MSI Wind12 U230-040US or ASUS Eee PC 1201N?

w4ffles

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I've been wanting something more portable than my 15.4" laptop, but not quite as small (or weak) as a 10" netbook. That being said, I've been looking at the MSI U230 and ASUS 1201N.
MSI: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152160
ASUS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220659

From what I've gathered so far, the Athlon X2 L335 is more powerful than the Atom N330, but the Nvidia Ion (9400gs) is more powerful than the ATI HD3200. Is this accurate? I can't find any reviews on the U230 (yet).

So which one would be better for general use and school stuff, like word processing, internet surfing, videos, and programming? light gaming? or are there any other 12" netbooks <$500 you guys would recommend? Any information, personal experiences, or opinions would be appreciated.
 

SILVR 6

Gawd
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If you are not overly concerned about gaming performance I would go for the MSI, the dual core neo provides better performance than the Atom N330 will.

You give up a bit on graphics with the Neo, but gain alot in performance.
 

w4ffles

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Thanks for the reply.

The slightly larger hard drive and bigger keys on the keyboard are a bonus as well. There's gigabit ethernet too, but I don't think I'll ever use it.
 

Sly

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I just got the u230. And frankly, the video playback sucks.

2 out of every 3 of my videos is just a mush of pixels or freezes on the first frame. The only way i can get them to play properly is by disabling DXVA. Doing this means you can't play HD videos and pretty much negates the point of getting an HD3200 netbook.

Sure it'll play DVD and Blueray 1080p, but if you try anything else, 2 out of 3 it won't work.

I wonder if i can still sell this and get an ION.
 

w4ffles

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I actually ended up getting a Toshiba T135-S1325 locally for the same price as the U230, but it has a slightly better cpu and 4GB of ram. 13.3" isn't much bigger than 12.1" so I can live with that.

I've had no trouble with video playback so far on the HD3200, which includes HD streaming, dvdrips, and blu ray rips. Maybe you got a faulty unit or something. Have you tried looking for updated video drivers?
 

Sly

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Either because you're actually running on software or you're using standard h.264 videos.

Many of my videos are anime, and the encoders tend not to follow industry standards, so a 20 minute h.264 video takes more CPU to run than a normal h.264.

Try playing these:

http://www.bigandfree.com/11026245
Haruhi Suzumiya 480p. This one i get artifacts if i try playing it on DXVA. Both my HD3200 and my 5850 gets artifacts when accelerating this. If you try it and think it's running normally, check your player, it may be running in software. One guy showed a screenie of his u230 alledgedly playing smoothly. However, the fact that his CPU is running at 84% meant that he was actually decoding through software. On a u230, the CPU usage for a 720p video is 35%, not 80%.

Here's how it plays on mine.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNt9b9pNRQs

http://www.bigandfree.com/12141520
Kanon OP 1080p. The HD3200 does support this h.264. However, it can only play smoothly if you disable the subtitles. If you play it using windows media player, it may actually run smoothly right off the bat simply because it doesn't support subtitling.


http://www.bigandfree.com/12127741
Good luck playing this.
 

w4ffles

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I feel like an idiot now. I thought I had mpc-hc set to run on hardware, but I didn't know that I needed to add some external filters. I thought the internal filters took care of it.

With DTVDVD enabled though, the Haruhi clip plays perfectly fine with an a cpu load of about 12%. I've tried a few other 480p anime episodes and they work fine too. However, I'm now getting artifacts with a few 720p videos.

I'm going to try looking around for another external filter.

update:

When I updated to the latest Catalyst drivers (10.4) my desktop would finally play most of the videos that were artifacting before. The thing they had in common was a high number of reference frames, 14 to be exact. I have a few video files that use 16 reference frames and showed artifacts. On the HD 3200, I can only play videos with up to 11 reference frames; 12 and up doesn't work. After reading around, I'm pretty sure this is an issue with ATI's cards and drivers. There was one strange exception though. I had one video with a format profile of 4.1 and only 9 reference frames that showed artifacts with DXVA enabled.
 
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Sly

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How do you tell how many reference frames it has?

I just downgraded my drivers to 10.1 and that fixed the artifacting on a lot of the videos and my CPU usage dropped significantly o_0 (Some of my 1080p started stuttering tho)
 

w4ffles

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I downloaded the most recent svn of mpc-hc from some site I found while googling around. It has built-in MediaInfo which gives all the info from the file. I think you could also get MediaInfo as a standalone program.
Latest mpc-hc (note that these aren't final releases and may be buggy):
http://www.xvidvideo.ru/media-player-classic-home-cinema-x86-x64
MediaInfo: http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en

Until I have more time to look for a more thorough solution, I guess I'll play the problematic videos in software mode. What pisses me off is the lack of driver updates from Toshiba. There hasn't been a new display driver since the model was released 5 months ago and the official ones from ATI can't be used.
 

Red Falcon

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To the OP, the ION is more powerful than the HD3200 IGP.

The ION gets a 4.3 and 5.3 rating in 7, where as the HD3200 gets a 3.4 and a 4.7 in 7.

Yeah, the X2 is more powerful, but if you are doing 3D apps, you'll want the ION for sure.

Currently running this setup in my sig. ;)

Also, the Atom N330 has HyperThreading, so it can handle 4 threads at once.
 

Sly

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You won't actually be doing heavy 3D gaming on a netbook so the 3D aspect is rather redundant. Rather, you'll be relying more on the CPU for the web browsing and other applications 99% of the time. CPU and memory bandwidth is where the u230 trounces the 1201n.

The u264 support is the only sticking point for me! Is there a chance they can fix this in a future driver or is it a hardware limitation? If it is, i'm gonna have to sell this thing and get an ION!
 

Ruination

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You might want to check out this laptop at tigerdirect for 350. its as cheap as a netbook but has an intel core 2 solo su3500. I just ordered and got %12 Bing cash back which came out to $42 back. Hasnt arrived yet so i cant attest to the performance but the processor is better than an atom.
 

Sly

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You might want to check out this laptop at tigerdirect for 350. its as cheap as a netbook but has an intel core 2 solo su3500. I just ordered and got %12 Bing cash back which came out to $42 back. Hasnt arrived yet so i cant attest to the performance but the processor is better than an atom.

Probably faster than a normal Netbook CPU but not against dual cores.

L335
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+Athlon+Neo+X2+Dual+Core+L335

Atom 330
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Atom+330+@+1.60GHz

Core 2 Solo
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+Core2+Solo+U3500+@+1.40GHz

Higher score is better in Passmark right?
 
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