For those interested in Linux
performance with Ion, here's some specs and a review of a US$399 box.
It's a shame that it is a Zotac single-core MB since the same company has a dual-core 945 box.
The Nvidia Ion is here! The Ion platform takes the energy efficient Intel Atom processor and adds to it the powerful Nvidia 9400M video card. The result is a powerful, yet energy efficient (as low as 22 watts!) compact desktop computer.
* Intel Atom 230 (1.6 GHz, 512KB Cache, FSB 533MHz) CPU
* Nvidia ION GeForce 9400M GPU
* 8x USB 2.0 Ports
* 1x PS/2 Port
* 1x DVI Port
* 1x VGA Port
* 1x HDMI Port
* 1x Gigabit RJ45 LAN Port
* 1x eSATA port
* Audio I/O Jacks
* 10.4" x 9" x 4.4" http://www.zareason.com/shop/product.php?productid=16205&cat=0&page=1
The ZaReason system we have our hands on is called the Ion Breeze 3770 and was just released a few days ago. We will have our full review on the ZaReason Ion Breeze 3770 in the near future, but this ION-based nettop uses the Intel Atom 230 processor and depends upon a Zotac ION motherboard internally. Our review unit was configured with 3GB of RAM, a 1TB Seagate ST31000333AS hard drive, and was allocated with 512MB of memory for its GeForce 9400M....
Well, hands down, the NVIDIA ION performs dramatically better than the Intel 945 graphics found on most netbooks, nettops, and other Intel Atom devices. The video playback with VDPAU was substantially better and allowed smooth 1080p H.264 video playback. When it came to gaming, the NVIDIA ION system was always faster than the Intel 945 and in some times it was many times faster. NVIDIA's leads continued when it came to the 2D graphics performance. Not all games were playable with the NVIDIA ION system and the frame-rate was lower in some of the other areas, but it is much better than using Intel graphics.
When it comes to Intel graphics over NVIDIA on these Atom devices, the only advantage in favor of the blue company is their open-source driver support compared to NVIDIA's proprietary-only stance. We will be back with more on the NVIDIA ION performance and the ZaReason Ion Breeze 3770 in the coming days.http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvidia_ion_linux&num=1
I can't understand paying the premium for Nvidia graphics for a single-core when the dual-core would still be a bit underpowered.