seeing this setup in top-form sooner than later.
 
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