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jmke 4th August 2008 15:18

Asus Eee Box B202 Desktop System Tested
Today marks the introduction of the $299 Asus Eee Box but we've had a unit in house for the better part of a month now. Just what does $299 buy you in terms of capabilities and features, in an absolutely tiny footprint? You're about to find out.

We're sure many of you are wondering just how well the Asus Eee Box might be able to double as an HTPC (Home Theater PC). After all, it does have HD Audio output with an available S/PDIF port, an 80GB internal hard drive with the ability to expand via USB 2.0 connections and DVI output, which can utilized as a source for many HD TVs as well as computer monitors. So we fired up some HD digital video content to see how the Eee Box might handle the load.

Unfortunately, though the Eee Box was only oscillating with a CPU utilization of 60 - 70%, the playback experience of Amazing Caves was not up to par. We witenessed many dropped frames and lots of stopping and starting. Intel's GMA950 graphics core just isn't equipped to handle full 1080p HD content without a strong processor backing it up, since it offloads most of the processing to the CPU.<br>
At a peak power consumption of only 22.3 Watts, it's hard not to be impressed with what the Eee Box can deliver in terms of its capabilities and performance per watt profile. Note that our Atom and Nano reference systems consume significantly more power due to their standard full sized components, specifically hard drives, motherboards and system memory.

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