Sapphire's snappy ION 2 powered Edge HD

Subject: Processors, Chipsets, Systems | May 19, 2011 - 06:10 PM |
Tagged: sapphire, ion 2, htpc

At an estimated $450, the Sapphire Edge HD mini PC, powered by a dual core Atom D510 1.66 GHz with ION 2 graphics is a pretty good deal for those looking for a nettop.  With only 250GB of storage you will probably want this connected to a large storage device either over ethernet or USB, though with services like Google Music Beta, Wolfgang's Vault and YouTube that might not be a problem.  From InsideHW's testing you certainly won't have to worry about videos skipping just because your email is open.

IHW_edgehd.jpg

"A dual-core CPU that won’t be stricken down by several programs running at the same time, GeForce that chews on any video that you put in front of it, sufficient RAM to make Windows 7 jump around, complete support for all types of video/audio formats and subtitles, and all this for a price of a good Blu-ray player - what else could you wish for?"

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Source: InsideHW

Atom versus Zacate, a nettop showdown

Subject: Systems | May 4, 2011 - 06:33 PM |
Tagged: htpc, atom, ion, ion 2, nettop

Pairing an Intel Atom processor with an NVIDIA Ion2 GPU has become a popular way to power an inexpensive and low powered PC, often an HTPC.  That changed when AMD finally managed to get the Zacate APU into the market and manufacturers like Zotac were suddenly given a choice as to which company they used to build their nettops and HTPCs.  Zotac's ZBOX AD02-Plus U is based around the E350 APU and Bjorn3D pits it against the Sapphire Edge HD Intel D510.  Check out the performance comparison here.

b3d_zbox.jpg

With computer components being integrated, systems are getting smaller, yet the performance is getting better. Both Intel and AMD integrated memory controllers onto the CPU die, and the latest Intel Sandy Bridge comes with native on-die integrated graphics. The need for a large system with various chips is no longer needed--small and integrated is definitely the trend.

Intel spearheaded the Atom platform where a very small processor is powerful enough compare to a desktop processor from 3-4 years ago, yet consumes only a fraction of the power. AMD’s latest Zacate APU is their answer to the Intel Atom platform. Like the Atom processor, the Zacate APU is designed for low power consumption with decent performance. The Zotac ZBOX retails for $339.99 on Newegg."

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Source: Bjorn3D