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Intel Atom: NVIDIA ION vs. Radeon HD 4330 Graphics

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Hardware

Last week we featured a review on two MSI WindBox Atom 330 NetTops that we had purchased to add to our testing farm, which as you may now know went into our Phoromatic Ubuntu Tracker setup that is monitoring the performance of the latest Ubuntu development packages on a daily basis. Before devoting this hardware to the farm, we ran a few benchmarks comparing the performance of NVIDIA's ION GeForce 9400M graphics processor to the ATI Radeon HD 4330 graphics processor found on the MSI 6667BB-004US and several other Atom-powered devices.

For the NVIDIA ION graphics performance we used an ASRock ION 330HT-BD Blu-ray NetTop with an Intel Atom 330 CPU, 2GB of system memory, a Seagate 320GB ST9320325AS SATA HDD, and the GeForce 9400M graphics. The Radeon HD 4330 testing was from the MSI WindBox with an Intel Atom 330 CPU, 2GB of system memory at the time, a 250GB Samsung HD253GJ SATA HDD, and the Mobility Radeon HD 4300 (ATI M92 LP) graphics. Both systems were running 64-bit snapshots of Ubuntu 10.04 with the Linux 2.6.32-15-generic kernel, GNOME 2.29.91, X.Org Server 1.7.5, xf86-video-radeon 6.12.99, and the default EXT4 file-system. As the Nouveau graphics Gallium3D driver stack is not used by default in Ubuntu, we ended up using the default NVIDIA 195.36.08 graphics driver for the NVIDIA testing in this article. Compiz was enabled during testing and the Ubuntu OS installations were left at their defaults.

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