We mentioned this already a couple of times, NVIDIA ION is a very promising platform. It will break away from a lot of restrictions currently found in Intel's chipset solution for Atom based netbooks and mini-PCs. But granted, based on the Atom platform, there will always remain one big restriction, aka 'bottleneck', and that is overall Atom CPU performance.
For this reason alone this is why I recommend you guys to always at the very least choose the dual-core product (Atom 330). Though of course it remains a fairly slow PC, it however is quite manageable. We had Vista installed and it was perfectly capable of doing everything we needed.
What we absolutely love about the platform is the ability for high-definition content playback. With the help of Media Player Classic HC we can accelerate x.264 content. For Blu-ray or DVD movies we just use PowerDVD, and the reality is that this platform copes with that content very well, and that is just mighty impressive.
Writing this review however did raise a few questions, I mean there's no doubt in my mind that I like this cute little platform, I also feel it's fairly priced as the product tested today will cost you roughly 140 EUR.
The reality however is that you can pickup, say an AMD 780G chipset based motherboard with Athlon X2 770BE processor and for the same kind of money you have much more power yet the very same features at your disposal, as it will also come with a video processor and thus embedded GPU. But that solution is bigger and will consume more power. But yeah, that is also something you guys need to think about because as an upgrade path that solution would simply offer more.
Back to ION though, the infrastructure as a whole, based on the chipset allows for a faster experience compared to what Intel has to offer. We popped in an SSD and noticed that we had fully fledged SATA2 interface at full speed. Do not forget, Gigabit Ethernet, DDR2 memory, optical multi-channel sound.
What about gaming you ask? - ehm forget about it. In its basis the ION embedded GPU is not fast enough unless you play a horrible old game. Point of View did anticipate this by including a full x16 PCIe slot in which you can place a dedicated graphics card. But that with the combo of Atom 330... well let me say, just buy a real PC please. You'd be waahaaay better off there.
Being a series 9 GPU embedded in ION, you can utilize the GPU for things other than gaming and movie playback. And though as silly as it is on this platform, it could even drive PhysX on a very basic level. More importantly, it'll accelerate Adobe's new GPU-accelerated version of Photoshop. You could (as demonstrated) transcode movies over the GPU with the help of the Badaboom GPU-based video transcoder, or run Folding@home, it's the plethora of additional functionality that NVIDIA recently started to offer with the help of their GPUs.
Fact remains that very few shader processors are to be found in this first ION release. ION 2 is already being worked on and from what we heard, the number of shader processors inside the embedded GPU is going to be doubled up.
We feel that ION is short for assisting. Assisting the Atom CPU with an embedded GPU and faster chipset. That's where the power of ION is to be found.
With the release of Point of View's ION 330 based motherboard you get a feature rich motherboard with embedded CPU and GPU, and that is just a nice step forward in this segment of the market, inexpensive Atom based mini-PCs, with a completely new level of features and performance embedded in it. Mind you that this is their first ION offering, a new one is in the worls already with traditional DDR2 (dual channel_) memory and wireless as well. Pretty cool stuff really.
So if you plan to build a relatively simple and cheap Internet PC, or decent enough HTPC this is an alternative you might want to look into. It's relatively cheap, feature rich and is capable of all the basic functions you need a PC to do. All that combined with very low power consumption definitely makes the POV ION 330 motherboard a small success in my book.
Point of View Protab 2 XXL Tablet review Today a review on the ProTAB 2 XXL 10" tablet from Point of View from their Mobi range. With a price of only 169,- EUR the specs are decent enough alright. Interesting enough for graphics, the ProTab2XXL also comes with an additional MALI-400 3D graphics chip. Now we never heard of it before tbh, and very little can found about it on the web. But we can certainly measure it's performance and it does allow for FullHD playback. The Mali graphics chip even allows to drive a mini HDMI v1.4 port.
Point of View GTX 570 TGT Ultra Charged review Today's offering is of course a GTX 570, we nicked it out of the Eindhoven warehouse from the good people at Point of View. See, their TGT team is chunking out several new SKUs based on the GTX 570. Today we'll have a peek at their Ultra Charged model. The UC version is a guaranteed stable factory overclocked product that is overclocked towards a pretty impressive value. See, the default core clock frequency of the GTX 570 is 732 MHz, the TC version is clocked at a blistering 810 MHz, which is a pretty decent overclock. Memory wise spot an increased clock frequency on that 1.2 GB GDDR5 memory as well, taken from 3800 towards 3960 MHz.
Point of View Ion 330 motherboard review We test an ION 330 based motherboard - ION is a relatively low cost GPU assisted solution that will allow this industry on very short notice to have netbooks with full HD playback quality, in multi-channel HD audio. A solution that even supports CUDA and therefore some simple PhysX functionality, but since it's CUDA compatible, it'll also allow encoding and acceleration of popular video content. A platform that supports Gigabit Ethernet, dual-link DVI (high resolution monitors), acceleration in Photoshop CS4 and heck... you can even play a couple of games or make a mini HTPC out of it, it's just really interesting as the product might be little, yet offers a lot.
GeForce 9600 GSO 384 MB review | Point of View NVIDIA replaced the GeForce 8800 GS with the GeForce 9600 GSO. The 9600 GSO is still based on the same G92 core with 96 stream processors that the 8800 GS has, but NVIDIA gave card makers a bit more freedom in their designs in terms of own PCB design to and determine their own clocks. This 'old' card will still have 384 MB of GDDR3 memory over a weird 192-bit memory interface.
Cards like these will sell for less than 99 Euro, and considering the performance you get returned for that, you'll love it.