We will be comparing the ASRock Core 100HT-BD system (with latest Intel drivers and updates from Windows Updates) against the ASRock ION 330-BD nettop system (overclocked to 2.1GHz) and Giada Slim-N10 NVIDIA Ion Nettop. All systems had Windows 7 Ultimate x64 installed, but the Giada system uses newer drivers including the NVIDIA GeForce/ION Driver 195.62 and NVIDIA ION Chipset Driver 15.51.
You can see the CPU-Z screenshot of the ASRock Core 100HT-BD system below and the validation link for reference is here. We will provide results with the system at stock standard and overclocked speeds.
Benchmarks - Blu-ray Playback
In our first test we measure CPU usage whilst playing back the "hospital" scene from the Blu-ray movie "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle".
The swear-happy hospital scene is not super intensive, but it's probably a good indication of standard movie playback in a typical conversation type scene. Hardware acceleration was enabled, which means that work was off-loaded to the Intel HD Graphics processor. We measured CPU utilization (maximum and average) using Windows 7 Performance Monitor.
We are happy to report that the ASRock Core 100HT-BD had no issues at all playing back 1080p content; it was very smooth once hardware encoding was enabled in PowerDVD 10 Mark II. We tested to see that bitstreaming was working and we are happy to report that bitstreaming does indeed work after changing a couple settings in PowerDVD 10 Mark II.
Sadly we didn't have results on hand for the Giada system, but the results speak for themselves.
The new generation ASRock Core 100HT-BD uses hardly any CPU to do its Blu-ray playback duties compared to the ION 330-BD. Playback was very smooth and everything worked as expected.