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MSI Wind U160 Review

The Atom processor is no power house, but at least the newest versions have 2 threads which helps when multitasking.


Firstly we will have a look at its potential rendering capabilities with Cinebench R11.5 32bit.

Cinebench R11.5 is the newest revision of the popular benchmark from Maxon. The test scenario uses all of your system’s processing power to render a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral “No Keyframes” animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various different algorithms to stress all available processor cores.

In fact, CINEBENCH can measure systems with up to 64 processor threads. The test scene contains approximately 2,000 objects containing more than 300,000 total polygons and uses sharp and blurred reflections, area lights and shadows, procedural shaders, antialiasing, and much more. The result is given in points (pts). The higher the number, the faster your processor.

The results are pretty much in line with a single core Atom processor, its certainly not going to be the machine you will want to use for rendering or video editing on a regular basis.

The performance again isn’t going to set the world alight and the machine delivers very basic power both graphically and in regards to CPU performance.

This however only paints a small portion of the picture for potential customers, these machines are not sold as powerhouse rendering or gaming machines and its important that we look into other areas of performance to see how the machine holds up under general everyday use.

We found the real world experience to be quite good, and applications such as Microsoft Office opened rapidly, thanks in part to the reasonably quick mechanical hard drive. Email and surfing was pain free and stable and the netbook was very usuable on the move.

With the newer 2 threaded processors we find multitasking is markedly improved over the earlier ATOM experience and these real world findings are much more important to the potential customer base than a rendering result in Cinebench.

We then tested the machine by loading it with a ripped AVATAR Bluray Disc to 720p inside an MKV container. Earlier ATOM processors had issues with MKV HD playback, but we found this machine was capable of holding all the frames in this test. While we could in theory benchmark 1080p content, this does not seem viable –  there is no HDMI output and we doubt media fanatics will be happy using a VGA connector (or converter) to their shiny new 1080p HDTV. On the internal screen however, 720p content looks fine scaled to the native resolution of the LED panel.

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