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MSi Wind U100-279US Benchmark Comparison

At the request of my good friend, Paul, I have decided to benchmark the MSi Wind U100-279US Netbook. This netbook is practically a regular notebook and we wanted to see how well it does against a comparable full-scale notebook that has the same processor speed. We were quite interested because we both have this awesome netbook.

For this benchmark, I decided to run Fract Benchmark 1.07b. It's a small benchmark utility that not only tests the processing power of the CPU, but tests the system as a whole. To me that's a more realistic test than just a CPU benchmark. After all, we don't just use a CPU when we run our applications.

The nice thing about Fract Benchmark 1.07b is that you can upload the results to its online database and compare with a host of other computers. You can see the results at "Fract comparison". All of our benchmarks will be posted here (with commentary) and there. Just search for "GearHack.com" on the result page to see our results. The following is the enchmark result for the MSi Wind U100-279US.

User info:
User Name: GearHack.com
Country: United States
Build info:
Fract Version: v. 1.07b/SSE2 [Aug 24 2006]
Operating System: Windows
Compiler: MSVC ver. 7.1
Machine:
CPU Type: Intel Atom 1.6 GHz
CPU Speed: 1.60 GHz (1600 MHz)
CPU Count: 2
Chipset: MobileIntel945
Results:
Test Resolution: 640x480
Scene 1 Score: 7.96 FPS
Scene 2 Score: 16.76 FPS
Overall Score: 13.20 FPS
User comment:
MSi Wind U100-279US

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 18:07:58 +0000

Up for comparison is my HP Pavilion Entertainment Notebook PC dv1227us. This is the perfect machine to compare against the MSi Wind, because the dv1227us has a Intel Pentium M 1.6 GHz processor. If the MSi Wind can match up to this full-size notebook, then I don't see why analysts are still claiming that netbooks can't be a person's primary notebook computer. In fact, after using it for a day, I'm starting to think that claims is just a marketing trick for computer manufacturers to sell more computers. Nevertheless, the following is the benchmark for the HP notebook:

User info:
User Name: GearHack.com
Country: United States
Build info:
Fract Version: v. 1.07b/SSE2 [Aug 24 2006]
Operating System: Windows
Compiler: MSVC ver. 7.1
Machine:
CPU Type: Intel Pentium M 1.6 GHz
CPU Speed: 1.60 GHz (1596 MHz)
CPU Count: 1
Chipset: Intel 82852
Results:
Test Resolution: 640x480
Scene 1 Score: 9.61 FPS
Scene 2 Score: 20.45 FPS
Overall Score: 16.08 FPS
User comment:
HP Pavilion Entertainment Notebook PC dv1227us

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 18:12:44 +0000

The following shows the normalized results (1000 * FPS / MHz * CPU Count) for comparison between the two computers:

  HP Pavilion dv1227us - 10.077
MSi Wind U100-279US - 4.125

It's strange that Fract Benchmark 1.07b reported the MSi Wind with 2 processors, because we know that the Intel Atom N270 is only a single core processor. So if we change the normalized result, based on that knowledge, we'll see the more realistic comparison below.

  HP Pavilion dv1227us - 10.077
MSi Wind U100-279US - 8.25

It seems that the full-size notebook computer runs 22.1% faster than the smaller netbook. Considering that 22.1% is within the ability to overclock or underclock a processor (see "Turbo Battery Mode on MSi Wind U100-279US" TrackBack below), the MSi Wind netbook is quite decent and comparable in speed to a full-size notebook.

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 30 Oct 2008 19:54:03 +0000

Hi, I know it's a bit of an old post, but I feel I need to comment it anyway.

The reason Fract Benchmark reports "2 processors" on the Wind is because the Atom N270 CPU has the Hyper-threading feature, so from the Application point of view it has two virtual processors. As they run on shared resources (like caches, execution units,...) the performance doesn't exactly double -- the Hyper-threading gains 45% in Fract, IIRC.

So, while the result from the Wind is the maximum you can achieve with it, you cannot calculate the normalized result by simply doubling the value from Fract's database. If you want a more accurate result, you should try disabling the HT from BIOS and run the test again. It will score less (by the aforementioned ~45%), but the calculated "normalized result" will go higher (I mean, higher than 4.125), because it will count only one CPU. That would be a fair to compare against the Pentium M, which is single-CPU and has no HT.

In conclusion, the normalized result for the Atom is nowhere near 8.25. More like 5.0-5.6.
Sadly, the Fract Database is offline right now, so I can't post exact figures. I hope to get it running soon.

anrieff
Mon, 14 Sep 2009 01:13:32 +0000

Thanks for pointing that out. I will have to benchmark it again based on your hint. But I am thinking it may not be able to turn off Hyperthreading. I remembered that the BIOS being very simple with very little options. I'll have to check it again.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 14 Sep 2009 03:07:44 +0000

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Title: Turbo Battery Mode on MSi Wind U100-279US
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: with BIOS v1.09, the underclock feature doesn't seem to be available anymore. Fn F10 overclocks the CPU by 8%/15%/24%, depending on the BIOS setting "DOC %". this only works if you're connected to the power outlet. also under OSX, this has to be done when you see the MSI logo during POST, otherwise, . . .
Tracked: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 18:28:51 +0000

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