Nvidia GeForce G105M vs. Intel GMA950: Your Netbook Can Be More than Just a Small Slow Laptop

This article describes how much more powerful an Nvidia GeForce G105M is comparing to an Intel GMA950, and how it affects the overall performance of a typical netbook.

The netbook used for this comparison is my friend Sally Kheirandish’s Asus N10Jb. Well, Asus haven’t listed the down-to-earth N10 lineup on its Eee PC series, and its untrendy style shows it’s meant for business. Obviously, you don’t take me for an Asus fan, but I gotta tell you the truth folks, this baby delivers exceptional performance…

Asus N10Jb album

N10Jb Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Atom N280 1.66 GHz 667 MHz FSB 512 kB L2 Cache (Hyper-Threaded)
  • Chipset: Intel 945GSE + Intel ICH7-M
  • Memory: Kingston KVR800D2S6/2G 2GB DDR2 800 MHz CL-6 SO-DIMM (Upgraded)
  • Display: 10.2″ WSVGA 1024×600 Color-Shine (Glare-Type)
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce G105M with 512 MB VRAM + Intel GMA950 (Switchable VGA)
  • Hard Drive: Seagate Momentus 5400.4 ST9250827AS 2.5″ SATA 250 GB 8 MB Buffer 5400 RPM (Upgraded)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate x86 b7600 (Upgraded)

Before upgrading to Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit edition, with its original Windows XP, its Windows startup time was slower than an assessed Dell Mini 10v:

Total seconds elapsed to finish POST 10.38
Total seconds elapsed before Windows welcomes user 45.65
Total seconds elapsed before Desktop is shown 1:04.05
Total seconds elapsed before tray icons are completely displayed 1:11.95

The N10Jb is packed with a VGA switch on its left side. So, to gauge the test, I powered up the N10Jb once with its green Intel GMA950 selected, and once with the Nvidia.

Windows Experience Index (WEI)

Switching from Intel GMA950 to Nvidia GeForce G105M, WEI ratings jumped from 2.2 / 3.0 for Windows Aero desktop performance / 3D business and gaming graphics performance to 2.9 / 3.6 respectively.

CrystalMark 2004R3

Switching from Intel GMA950 to Nvidia GeForce G105M, CrystalMark benchmark statistics jumped from 1946 / 1072 / 465 for GDI / Direct2D / OpenGL to 1726 / 2180 / 3804 respectively. It’s hard to believe, but the Nvidia is twice as fast as the Intel for 2D rendering, and 8 times as fast, when it comes to 3D rendering.

As opposed to public’s belief, 3D rendering power is not just good for gaming experience, because movie playback actually depends on Direct3D ever since DirectX-9-based Video Mixing Renderer (VMR-9) has been introduced.

HD Movie Playback

In an earlier post, I concluded the fact that Dell Inspiron 1011 (Mini 10v) is not able to play 8 Mbps wide 1920×1080 Full-HD DivX/Xvid AVI videos and Matroska videos with the same resolution but with slightly lower bitrates. The Intel Atom N280 CPU in the N10Jb supports 2 threads, so it has two logical cores, just like Mini 10v’s N270, but apart from its slightly faster clock (1.66 GHz vs. 1.60 GHz) it’s got a faster FSB (667 MHz vs. 533 MHz), so things should change dramatically comparing to the Mini 10v, even with the Intel graphics accelerator running. Because you can’t always rely on simple unelaborated facts, with the Intel running, it’s strangely slower than the Mini 10v, so don’t expect to play even 6 Mbps DivX/Xvid and 5 Mbps Matroska MKV files when going green. But with the power-hungry Nvidia ignited, the results are spectacular. For the ultimate test, I put a 9.5 Mbps MKV test file containing an 8 Mbps H.264 video stream and a 1.5 Mbps 6-channel DTS audio stream. The little monster played the video clip flawlessly on Media Player Classic – Home Cinema v1.3.1249.0 with EVR Custom Presenter (using Direct3D rendering for movie playback) selected, consuming 45% of one logical core on the average.

Considering its modest price tag and impressive specifications, 2 batteries (2400 mAh 3-cell and 4800 mAh 6-cell), carrying bag, and USB optical mouse included, it’s a bargain. Talking about the VGA and rendering abilities, I can name real deal laptops which are put to shame by the N10Jb, and this is good news for those who seek for a 10-inch netbook capable of doing much more than what it’s meant or paid for.

One thought on “Nvidia GeForce G105M vs. Intel GMA950: Your Netbook Can Be More than Just a Small Slow Laptop

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *