Zotac ION ITX-F Motherboard

Synthetic Benchmarks & CUDA Performance

PCMark Vantage

Vantage scores below 3000 are typically considered somewhat low if I were to be kind. Given such a systems purposes, it may not be of such a concern. Considerable gains were noted from the overclock.
Badaboom Media Encoding (CUDA)
This is where things get a little interesting. Badaboom is one of the first media encoding/decoding application that is designed to use nVidia's CUDA processing technology, found on all graphics cores featuring unified stream processing technology (GeForce 8 onwards). Our particular test involved a file conversion from .wmv to .mp4 with a target file size of circa 500mb.

We were most impressed with the speed at which the ION GPU performed the task at hand. Low CPU Utilisation of less than 25% means that it is possible to even multitask to some extent.
[email protected] GPU2 (CUDA)
[email protected] is a distributed computing project whereby protein folds are analysed on computers globally in order to gain further insight on illness and disease. Last year, we saw the arrival of [email protected] GPU processing capability with CUDA enabled graphics cards with it's GPU2 Clients.
The client does not tie any cores in the process, leaving CPU utilisation nice and low. Furthermore, our Atom CPU managed to stay out of the way, allowing for a typical "Points Per Day" score for a GeForce 8800GT. Unfortunately, we ran into some issues trying to run the client with the ION GPU and hence no results are available.
Video Playback
Youtube.com Flash Video
This may seem rather trivial a test but many of you would be very surprised to learn that flash based video can often run miserably slow under certain system configurations. Atom based systems were highly susceptible to this and many of the complaints of netbook users are that flash video can often kill battery life and stutter. This has since improved with the Flash 10.1 Beta Plugin, where work is now fed to the graphics card as well.
We were happy to report that both videos played without stutter. The CPU utilisation in High Definition mode is arguably high but is nowhere near causing a problem of any sort.
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Most Recent Comments

17-12-2009, 00:04:46

Nice review, but seems a bit of an odd combination. The only point of the pcie slot is for gpus but the cpu hasn't got the grunt. If you want an HTPC, you would be better off with the previous ion board, for gaming the 9300 775.

I suppose you could run a decent home media server with the pcie slot used for a high performance raid card and have all your movies and music piped all over the house?Quote

17-12-2009, 14:26:30

Excellent read.

I think the phoneyness of the artificial benchmarks raise their ugly head here and shouldn't be too frowned upon in judgement.

The CoD4 w/8800gt is still impressive for me. Would like to have seen the stock 1.6 w/8800gt, but sneakingly think it'll be as-good, or good enough.

Would be nice to have dropped an AMD HD4xxxx+ card in there too to see how much the cpu effects the driver dependence.

It's certainly a different science than a regular mobo/cpu, and I like what it's achieving as I liked the previous models.

Soon as all the 775 kit I have goes south, I'd certainly consider for a htpc/media front room effort, with a gfxcard that u can keep in reserve. Although by the time that comes, there'll be new kit about I'm sure.

Good stuff, love a comment on the onboard sound.Quote

17-12-2009, 15:14:55


You have a fair point about the PCI-Express 16x slot. Even if you don't wish to use a dedicated graphics card, you're free to drop a PCI-E 1x/2x/4x card instead.


As far as the sound chip goes, there wasn't a lot to report. The sound quality itself when paired with a Cambridge Audio 5.1 set was more than acceptable and the cpu utilisation was low and of little concern. During this review, I didn't have access to a Monitor/TV with inbuilt speakers and so sound over HDMI could not be tested however I had no complaints with the onboard sound.

Thanks for the feedback.Quote

17-12-2009, 15:35:36

I was thinking it would be best to use as a mini fold rig with the pcie, super lower power ect. Or drop a nice sound card in and have it as a high end HTPC.Quote

21-12-2009, 13:15:03

Very good Mobo for a HTPC machine.Quote

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