Yes it will an possibly substantially. In fact this is the only thing that bothers me about this early testing as you really need drivers that fully enable the chip. What we have right now is a biased set of results. Further I want to see testing with both DIMM slots filled with RAM. This is especially important for any GPU testing.Gpu performance will go up, so I would not worry about that.
Yes this would be very important and worth a series or article all on its own. Unfortunately we go back to the driver problem here so this will have to wait for stable driver and operating system support. a HTPC was one of my first thoughts when this article appeared. However there are lots of other uses for such a platform. When a real set of drivers and a proper kernel arrive I would like to see real power usage figures as I'm really hoping that idle power will be extremely low so that an always powered up system doesn't suck down a lot of watt hours.What I would like to see is how it can perform with different kind of hd video files(h264,vc1, 720p, 1080p and different bitrates), after all platform's main potential is for being good htpc box.
In any event a small SSD paired with this board might give some interesting results. I do hope Michael focuses a bit of effort on the many potential configurations this platform offers even if that means using other motherboards. I also have to agree with somebody else that suggested that this processors needs to be packages up in a small box for a turn key solution.