Nvidia ION 2 benched; performance lags original ION?

February 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Nvidia ION 2The Acer Aspire One 532G emerged as the first officially announced Nvidia ION 2 netbook earlier this week. This is despite still knowing very little about the “next generation ION” apart from the evidence suggesting it will be a discrete GPU part, possibly the GeForce GT218.

The 10-inch AAO 532G netbook was on show at MWC in Barcelona this week and NetbookNews managed to do some sneaky testing to see how ‘next-gen’ the new ION really is. They conducted the 3DMark03 graphics benchmark test on the netbook and initial results don’t look too promising for those hoping ION 2 would be a leap in performance over the original.

They managed to record a score of 3,049 3DMarks on the Aspire One 532G. This compares to 3,593 3DMarks for the 11.6-inch Samsung N510 netbook that we reviewed recently that came with the Nvidia ION LE chipset. It’s disappointing to see the AAO 532G not outperforming current ION netbooks. The 532G is armed with a 1.66GHz N450 Atom processor and Windows 7, but I find it hard to believe these would be limiting performance.

3DMark03 score for Acer Aspire One 532G

If these results are representative of ION 2 generally, than perhaps it signals the problems that Nvidia have had to overcome with Intel’s 2-chip Pine Trail architecture. The new Intel Pine Trail platform uses the DMI bus to connect to the Pineview processor and NM10 express chipset. However as Nvidia doesn’t have a license to create chipsets around the DMI bus, ION 2 is likely to use the PCI Express lanes of the Intel NM10 chipset to interface with the Pine Trail platform. This would be a possibility as the NM10 has an integrated PCI-E controller.

A lack of bandwidth over the PCI-E lanes could be part of the reason for the poor performance. However, Acer and Nvidia may have purposely crippled the machine to keep it stable whilst on show during MWC. Also, improved drivers as we approach launch may make a difference and could be part of the reason for the poor performance. We’re keeping an open mind and expect official details on the next generation ION within the next week and then hopefully all shall become clear.

Update: An Nvidia spokesperson has responded to these claims with the following response: “I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the benchmark that was performed at that show. I believe the units there were pre-release systems. We haven’t provided performance data yet for the public, we’ll have more details coming in early March.” [Via TG Daily].


11 Responses to “Nvidia ION 2 benched; performance lags original ION?”

  1. SpencerUk said:
    February 21st, 2010 9:13 PM

    Very interesting read Jet Sun

    I have a theory that the actual Atom chipset bottlenecks the ION chipset full stop…I think had the ION been paired with a dual core or an AMD Athlon Neo, I think the performance would have been different.

    On the screens above…Kind of makes me happy knowing at the moment, The first gen ION’s are still the better bet..But im sure Windows 7 and other processes in the background would have had a direct say on the results too.

  2. Bob said:
    February 22nd, 2010 4:27 AM

    The plot thickens .. hehe. If what Spencer says is true then two factors need to be surely considered: Atom & Win7. Would like to know the best hardware config & price for ION2. No mention of Optimus ??

    It’s meaningless for now to talk about AMD cuz they are just not keen on netbooks.

  3. Jack Bronsky said:
    February 22nd, 2010 7:11 AM

    It would be interesting to see the Ion paired with a low power core2duo like the 7300 in an 11.1 notebook.

  4. Martin said:
    February 22nd, 2010 3:55 PM

    i saw a test with ion with a faster procerssor, and to make ion N450 slows it down a lot…i would like to have acer aspire 1820p (tablet with su7300) and the ion2, that would be just great.

  5. SpencerUk said:
    February 23rd, 2010 10:54 AM

    I’ve noticed since i’ve had this 311c (See the forums for my review), For the ION to truly work, It’s highly dependant on what programs will use what components of the chip like Tej said in a recent video.

    Maybe its just a windows thing where the CPU is more demanding?..I can’t see this happening on something on linux using the XFCE system.

    Might be tempted to have a go before I start looking to put MAC OSX on it.

  6. lesthat said:
    February 26th, 2010 12:10 PM

    ok the banchmark was tested intel media acelerator nat ion graphic this netbook hawe two graphic card ion and intel media acelertor 3150 also i be4n check the score of intel media acelerator 3150 with pine trail the score is 3049 before they macke test they need switch graphic for ion buy the way you see on the wideo what system was tested

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  1. Nvidia ION2 – poorer performances than the first generation
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