After installing the stand, plugging in all the cables and setting up the software, I began testing the Asus B204.
Firstly, the Asus Eee Box really surprised me with its boot time. Starting the system up to desktop takes around 20 seconds; shutting down the system takes about 15. For a low spec system this is pretty amazing.
When actually booted, it was pretty quick too. Programs loaded quickly and the whole ‘in-windows’ experience was silky smooth. It only got a bit slow when CPU intensive programs were loaded, but then again, what do you expect from a 1.6 GHz CPU?
If you live in an area of the country/world where power shortages are frequent, you’ll love this feature… The Asus EeeBox has a built in battery which allows the system to run off it for up to 20 minutes. Therefore, if you have a power cut, you’ve still got plenty of time to save your work and shutdown – no data spared.
HD Video Tests
Many users are likely to want to use the Asus Eee Box B204 as a HTPC. One of the main requirements of a HTPC for many is HD video playback. To find out how well the EeeBox can playback HD content we’ll be testing it using some samples downloaded from Microsoft.
720P HD Performance
The 720P video I chose to playback was the ‘Super Speedway’ clip from Microsoft’s site. The clip features a race between two formula one cars with a mixture of camera angles – both in cockpit and outside cockpit. The clip features very quick takes and demanding graphics. This is an intense test for any system.
The Eee Box managed to playback the clip at 720p resolution fine and even ran smoothly at full screen. ‘Task Manager’ showed the CPU to be at 58% load and it often dropped and spiked between 40%-60%.
1080P HD Performance
The 1080P content I used was Taxi 3, again, another clip from Microsoft’s site. The clip features a car chasing some skiers down a snowy mountain. The clip is very intense with such high details.
Even though CPU usage was only between 60 – 70%, this Full HD clip didn’t run properly as it had frequent lag. It seems the low 1 GB of system memory is probably causing this.
Some users may be willing to purchase the Asus Eee Box as a low-powered system solution for all their basic computing needs. If you are, below are some interesting results to show how much power the Asus Eee Box B204 uses up.
As you can see the Asus uses barely any power at all. A computer system considered ‘normal’ today uses between 150-200 watts and a gaming system easily uses over 250. In conclusion, the EeeBox uses about 10x less than a normal computer!
I tested the Asus Eee Box on a game called FEAR. The game is considered old in today’s standards, but many of the newer games aren’t supported on the EeeBox due to the low specifications and it running Windows XP. None-the-less it’s still a good game and worthy of some testing.
With everything on maximum it wasn’t really playable with an average FPS of just 10.
Dropped down to high, I was quite happy with the performance. The benchmark showed an average FPS of 20 at this setting.
Throughout testing it was evident to me that the Asus EeeBox produces literally no noise at all. You can happily leave this PC running all day without any hum or whirring.