QuietOC

The Evolution of the Microsoft/Intel Netbook: Three generations of mini Windows laptops

Posted in Uncategorized by QuietOC on February 12, 2010

Synthetic Benchmarks: 3D Rendering

Atom based systems have not done well with 3D gaming. Even when paired with discrete graphics none of the Atoms offer enough CPU performance for most 3D games. The Atom N270 processor is normally paired with Intel’s ancient 945GSE chipset. The mobile GMA950 built-in video isn’t Intel’s worst built-in video (a.k.a., the i810), but it never had decent performance even when it was first released. At least the more recent forms of it like the GMA 3100 are fairly low power, so it does make some sense that it will continue to be paired with (and now, in Pinetrail, on the same package as) the Atom CPU. Netbooks are not about 3D performance, at least not for Intel.

Atom Netbooks Won’t Run Games

Very few games would even begin to run on the stock 1000HA probably due to Intel’s Windows XP graphics drivers. Merely installing the Windows 7 Beta allowed Valve Source games to run (but very slowly). I was able to get the original Half Life released in 1998 to run pretty well under Windows XP even at 1280×1024 on an external monitor.

Do CULVs Have Enough Power?

There was some hope that the GMA 4500MHD and Core 2 Solo in the Gateway would be able to run older titles like Team Fortress 2 at some resolution.  Futuremark’s 3DMark03 is an old 3D graphics test which simulates the games that might be playable on these portables.

Even on the old 3DMark03 Intel’s integrated graphics don’t look too good. The GMA 4500MHD at least looks like it might be competitive with the overclocked Radeon 2100. Unfortunately real games are much more demanding on the CPU, and the GMA 4500MHD fails with the 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo. Not that any built-in video is terribly useful for gaming. Even the overclocked Radeon 4200 is just barely playable at 1024×768 on many fast paced games.

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  1. Fire Basket · said, on November 3, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    the best and cheap netbooks are made by Asus or MSI, if you want reliability then the best is Hitachi netbooks “


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