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Aspire One 522 & C-60 APU: the netbook as it would always be?

After evaluating the Asus EEE PC 1215B and APU Zacate E-450, we were really curious about what the capabilities of the APU "Serie C" known by the codename Ontario. By happy coincidence, the netbook that we selected for this test is rather remarkable. Indeed, the Aspire One 522 is the only 10-inch netbook with a 1280x720 screen, a feature that was already enough to address its perennial allure 1024x600 associated with this diagonal. Best of all, the model tested is equipped with C-60 APU while the majority of the Aspire One 522 comes with a C-50 APU. Despite these strengths, this netbook has never really hit the headlines ...

APU Ontario C-60: 9 watts!

The platform consists of AMD Brazos APU Series E and C broadly similar in their architecture. With the exception of C-30 and E-240, it is systematically Bobcat APU with two Sony VGP-BPS13/S battery cores, a Radeon HD 6000 with 80 stream processors and DDR3 controller. For more information on the Brazos platform and microarchitecture Bobcat, go to the test of the Asus EEE PC 1215B.

The main difference between the E and C series comes from the TDP. GG Series E have a TDP of 18 watts and AMD does not allow their installation in machines of 11.6 inches or more. There is therefore no less than 11.6 netbook equipped with an APU inch "E Series" ... With their reduced TDP of just 9 watts, the APU Series C take place smoothly in small netbooks to 10 inches. To divide by two TDP, AMD has reduced the frequency of CPU parts (1 to 1.33 GHz against 1.3 to 1.65 GHz) and GPU (275 MHz instead of ~ 500 MHz). Note that only the E-450 has a memory controller DDR3-1333 with no increase in TDP (certainly due to improved agricultural yields since mid-2011).

The C-60 APU is a rather special. Indeed, it is the only one with a Turbo mode on the CPU and the GPU. The C-60 and E-450 benefit from the C0 stepping (B0 against all other APU) but despite this common feature, the E-450 which provides the high range is not entitled to this refinement ...

Default clocked at 1 GHz as the C-50, C-60 can increase the frequency of its Bobcat cores up to 1.33 GHz. The Radeon HD 6290 the C-60 will default to 276 MHz as the C-50 and C-30 but its Turbo mode allows it to climb up to 400 MHz. In order to remain in its thermal envelope, the C-60 can not use both turbos at the same time. The APU adjusts the frequency of the CPU and GPU in order to best respond to the workload. In extreme cases (Prime95 + Furmark), the C-60 uses the base frequencies. In a game, the APU generally gives priority to the Radeon.

The Brazos APU are backed by a chip A50M (Hudson M1) relatively intensive with a TDP of 4.7 watts due to 65nm. This chip handles the HD Audio, SATA 6 Gbps and 14 USB 2.0 ports. The total TDP is increased to 13.7 watts.

A screen uncommon

One of the biggest criticisms made for Sony VGP-BPS13S netbooks especially since the arrival of Windows 7 Starter is their limited screen resolution. If Windows XP was still available in 1024x600, after all, it dates from 2001 and was a 1024x768 standard for notebooks of this period, with its Windows 7 icons larger and more convenient taskbar but also more cumbersome is painfully exploited in these conditions. Windows 7 is expressed "much better" at 1366x768, that is to say in HD. We have already had occasion to test the resolution of a slab 10 inches but it soon becomes tiring. A highlight of this VGP-BPS13B/B comes from its 10 inch screen at 1280x720, a resolution that already meets the standard HD (720 pixels high). Compared to the 1280x800 that has long been a standard for laptops "wides" of 12 to 15.4 inches, the loss of 80 pixels high (10%) is not too troublesome. The compromise between readability, space and work space offered by this screen is, in our opinion, ideal.

Produced by AU Optronics, the slab B101EW02 has a LED backlight. Like all TN panels such bright, it burns the black because of a very powerful backlight and the viewing angles are quite closed. However, these defects are common in the mobile world ...

Aspire One 522

The Sony VGP-BPS13A/B is very compact but also very close, at least for a netbook. Indeed, it measures only 259 x 185 x 32 mm while the majority of netbooks passed through our hands flirt or exceed 40 mm actual thickness (note: measured by us, including battery and feet). This fineness contributes largely to the aesthetics of the machine, which, while not a "canon," is quite successful in terms of design.

With only 1176 grams of 6-cell battery 48.8 Wh understood, the Aspire One 522 is also one of the lightest netbooks. As a guide, this weight is comparable to that of the first 9-inch netbooks (Sony VGP-BPS13A/Q battery 6 cells) and 10 inches (3 cells). Do not spoil, the AC adapter type "old GSM 'is compact (small footprint without equaling the Asus models) and very light with only 190 grams. The plug bipolar is detachable and can be rotated 90 ° in order to adapt better to the taken. The connector side netbook is compact and elbow.

Keyboard Acer calls "FineTip" made its appearance with the Aspire One 751 11.6-inch. Reviews of these keys (flat) are shared. Some love, some hate it. Anyway, this system leads to large keys of 16.5 mm and 1 mm apart. The biggest drawback of the keyboard of the Aspire One 522 is the ease with which the "dross" slip under the keys ... In use and with a good layout, it allows fast typing. Our model has no or very little "flex" and has no area "spongy".

The Synaptics touchpad offers a touch area of ​​78x49 mm embedded in the wrist rest. The latter enjoys a nice soft touch finish that does not retain fingerprints. The touchpad is programmable at will and manages up to three contact points (just like on the Asus EEE PC 1215B). The two buttons are grouped in a band with rubber mini pins in relief of 78x11 mm. She used to help locate the area and touch the buttons. Clicks are both sweet and clear, audible without being noisy. Except for the limited height, it is no reproach to address this touchpad.

The Acer Aspire One 522 has four blue LEDs or amber depending on the state grouped in the left palm rest walking, battery, disk activity and WiFi. They are generally not visible, hidden by the left hand ... The power button is also illuminated by an original blue LED.

Sony VGP-BPS13A/Rhas managed to integrate the six-cell battery without much slaughter line of this little netbook. Rather than (overly) from below, the battery has in part on the bottom and also goes back to the keyboard, at the foot of the screen. A very good compromise between design, finesse and "features". The VGP-BPS13AB display hinges are located on either side of the battery. They provide very good performance of the screen regardless of the opening angle (up to 152 °).

The overall stiffness of the Aspire One 522 is good. She comes from a metal plate under the keyboard, a technique already used by a manufacturer on its first netbook. Corollary of this construction method, accessibility is poor. In the absence of trap, remove the keyboard and remove four screws under the keyboard before being able to unclip the bottom to access the hard disk, memory and wireless card. Obviously, manufacturers of netbooks have decided to "close" their machines probably to avoid problems with user intervention ...

The margins of conventional connectors which consists of three USB 2.0 ports, a 100Mbps Ethernet connector, a VGA output, an SD-HC and two audio jacks, the Aspire One 522 has an HDMI output. Note that this advantage is usually found on all netbooks Brazos. Atheros Wifi chip AR5B125 is as mediocre as the Broadcom 4313GN the EEE PC 1215B. There is a chip of which 802.11n connection speed is limited to 65 Mbps in most cases ... This "scam" has unfortunately become common for both  netbooks as for conventional phones.

The 0.3 Mpixel webcam is a little less disappointing than the average but the quality remains poor. The real poor relation of the Aspire One 522 is, however, the "sound system" which consists of a single unfortunate speaker. Exit the stereo so unless you go through headphones or external speakers ...

A C-60 and 1 GB for Windows 7?

Comes with only 1GB of memory and Windows 7 Starter, the Aspire One 522 penalty ... However, to use, it is difficult to differentiate between EEE PC 1215B and the AAO 522. Indeed, the disk of the Acer is generally more efficient and more responsive than the Asus. Unfortunately, Windows 7 is struggling to make do with only 1 GB and performance collapse soon. Several options are available for DIY: Install a strip of 2 GB (the maximum supported by Windows 7 Starter), replaced by Windows 7 Windows XP (provided you have a license) or install an array of 4 GB and higher Windows 7. If you fall "in love" with the Aspire One 522, you can always offer 4 GB SSD and a little cheap. It becomes quite pleasant but do not expect the C-60 for benefits other than those of a netbook processor as shown by the results of the benches below.

Performance

VGP-BPS13B/Q With an index of 105 CPU Mark 99, the C-60 has little 'hard' power for single thread tasks. By moving from a E-450 to C-60 (19%), we do not feel the same loss of performance between an Atom N270 and Atom Z520 (-22%) ... This was sorely lacking in " potato "with an index of only 86.5. With more power per MHz than the Atom and a 1.33 GHz Turbo mode, the C-60 is 10% slower than a 1.66 GHz Atom N450 like.

This test confirms a decline in FPU performance of around 20% from a E-450 to C-60, which generally corresponds to the frequency difference (-19%). The score obtained by the APU from AMD, however, is significantly higher than the Atom and even other processors only indicative.

Fritz Chess Benchmark can test the processor more intensively since it is a test mutli thread. This time, the C-60 will show 27% slower than the E-450. The difference is explained by the use of DDR3-1066 instead of DDR3-1333 with the E-450 (1GB of memory is enough to test). The C-60 is better than all single core Atom aided by HyperThreading but bowed to a dual core Atom.

GeekBench makes the most of the material. We notice a performance drop of 24% from the E-450 to C-60. The C-60 is by distance against too much by the Atom D525 shows that only 7% faster.

To test full HD video transcoding, the C-60 is better than the single core Atom but significantly less well than a dual core Atom. By cons, at a lower quality transcoding, the C-60 exceeds all Atom ...

Finally, the processor part of the C-60 APU provides a "minimum service" as the majority of single-core Atom. It really should not otherwise less power, the APU would fall into the same trap as the Atom Z520. Faced with the Atom single core with hyperthreading, APU takes advantage of both cores. She is doing very well in some cases face a dual core Atom.

In the test 3D Mark 2003, the only compatible with older IGP, we note the significant differences between the integrated graphics chips. The prize for the slow return to the GMA500 Atom Z with a score of 400 is almost 10x less than the Radeon HD 6290 the C-60! The little Radeon HD 6290 is faster than the first generation of ION Sony VGP-BPS13B(and comparable to the unique combination of ION and DDR3 Compaq 311c) but falls to second-generation ION. The Radeon HD 6290 gets the C-60 index 41% lower than the Radeon HD 6320 from E-450.

In the 3D Mark 2005, the second bench compatible with the majority of IGP netbook, similar results are observed. We must not forget that the APU from AMD have a DirectX 11 GPU much better adapted to the latest versions of Windows and games. However, the power of these Radeon HD 6000 remains modest for recent titles in the same minimum quality and low resolution (1280x720). However with more than 5.5 x the power of the IGP of an Atom, the APU are turning even more games than their competitors.

The PC Mark 2005 is no longer young, but once again it is the only bench of its kind available at the time of our initial testing of netbooks. The Aspire One 522 is ranked second behind the Asus EEE PC 1215B. Both APU outpace all Atom, including the N570 dual core. This test is quite widely influenced by the hard drive ...

Consumption, and self harm

AMD APU combines the "Series C" to an Internet HD logo, a name that sticks very well to this Aspire One 522 and the HD screen. We have immediately verify the performance of small APU when playing videos in Flash. The result was very positive! To play HD video in full screen, the Aspire One 522 uses an average of 8.5 watts. With its 48 Wh battery, it can read up to 5 ½ hours of video without loss of image. Even in power saving mode, the Aspire One 522 plays HD videos. It consumes only 7.8 watts average, bringing the HD playback time of 6 ½ hours. The Full HD video playback requires less than 10 watts.

At rest, this VGP-BPS13AS netbook uses less than 6 watts (5.5 watts typical), Windows sometimes displays up to 10 hours. In practice, it is possible to achieve 8 hours of battery surfing / office. With our usual test, the Aspire One 522 is credited with a life of 7 hours and 45 minutes.

Active with Prime95, consumption of the Aspire One 522 reached ~ 10 watts. The temperature rises to more than 75 ° C and the fan is clearly audible. Even asking the processor to the maximum, the battery provides over 4 hours of autonomy ½. Note that the turbo is still active, C-60 1.33 GHz, at this extreme test.

Adding to FurMark Prime95, consumption goes up to 12.5 watts and the temperature flirts with 80 ° C. However, the fan is not only faster than Prime95. Even in this test absolutely not representative of the use of a netbook, autonomy remains well above 3 ½ hours. The CPU runs at 1 GHz and 280 MHz Radeon, turbos are therefore inactive.

Under FurMark, the GPU up to 406 MHz while the CPU is 1 GHz. The temperature of the APU is stabilizing at around 75 ° C with a consumption of ~ 12 watts. Autonomy is therefore about 4 hours under these conditions.

Even if the fan does not stop once it is started, the Aspire One 522 is fairly quiet. Noise from the fan is partly masked by the hard drive. It becomes quite audible once against the third speed step achieved. Autonomy is one of the strengths even in severe or when playing HD video.

Conclusion

With a TDP of 9 watts, the APU C-60 is well suited to a netbook to 10 inches. The energy balance of the APU is even better than the E-450. Indeed, the CPU performance recede in proportion to the frequency or twenty percent while those of the GPU down to approximately 40% while the TDP has been divided by 2. The power is enough to play HD videos and even Full HD seamlessly respectively consuming less than 8 watts and 9 watts. The concept of internet HD (note: the standard requires an HD display with 720 pixels high) highlighted by AMD for APU "C Series" makes sense with the Aspire One 522. Indeed, this netbook compact (10 inches) and lightweight (1.15 kg) has a 1280x720 screen and a C-60 APU both perfectly suited to HD. Autonomy in surfing is very friendly and does not collapse completely during playback of HD video or even Full HD Flash. The Aspire One 522 is also pretty solid and well finished for a small netbook sold at € 299 in Belgium in late 2011. Despite its small size, the Aspire One 522 enjoys a good keyboard and an excellent touchpad. In terms of weaknesses, we can pin the only speaker, webcam, and wireless performance and limitation related to 1 GB Windows 7 Starter beating down the machine. Accessibility also makes any upgrade rather delicate ... Despite these shortcomings, the Aspire One 522 is not far from what would have always been the netbook!

   
eqijeke
9 июля 2012, 16:14
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Спасибочки, что просветили, и, главное, как раз вовремя. Подумать только, пять лет уже в инете, но про это первый раз слышу.
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