General System Testing
When I first powered the system on I was immediately brought in to Windows. Unlike many complete systems we’ve received this system comes with no bloatware at all, just a basic Windows install. After getting a few programs installed and using the Edge HD2 for a couple of days I realized that if you are going to be using it as a internet machine or to do daily tasks it is more than capable of that.
When I get any new system I run the Windows 7 experience index. It assesses your system and gives you a score based on its findings. The highest score you can receive for each category is 7.9. The Sapphire HD2 scored a 3.5, which was a little bit below the 3.8 the Zotac ZBOX scored.
Many of these small systems are going to be used at Home Theater PC’s (HTPC’s) and my favorite HTPC software for the PC is Boxee. It is incredibly easy to use and the interface is just great. I went ahead and installed Boxee and had it running within minutes. There were not issues playing media through Boxee locally, or over the network or Internet.
If you do not want to mess with Boxee you can always just use Windows Media Center to play the media on your system. I went ahead and loaded that up and it worked perfectly as well and really did not put much load on our system at all.
HD media is the new things so of course we will be testing HD movie playback. We used Quicktime to play the Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon trailer. We played it back in both 720p and 1080p. During 720p playback the system’s CPU usage was between 40-60% depending on what was being displayed. During 1080p playback the system’s CPU usage was between 60-75% depending on what was being displayed.