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MSI Wind U230-040US 12.1-inch Netbook - Performance

MSI's line of Wind netbooks aren't all packed with 10-inch and smaller screens and Intel hardware. The MSI U230-040US netbook I am checking out today is a 12.1-inch rig with AMD power. But is it worth the money?

| Netbooks (EOL) in Laptops | Posted: Jun 14, 2010 6:03 am
TweakTown Rating: 86%      Manufacturer: MSI

A/V Encoding Performance and Battery Life

 

Below you get a look at the main screen CPU-Z screenshot to give you a look at the actual specifications of the unit that we will be testing further on below.

 

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The MSI Wind U230-040US will be run through the standard netbook test regime here at TweakTown. This includes iTunes Encoding and Media Transcoding plus Battery Eater Pro for battery life estimation.

 

Please note that no 3DMark or game tests are included for our netbook reviews since they are not powerful enough to run the graphics intensive tests. All systems are tested "as is", which means operating systems and drivers can and do vary and some come pre-installed with applications that may or may not affect performance. Any anti-virus or security applications are disabled and uninstalled before any testing is started as they can affect test numbers.

 

For the iTunes encoding test I take Stone Temple Pilots - Core CD album in MP3 format and encode it to AAC format using iTunes and time the results with a stopwatch.

 

All tests are performed with the system in High Performance mode with minimum CPU set to 100%.

 

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The MSI Wind U230-040US was average in performance for the netbook realm. The machine ended up in the bottom four of all machines I have tested.

 

For the movie encoding test I take the Microsoft Magic of Flight VC-1 WMV video with six channel audio (1080p HD) and transcode it to XviD (1080p HD) with LAME MP3 two channel audio and a MP4 container using MediaCoder 0.7.3.4616 32-bit edition.

 

All tests are performed with the system in High Performance mode with minimum CPU set to 100%.

 

TweakTown image content/3/3/3346_13.png

 

The MSI Wind U230-040US again turned in a performance typical of a netbook machine, finding itself in the bottom three performance wise for all machines I have tested so far. It did best a couple Intel Atom-based netbooks, though.

 

Battery Eater Pro is very hard on batteries so you are likely to get more run time in the real world, depending on how you use the machine. Since we compare all laptops and netbooks the exact same way though, it creates a fair and balanced playing field for our comparisons.

 

For the power saving mode test I run the machine in 'Power Saver' mode with turn off display disabled and brightness set to 50%, sleep mode disabled, HDD turn off disabled and minimum CPU set to 5%.

 

For the performance mode test I run the machine in 'High Performance' mode with turn off display disabled and brightness set to 100%, sleep mode disabled, HDD turn off disabled and minimum CPU set to 100%. Do note that some systems even when set to 100% CPU may force drop down the clock speed when AC power is lost.

 

Wireless is kept enabled during all tests and nothing else unusual is disabled. Time is rounded up to the nearest minute.

 

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As you can see, the MSI Wind U230-040US has good battery life, which is nice considering the machine has a 12.1-inch screen and average performance for the class. I am glad to see battery life isn't a fly in the ointment for those looking for a budget 12.1-inch netbook.

 

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