Most netbooks currently on the market offer 512MB or 1GB of system memory and only a single DDR2 SO-DIMM slot. However, with most of the netbooks a 2GB memory module could be easily installed, but what performance benefits does that yield for an Intel Atom powered device? In this article we have a few benchmarks comparing the 1GB versus 2GB memory performance on the Atom-powered Samsung NC10.
The Samsung NC10 uses the standard Intel Atom N270 1.60GHz, has a 1024 x 600 10.2" display, Intel graphics, and did have a 160GB 5400RPM HDD before we replaced it with an OCZ Core Series V2 32GB SSD. Running on the software side we were using a development snapshot of Ubuntu 9.04 with the Linux 2.6.28-3 i686 kernel, xf86-video-intel 2.5.1, Mesa 7.3, GCC 4.3.3, X Server 188.8.131.52, and GNOME 2.25.3. IcedTea6 1.4 was providing the Java support and the Intel graphics driver was using EXA acceleration. Intel SpeedStep Technology was also left enabled.
For this testing we had compared the performance of the stock Samsung 1GB DDR2 memory module to that of a Kingston 2GB DDR2-667 SO-DIMM module (CAS 5, 1.8V, PC2-5300). The Kingston memory ICs were labeled S0191251 0844 SAR D1288TEFCGL25U. We had used the Phoronix Test Suite to carry out our Linux memory tests on this Intel Atom netbook. The tests executed were LAME MP3 encoding, timed ImageMagick compilation, Gzip compression, SQLite, GnuPG, RAMspeed, Sunflow Rendering System, Bork File Encrypter, Java SciMark, and GtkPerf.