System Specs Remarks & Memory Performance

Hardware
- AMD Phenom X4 9350e (2.00GHz) AM2+
- x2 Kingston HyperX 2GB PC2-8500 Module(s)
- Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H (AMD 790GX)
- OCZ GameXStream (700 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200RPM (Serial ATA II)
Software
- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
- Intel System Drivers (9.0.0.1)
Hardware
- Intel Atom 230 (1.60GHz) AM2+
- x1 Kingston HyperX 2GB PC2-6400 Module(s)
- Gigabyte GC230D (Intel 945GC)
- Thermaltake TR2 QFan (450 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200RPM (Serial ATA II)
Software
- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit)
- Intel System Drivers (9.0.0.1)

Please note that we are only including the AMD Phenom X4 9350e/Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H desktop configuration as a comparison for interest’s sake. Never did we expect the Gigabyte GC230D to compete with a quad-core desktop system. The combined cost of the AMD Phenom X4 system including the motherboard and processor is well over $300, whereas the Gigabyte GC230D will cost less than $100!

Furthermore, the Gigabyte GC230D is built around a significantly more compact platform, with a processor that consumes less than half the power.

It is also worth noting that the Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H motherboard we used for comparison sports the ATI Radeon HD 3300 graphics engine opposed to the GMA 950 graphics in the Atom board. This is an important remark, as there is a massive performance difference between these two integrated graphics engines.

Pairing the Atom 260 with something like the Radeon HD 3300 would have significantly improved its abilities. As it stands, the Intel GMA 950 graphics has limited this product almost strictly to 2D applications.


The memory bandwidth performance is surprisingly good considering that the Atom processor works at just 1.6GHz on a 533MHz FSB. This allowed the Gigabyte GC230D to produce a read bandwidth of 2.95GB/s in PCmark05 and a write result of 2.60GB/s.

Overclocking the Atom 230 from 1.6GHz to 1.8GHz, which also raised the DDR2 memory frequency from 533MHz to 600MHz, increased the read bandwidth performance by 15% which is quite impressive. One way or another, the Atom 230 platform was still no match for the more expensive and much more power hungry Phenom X4 configuration which provided 89% more bandwidth.


The EVEREST Ultimate Edition results are much the same as those seen in PCmark05. The numbers are just slightly higher, while the performance trends remain intact. Given the specifications, the Gigabyte GC230D does quite well in terms of memory bandwidth. To be honest, for the tasks that this platform is designed for the GC230D has more than enough bandwidth available.


The Super PI performance measures both processor and memory performance, and as you can see the Gigabyte GC230D is considerably slower than AMD's entry quad-core processor. Still, the Phenom X4 9350e comes with four cores clocked at 2.0GHz and consumes considerably more power. The single core 1.6GHz Atom made the 1MB calculation in 1.33 minutes, while overclocking it by 200MHz shaved 10 seconds off that time.

In order to help put these results in better perspective, an Intel Pentium D 805 processor overclocked to 3.3GHz made the 1MB Super PI calculation in roughly 52 seconds, while an Intel Celeron 336 2.8GHz took about 1.10 minutes. An older Celeron 2.3GHz (Northwood) took around 2.21 minutes, so in retrospect the Atom 230 result is very good.