Sunday, May 18, 2008

EEE PC News - Benchmark comparing Atom (Diamondville) vs Celeron vs Core 2 Duo

UPDATE: see also new post with new tests/benchmarks and all articles about

The Japanese site Impress (pc.watch.impress.co.jp) published PCMark 05 benchmark results comparing a MSI Wind desktop (not to be confused with the MSI Wind ultra portable laptop).
So you may say, what's the matter? The benchmark is of interest since the MSI Wind desktop is equipped with an Atom (Diamondville) CPU clocked at 1.33GHz, chipset Intel 945GC Express, 1GB SDRAM, Windows Vista.
The other tested devices
  • Asus EEE PC 900: Celeron M 900MHz, 1GB SDRAM and Windows XP
  • Asus EEE PC 701 4G: Celeron M 630MHz, 512MB SDRAM and Windows XP
  • Sony Vaio T VGN TZ905: Core 2 Duo U7600 (1.2GHz), 2GB SDRAM and Windows XP
Before giving the results: also in this case I have some (little) doubths about the test methodology! It is important to compare apple with apples! Nevertheless I must say that the result of this benchmark is far more applicable to the Atoms SuperPI benchmark and the CrystalMark benchmarks agains VIA Isaiah (C8) other published in the past weeks.

There were two major differences between the Atom system (MSI Wind desktop) and the other systems
  1. Operating system: the Atom and Core 2 Duo systems were running Windows Vista while the EEE PCs run Windows XP. Vista slows down dramatically PC performance. This is especially true for systems with little memory and for slower CPUs, as typical for ultra portable laptops and tiny desktops.
  2. PC type: Impress compared the three listed ultra portable laptops with a tiny desktop. This is also not optimal, since tiny desktops and ultra portable laptops are built using different parts and requirements.
That said, here you have some of the results.
Compared to the Celeron system, the Atom system scores well on the system tests while in the CPU benchmark the Atom numbers look very bad.
It seems confirmed that Intel Atom is not suitable for CPU intensive tasks, BUT WHO CARES????
Atom's best feature is the very low power consumption, Atom targets cheap ultra portable laptops and desktops, mainly used for surfing and casual Office. If you need performance you should buy a Core 2 Duo and add 1000 bucks by the way... ;-)

PCMark05 (syntetic index of the overall system performance)
  • 2328 Core 2 Duo 1,2GHz
  • 1468 Atom 1,33GHz
  • 1126 Celeron 900MHz
  • 818 Celeron 630MHz
CPU Score (use very CPU intensive algorithms: file comp/decompression, en/decryption, image and audio comp/decompression)
  • 2328 Core 2 Duo 1,2GHz
  • 1441 Celeron 900MHz
  • 1159 Atom 1,33GHz
  • 997 Celeron 630MHz
The good PCMark05 value can be explained to the relatively high HDD score (4x higher than the EEE PC 900, 2x higher than the Vaio) and the good memory score (slightly below the Vaio and higher than both EEE PCs).
About the CPU score: I think that here we can see that the Atom was designed with power in mind, not for CPU intensive task. We can see this especially with the major difference between the Atom and Core 2 Duo result. The latter scores well, given the dual core and the performant CPU architecture. Also the Celeron CPU is much more complex than the Atom and we see the results in the CPU benchmark.

UPDATE: see also new post with new tests/benchmarks and all articles about

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