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Thinner Lighter Better

Running a couple of games on the Asus EEE PC 1215N

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , updated on June 4, 2014

Ok, I’ve tried to run a couple of more games on the Asus 1215N today and you can find results below.

First, I have to tell you that this is an Atom powered machine, with a dual core D525 1.8 GHz processor, 4 GB of DDR3 memory and the new Nvidia ION graphics (16 Cores, with Optimus). These specs make it the most powerful Atom powered mini laptop on the market and the Nvidia chip used for graphics can even run some games. See the Asus 1215N EEE PC review for more details.

Now, there’s a problem here: because ION2 machines are so new, there aren’t proper drivers for them, that’s why I expect gaming and multimedia performances to improve in the next months, once we get updates from Nvidia. For now, all the tests are based on the 257.41 drivers release, which is the latest I managed to get working on this notebook.

First, here’s the clip with StarCraft 2: you get around 15-20 fps on average (1280 x 720 px with Medium details), which makes the game playable in a 2 vs 2 game, but quite not enough for those fast multiplayer matches between strong players.

Then, on the other clip below, you get the following:

  • Anno 1404, which for those not familiar with the series, is a magnificent RTS city-builder game. You get like 10-18 fps on average in the game, but these will get lower once game progresses and more islands are colonized. So, once again playable, on medium resolution and medium details. Too bad you can’t enjoy this one on high, there are so many things wonderfully detailed in this game, from a tree falling, to a whale swimming or birds flying over the islands.
  • Then, there’s FIFA 2010, which is a football game (soccer as you call it in the States). Runs fairly well, around 20 fps, on lowest resolution and lowest details. Still, when sending a long pass or trying to fast dribble, there will be some bothering sluggishness and lag.
  • And there’s Battlefield: Bad Company 2, one of the best shooters of this year. Unfortunately, this one lags a lot: 10-15 fps is all you can hope and they drop under 10 for heavy combat scenes. Plus, since the first mission takes place during the night, I really had a hard time playing this game, as the 1215N does come with an ultra-glossy screen, like most other Asus notebooks do.

And there’s more: the famous Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 . See the video below. I’ve only shot scenes from the first campaign training mission. Things look OK as long as there aren’t many characters in the scenes, with 30+ fps, but as soon as something happens, they’ll easily drop to 15-10 or below. And for those of you who played this game, you know that in later campaign missions and multiplayer games there are many situations with 10+ players shooting at you. I doubt you could get more than sideshows on the 1215N in those cases, at least for now.

Bottom line, most of these games are playable on low details and low resolutions (1024 x 768). Now, all the games I’ve tested are very new, from 2010. And some, like MW2 do require true gaming rigs to run properly, so there’s actually no wonder this crippled (by faulty drivers) 1215N could not really be a match for them.

Still, with better drivers that should be available in the next months and as long as you’re planning to run older titles, this EEE PC should do fine for gaming. However, I would not call it a gaming machine, but more a powerful mini laptop with light gaming affinities (in fact, that’s all you could expect from a gaming netbook). For more, you’d better get some extra cash and look for a true gaming laptop.

Andrei Girbea, aka "Mike", Editor-in-Chief at TLBHD.com. I absolutely hate carrying around heavy stuff, that's why I'm fond of mini-laptops and portable computers. I'm primarily using such devices and have been testing them for many years now. Get in touch in the comments section below.

25 Comments

  1. stef

    August 21, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    hello! i know you said in your earlier review that the one on retail will only have 2gb of memory, so i assume that the memory will be expandable? to how much? and how much will it cost to have it expanded? (i’m not much of a tecchie xD)

    • Mike

      August 22, 2010 at 1:41 am

      You can upgrade to 4 GB. An extra 2 GB module should be a couple of tens of bucks.

  2. stef

    August 22, 2010 at 1:46 am

    thanks πŸ™‚

  3. Shivan

    September 1, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    I was wondering if the slow gaming performance of at least some games, like the MW2 that seems to run slower than in the MSI U230 with an HD3200m could be caused by the poor pci-e bandwich?

    The ION2 is conected to the chipset by pci-e, but because of the Pinetrail platform, is limited to only 1 pci-e lane (So, is conected to an pci-e x1), but even worse, its an PCI-E 1.1, because Pinetrail doest support pci-e 2.0, so the bandwich is only 250Mb/…

    Its slow even for a low end card, and thats not taking Optimus in consideration.

    What im not 100% sure if the PCI-E is 1.1… there is a chance that could be 2.0 but i dont think so.

    You you confirm that the ION2 is conected to a PCI-E x1 1.1?

  4. fLuXuS

    September 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Hi Mike!

    nice review BTW, i’ve bought an 1215N silver, and upgraded to 260 beta drivers, because low performance in torchlight.

    Can you test Torchlight in yours? in my 1215N @ max specs i got 15/20fps and 25/35 in town or non crowded dungeons..

    best regards,
    Flux

    • Mike

      September 27, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Sry fLuXuS, i don’t have mine anymore so I can’t perform any new tests πŸ™ Those drivers are still not final, wait for more mature ones in the next weeks, which should improve graphic performance in all games and apps

  5. fLuXuS

    September 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    ok Mike TKS anyway!

    tell me something, do you have to mod the dtock driver to show de optimus overlay? in may games or movies the statechecker says ION is On but no overlay in image. . . really strange ..

    best regards,
    FLux

    • Mike

      September 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      Hmm, not sure what Optimus overlay you’re talking about.. Those 2 Optimus test tools do not work as an overlay, they just show you if the Nvidia chips is ON and OFF… Are you by any chance talking about the FPS showed in games in the upper left corner? if yes, those are from running FRAPs . If not, please give me some more details and hopefully i can help

  6. Charles

    September 28, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    anyone confirm if its pci-e 1.x or 2.0? Too bad it wasn’t pci-e 3.0

  7. fLuXuS

    September 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    hi again,

    soem clips on the web of this netbook, in the upper left screen, shows a watermarks of Optimus and in game says something about “nvidia confidential.. bla bla bla”

    i’m asking this, because my 1215N in for eg. Splash player, i must force ION use in control panel, and the movies play like a slid show, even with CoreAVC installed.. maybe I have a faulty chip. i don’t know..

    • Mike

      September 28, 2010 at 3:13 pm

      Hmmm, I think I know what you mean, I’ve had that over layer on mine, when using VLC if I remember correctly. I know that bothered me and then I used WMP Classic and got rid of it… Anyway, if the Tool says ION is ON, that it is ON, you don’t need the overlayer to confirm that.

      Now, with Splash Player, you might have to add it manually as an app that requires ION ON. As for the choppy clip, does that happen for 1080p clips? Or 720ps or what? And did you try a couple of them or only just one? Also, you might try playing them with Windows Media Player Classic Home Cinema. That always worked great for me, with CoreAVC installed . If your clip fails to play with that either, there might be some problems with your chip.

  8. fLuXuS

    September 28, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Hi again, and thanks for helping,

    with splash player i have added manually and the player recognizes a Intel Clear Video.. with Video acceleration on or Off (with ION forced) all my 720p movies plays choppy, without ION, just using GMA Intel, works great.. but 1080 movies not as quiet… tried VLC and MPC-HC, with and without codecs,same issue when ION is enabled.

    i’ve runned 3dmark06 and gives me @1280×720 2561 marks.. with this score it’s ION working.. i don’t care about the overlay of course, but it’s strange all the movies in youtube of reviews it plays flawlessly with ION enable…

    • Mike

      September 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm

      Hmmm, I can say i had no problems playing 1080p once i had CoreAVC codecs on. They were choppy before, but after getting them one worked quite good. I know i used 257.47 drivers if not mistaken… I don’t know what more to say, but you could register and post in this thread dedicated to 1215N from eeeuser forum: http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=85114&p=5 . There are a lot of helping guys there πŸ˜‰ Update: Just saw you posted there as well πŸ˜›

      Still, you did not say if that happens with all 1080p clips? If it does, than I’m out, can’t say what’s wrong. It’s for sure a software/drivers problem, as your ION seems to work OK from that 3dmark06 score, but I’m not sure what you can do to fix it…

      Update: Saw you said the issue are subtitles. Do the clips work OK without those?

  9. fLuXuS

    September 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    @mike

    Hi again, i thought at the time it was the subtitles issue, but afterall it’s not, then i forgot to edit my post πŸ˜€

    at first glace my point is software related, but i’m just the only one with that issue… that’s very weird!

    clips without subs work bad with ION On, and with subs maybe 5~8fps slower. at the time i resolved the issue by disabling ION and just play 720p clips.. it’s very but very weird this.. Mike thank’s a lot for the effort you just spend with this!!

    best regards,

  10. Esteban

    November 3, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Hi,

    i have a 1215n pc, when i play games (like Fifa 11), its like they plays in slowmotion effect (even in lowest config). i have updated driver to latses 260…. do you have same problem?

  11. Jonny

    November 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Hi guys. I’m having similar issues with Full HD playback. Latest drivers and coreavc installed and the 1080p experience is glitchy at best. I’ve manually added the various media players I’ve tried in the nvidia control panel but to no avail. Really bummed about it cause it was kinda the motive behind getting the 1215n. I can only hope newer drivers sort this out. In the meantime I can’t help but wonder why it worked so well for all the other folks reviewing it. I was starting to wonder if I had a faulty machine till I saw this topic. All the same its bad news one way or the other.

  12. Jonny

    November 18, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Haali and ffdshow have sorted out my issues. CoreAVC just wasn’t cutting it. Still not great with sub titles though so I’ll wait on newer drivers/codecs…

  13. Talixir

    November 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    cccp codec pack fixed all my 1080p video problems – mpc-hc only; vlc still plays them like ***t. Tested with Die Hard 4 1080p mkv file (backup from a bought blu-ray, ofc OO ). Converting Avatar to 1080p mkv to test that. If you want the strain to show that’d be the one to try it with. Sample should portray level of function. Win winwinwinw iwniwnwinwiwniw blah.

  14. Talixir

    November 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    @Jonny; when i tried the haali ffdshow combo it was epic fail. I got those from Klite and tweaked it. Did you do something to in particular post installation to get it to work?

  15. Talixir

    November 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    What the heck! It was fine 10 mins ago – I just went for a victory play and the video is choppy now – it was smooth earlier – I sWeAr I’m NoT crAZy

  16. pat

    November 28, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Installed CCCP and tried both raw/ripped bluray files (BDMV) and mkv and I get choppy playback and a cpu at around 80%. I forced the program to use the ION processor through the Nvidia control panel, but still get the same poor playback. Its like the video cannot keep up with the audio and the audio eventual cuts out momentarily as if to resync with the video, but the video immediately falls behind again.

  17. Calle

    February 13, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Really like your style by dropping a not-so-quickhanded review. I myself own a 1015PN, and although graphics are 8 CUDA cores short and CPU are ~300MHz short, results would be more or less similar. At least, I can play Pizza Worm over DOSBox without any hazzle. As for SC2, I believe i’ll save it for some rainy day on my main machine anyways! πŸ˜‰ Thanks!

  18. Alex

    February 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Hi all,
    Did somebody try to test RIFT is running well on the 1215N please?

    Thanks !

  19. Giedrius

    April 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Greetings, I’m still thinking, to buy 1015PN or 1015N. The aim of netbook is to use in the train or the plane for preparing presentation, read, browse Intertnet etc, while at home, I plan to connect it to bigger screen, audio system, keyboard. The games which I plan to play are mostly strategies – Medieval 2 Total War, Emergency 4 etc. Is it worth to buy 1015N or better to buy 1015PN and have additional 150$ ? πŸ™‚
    Thanks

    • Mike

      April 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      1015n? not really sure what that is… Perhaps you meant 1215N? If you want to play those games, i doubt any of these will really be able to handle them properly. But definitely the 1215N is a better pick

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