benchmarks of the Asus Eee PC 1004DN have finally tipped up and it's the first netbook to feature the "new" Intel GN40 "off roadmap" solution, paired up with the Atom N280 processor. This combo has been anticipated by many netbook followers, as it's meant to deliver vastly improved HD video playback performance over the 945GSE chipset.
Going by HKPEC's benchmarks, it seems like the GN40 is going to disappoint, as it doesn't really live up to the hype that Intel has created around it. For those expecting something close to Nvidia's ION, forget about it, as the GN40 doesn't even come close. Now, these are the first and so far only benchmarks we've seen of the GN40 chipset, so it's a little bit too early to draw any conclusions, especially as we don't even know what the battery life of the 1004DN is.
However, the benchmark figures speak for themselves, as this "new" chipset/CPU combo only manages to improve the overall PCMark 05 performance figure by 33 points compared to the Atom N270 and 945GSE combo. The Eee PC 1004DN managed a 3DMark 06 score of a whopping 570 points, compared to 99 for an Eee PC 1000HE, but this is still light years away from usable in any modern games.
So what about HD video? Well, first of all it seems like the GN40 lacks support for VC-1 and MPEG4 H.264 decoding assist in Windows XP which is a huge bummer, although its meant to work under Windows Vista or Windows 7. This is going to be a major problem, especially as the Eee PC 1004DN is most likely going to ship with Window XP. This is an Intel Clear Video driver issue, as Intel didn't develop decoding support for VC-1 and H.264 for Windows XP.
We'll have to wait for some more reviews of the Eee PC 1004DN before we write it off, but at least for now, it doesn't seem very impressive in comparison to other netbooks and even less so with Nvidia's ION solution hopefully making it into a netbook soon.
You can find the test results here