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Editor: Matthew DeCarlo

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High Definition Playback

We used the Blu-ray edition of Avatar to measure the CPU utilization of each system. The Atom 330 platform by itself cannot decode the video which normally provides very high CPU utilization results. However, the Nvidia Ion chipset significantly improves the Atom 330's performance. Also keep in mind that although the Atom 330 is a dual-core processor, it features HT support for a total of four threads which brings the overall utilization way down.

In the end, the AMD E-350 platform saw an average CPU utilization figure of 24.67% when playing a Blu-ray movie, while the Ion-assisted Atom 330 was just 16.78%. That increases to 33.56% if you only measure the Atom's dual-core performance.

We also tested CPU utilization using a 1080p .mkv copy of Avatar (converted from a 1080p Blu-ray source). We saw similar figures, but this time the AMD E-350's CPU utilization dropped down to 19.55%, which provided consistently smooth playback.