Intel’s Atom 330 is most definitely intended for the nettop, not the netbook, market, we’re told, and so hopes were high that the latest super-efficient chip would offer a pleasing boost of dual-core performance what with battery concerns no longer an issue. PC Pro brought a Shuttle barebones – I’m guessing the X27D – based on the Atom 330 in from the cold and proceeded to benchmark it against not only the single-core Atom N270 but a 2GHz VIA C7-D system too. The results were, to be blunt, mildly disappointing.
Baselined against a Pentium-D system, the Shuttle barebones – which was outfitted with Windows XP, a 7,300rpm SATA hard-drive and 1GB of DDR2 RAM – edged ahead of the single-core N270 and VIA C7-D in the overall tests. However just 16-percent faster seems on the low-side, considering the whole extra core.
Media performance fared better, with 2D graphics tests showing the 330 besting the N270 by 41-percent and the C7-D by 71-percent, while audio and video encoding tests were less dramatic but still saw the 330 ahead by at least 18-percent. In what PC Pro are calling an erroneous result, the 330 was actually slower at running Office 2003 than the two other systems.