ASRock A330ION ITX Motherboard - Test Setup and Testing

Article Index
ASRock A330ION ITX Motherboard
Closer Look at the A330ION
Specifications and More
Test Setup and Testing
Synthetic Testing Continued
Gaming Performance and More

Test System Specs:

The test system specifications for this system are pretty much the same as the ASRock ION Nettop.  It comes with a non-upgradeable Intel Atom 330 CPU, NVIDIA ION graphics and a decent audio codec.  Instead of plugging in a small laptop Hard Drive, we used an older 400GB 3.5" SATA drive as well as a full-sized optical drive.  The only thing that really improves the performance of this A330ION motherboard over the Nettop is that it uses DDR3 memory instead of DDR2.  Keep in mind that the DDR3 is clocked in at 1066MHz as this is the fastest speed supported by the chipset.  Our review of the Nettop included DDR2 memory at 800MHz.  We will see if that is enough to improve performance on the limited 533MHz FSB.


 

Once we had Windows 7 installed on this little system we proceeded to take a few screenshots of the system through CPU-Z.  Please note them below before we continue.

CPU-Z Main
CPU-Z Main
CPU-Z Mobo
CPU-Z Motherboard
   
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Graphics
CPU-Z Graphics

Even though this Atom 330 processor is a dual-core CPU, it still suffers from the 533FSB bottleneck as well as the mere 1MB of L2 cache that is reported in CPU-Z.  You can see that the BIOS is currently running the latest version and the chipset is in fact the B1 revision. The default memory speed is 1066MHz (DDR3-1066), but in the image above, you can see that we have it running 1104MHz and this is where the system runs at "stock".  There is 256MB of memory dedicated to the GPU and this should give the little machine 25.6GB/sec of memory bandwidth.  This sounds like a pretty decent GPU solution and we'll see how it holds up on the following pages.  The big drawback will be the 64-bit bus, but at least it supports DX10 and Shader Model 4.0.

 

Subsystem Tests - Network:

One area that we have started testing is network performance.  It is easy for a company to claim great networking features as many users never test them out and are puzzled when they can only transfer files at a mere 250Mbit/sec on their 1000Mbit/sec NIC.  We use iPerf for testing network performance.

iPerf

 

As you can see, iPerf shows that the NVIDIA based NIC has what it takes to compete with desktop solutions as well.  During testing we measured CPU performance at 10% during the single-threaded test and 18% during the multi-threaded test.  This is very good CPU utilization for a little box like this.  Single threaded performance was the lowest we've seen, but multi-threaded keeps up with much more expensive and powerful systems.