MSI Wind benchmarks: maybe I shouldn’t have bought that $1,300 UMPC



Yup, it’s my duly sworn oath to comply with the needs of those that require benchmarks, so here’s my morning run of CrystalMark R3 on the MSI Wind. Considering that many netbooks have very similar component configurations, I don’t think these numbers will surprise anyone that’s been following this device class. In fact, the Asus 1000H is nearly identical, so therefore, the same benchmark tool running on the same OS would likely generate very similar numbers.

When compared to the benchmarks of the SSD version of the Acer Aspire One (AAO) that I bought, tested and returned, the biggest differentiator is of course the one major hardware difference: the hard drive. The 5400 RPM drive in the MSI Wind is far faster in five of the six tested categories; only the Random Read 64K test was faster with the Intel SSD in the AAO. The Wind uses a 2.5-inch Western Digital Scorpio Blue hard drive and easily bested the slow flash module that Acer went with. CrystalMark saw sequential read and write speeds of 44.82 MBps and 42.77 MBps in the Wind; the AAO transferred data at 37.2 MBps and 3.06 MBps in the same test.

Overall, I’m impressed with nearly all of the Intel Atom netbook benchmarks I’ve seen. And surprised to a degree. Having spent nearly $1,300 on an Intel Core Solo UMPC earlier this year, it’s phenomenal that benchmarks between the two are so close when compared to netbooks that are around 30% to 50% in terms of price. Of course there are plenty of other factors in a purchase decision, but still… it’s amazing when you think about it. Stay tuned for the BatteryEater test as I should be running that later today. Let’s see what the minimum runtime of the MSI Wind is with a 6-cell battery; I’m guessing 4.5-hours with WiFi on and the screen at 50% brightness. For my usage patterns, that should equate to nearly 5.5-hours of mobile computing on the Wind.


Vincent Benedict P. Castro

I decided to buy an MSI Wind today, I am getting it when I get off work in 30 minutes.

My friend [he sells/distributes MSI notebooks here in the PH] told me that I could get a 2Gb RAM + 160Gb model. I am not sure if they just opened the wind and slapped on more RAM and a higher capacity HDD. This model isn’t on the MSI site, still I don’t mind more RAM and a bigger HDD ;) I’m getting it at PhP 24,000.00 about USD 518.13, it comes with XP home and the 3 cell battery [no 6 cells after even a month in the market here???]

Kevin C. Tofel

With 1.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and Intel 965 graphics, I would *expect* the P-100 to have these benchmarks. It’s also around $2,500, no?

Bob in Pittsburgh

My MSI Wind (3-cell) arrived today. Build quality looks nice, and the form factor is just what I’m looking for. What’s the drill with lithium-ion batteries – do I need to let it charge fully before I power the unit up? I’d rather not cripple the battery life just because I can’t wait to try it out.

As for benchmarks, the most important one for me will be how long it takes to boot up and shut down. Most of the stuff I’ll be doing shouldn’t stress the processor to its maximum capacity.

Kevin C. Tofel

Weeze-Dog, good point but all of the other benchmarks I’ve done (and compared these results to) were using the same environment: out of the box with the same benchmark tool. The point of this test was to give folks a general idea of the CrystalMark scores as I’ve done with five devices prior. It’s just an indicator. As far as the post title that you’ve quoted: it was toungue-in-cheek. I don’t personally base my purchase decisions based solely on benchmarks, as I alluded to in my post.

Regardless, I’m in the midst of other tests and will see what I can do. Thanks!


Oh I forgot to add that the reason I brought it up is that your statement “MSI Wind benchmarks: maybe I shouldn’t have bought that $1,300 UMPC” implies that you are basing your decision strictly on benchmarks alone, and I’m saything that the benchmark is not an apples-to-apples comparsion given the fact that core solo is single thread only and atom is hyper-threaded. A real comparision between the two needs to be single threaded only, given most applications are single threaded.


My point is that while the Atom and Core Solo may benchmark similar, the benchmark for Atom won’t reflect real world performance as the overwhelming majority of apps are single-threaded only. A fairer benchmark comparision between core solo and atom would be to disable hyper-threading. This would give a better indicator as to how a single application run on Atom would perform against Core Solo. Aka it would benchmark single-threaded performance.

Kevin C. Tofel

Weeze-dog, you might be technically correct, but I’m not sure it matters from an end-user standpoint. The fact that the Atom does support HT in it’s standard out-of-the-box configuration is how it will typically be used. Why would a consumer turn it off when they have the functionality available?

Olly, I sold my Eee PC 701, but I should have a comparison of the Wind and the Eee PC 1000H up in the next few days.

Chris, I’m surprised you’re only seeing 4 to 4.5 hours. Notebook Hardware Control tells me that the device drains around 10 Watts and the 6-cell battery is 56 W/hrs. Mathematically this should be around 5.5 hours, but of course I’ll test.

Build quality is excellent. Better than the Acer, which wasn’t bad to begin with.


another 6-cell Wind owner, where are you guys finding them are they readily available yet (all i can find is 3-cell)?

what are the battery specs?

hows the build quality?


Thanks for posting this. I just recently purchased an MSI Wind (6 cell) and was curious as to how it stacked up. I’d love to see a spreadsheet type of look of how the MSI stacks up against the other UMPC’s in it’s class, although I wouldn’t be expecting much of a difference between them. Overall I’m impressed with the speed of the MSI, it’s snappy in most scenarios. I do notice a bit of lag in programs opening, but that’s most likely XP for you.

BTW Unless you’re operating with no bluetooth, wireless and screen turned all the way down…you’re probably only going to get four hours out of the six cell. Four and a half is pushing it.

Oh and a note about the screen…it’s SUPER bright…I have mine turned down as much as it can go and it’s perfectly visible. No need to waste juice at full power IMO.


Kevin — I’m not a total stickler for benchmarks, but thanks for the continuing coverage of the Wind — I’ve been trying to decide on a netbook (since selling my EEE 701 as I just couldn’t hang with the cramped keyboard), and the Wind is one of my top choices. If you still have an EEE hanging around, would you mind shooting a size comparison?




I question how much hyper-threading inflates the FPU/ALU score. On a single threaded app, hyper-threading would have no effect, that shoud make the core solo much faster.
Can you re-run the benchmark with hyper-threading disabled? Hopefully there is an option in the bios to disable it, if not it there are still ways to do it, but it gets more complicated.

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