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Our board shipped with a 7200rpm hard drive which we later swapped
for a WD Scorpio Blue 5400rpm drive so it wouldn't have an unfair performance
advantage over our Atom 330 system which was tested with a Seagate Momentus
Measurement and Analysis Tools
Our first test procedure is designed to determine the overall system power
consumption at various states (measured using a Seasonic Power Angel). To stress
CPUs we use either Prime95 (large FFTs setting) or CPUBurn depending on which
produces higher system power consumption. To stress the IGP, we use ATITool
or FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility.
Our second test procedure is to run the system through a video test suite featuring
a variety of high definition clips. During playback, a CPU usage graph is created
by the Windows Task Manger for analysis to determine the average CPU usage.
High CPU usage is indicative of poor video decoding ability. If the video (and/or
audio) skips or freezes, we conclude the IGP (in conjunction with the processor)
is inadequate to decompress the clip properly. Power consumption during playback
of high definition video is also recorded.
H.264/VC-1 Test Clips
H.264 and VC-1 are codecs commonly used in high definition movie videos on
the web (like Quicktime movie trailers and the like) and also in Blu-ray discs.
To play these clips, we use Cyberlink PowerDVD with hardware acceleration turned
1080p | 24fps | ~10mbps
1080p | 24fps | ~8mbps
x264/MKV Video Test Clips
MKV (Matroska) is a very popular online multimedia container
used for high definition content, usually using x264 (a free, open source
H.264 encoder) for video. The clips were taken from two longer videos
the most demanding one minute portions were used. To play them
we use Media Player Classic Home Cinema, configured in the most suitable
manner depending on the GPU. For Intel/ATI graphics the player is configured
to use DXVA (DirectX Video Acceleration), for Nvidia graphics we use CoreAVC
to enable CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) support, and for
those that support neither, CoreAVC is used with default settings, which
renders using CPU power alone.
720p | 24fps | ~11mbps
x264 720p: Undead Battle is a 720p x264 clip encoded
from the Blu-ray version of a major motion picture. It features
a battle with undead warriors.
1080p | 24fps | ~14mbps
x264 1080p: Spaceship is a 1080p x264 clip encoded from
the Blu-ray version of an animated short film. It features a hapless
robot trying to repair a lamp on a spaceship.
Flash Video Test Clip
Many users watch media online in Adobe's Flash format on
sites like Hulu and YouTube. Now that the latest 10.1 beta version of
Flash supports GPU acceleration, only slower systems like those powered
by a single core Atom without a proper IGP struggle with Flash in HD.
Our test clip is a HD movie trailer from YouTube played in Firefox.
1280x544 | 25fps | ~2mbps
Flash HD: Iron
Man Trailer #1 is the first trailer from the feature film
of the same name. It's a YouTube HD video, though technically
it is not quite 720p.
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