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The Nvidia ION 2 (GT218-ION-A3 / GT218-ILV-A3) is a dedicated graphics card for the new Pinetrail Atom CPUs (e.g., N450, D510, D410 announced Dec 2009) Generation. The ION2 is based on the GT218 chip (GeForce 305M, 310M) with dedicated memory (compared to the old ION that was a chipset graphics card). Because of the limitations of the Pinetrail chipset, it can only be connected with PCIe 1x. Therefore, the performance of the chip is slower than a similar GeForce G210M e.g.

The ION 2 comes in three versions, that differ in core speed and shader cores.

10" Netbook ION

The ION chip in 10" netbooks with Pinetrail Atoms offers only 8 shader cores and a clock rate of 405 MHz. According to Nvidia the performance should still be similar to the first generation of ION. The power consumption of 6 Watt is rather low, and therefore fully suited for small netbooks.

12" Netbook ION

The 12" version features all 16 cores of the GT218 chip and is clocked at 475 MHz. The performance should be above the old ION platform.

Desktop & Netbook ION

The desktop version is clocked even higher at 535 MHz as no power restrictions have to be met.


First benchmarks by on a pre-sample of the Acer Aspire 532g with the 8-shader-core version resulted in about 3000 points in 3DMark03. That would be noticeably slower than a ION 1 netbook. The relative low result can be explained by the early sample and the PCIe 1x bus. Still, compared to a GMA 3150 the performance is a lot better. 

As the integrated GMA 3150 graphics in the Atom CPU is quite limited (slow 3D performance, no HD video acceleration, no digital monitor output), the ION 2 is intended to adress these weak points. It offers a better 3D performance, (digital) monitor outputs (HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, and VGA), video acceleration with PureVideo HD (since Flash 10.1 also for Internet Videos in HD) and CUDA for using the computing power of the GPU.

The netbook ION 2 versions also supports Optimus to automatically switch between the dedicated (ION) and integrated (GMA 3150) graphics card. Therefore the battery runtime without GPU load should be equal to a non ION netbook. The HDMI port however always triggers the use of the ION card, as the port cant be used with the GMA 3150.

The power consumption of 6-12 Watt TDP is quite high for an Atom system, but the ION 2 should be switchable (with the integrated GMA 3150) which still can lead to high battery runtimes.

CodenameGT218-ION-A3, GT218-ILV-A3
Pipelines16 - unified
Core Speed405 / 475 / 535 MHz
Shader Speed? / 1100 / ? MHz
Memory Speed790 MHz
Memory Bus Width64 Bit
Memory TypeDDR2, DDR3
Max. Amount of Memory512 MB
Shared Memoryno
APIDirectX 10.1, Shader 4.1
Power Consumption6/12 Watt
technology40 nm
Date of Announcement10.01.2010
Link to Manufacturer Page


3DMark Vantage
3DM Vant. Perf. total +
3DM Vant. Perf. GPU no PhysX +
3DMark 06 3DMark 06 - Score Unknown Settings +
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x1024 +
3DMark 06
min: 1155     avg: 1822     median: 1963 (3%)     max: 2409 Points
3DMark 06 - Standard 1280x768 +
Cinebench R10 Cinebench R10 Shading (32bit) +
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

Game Benchmarks

The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

Anno 1404

Anno 1404

Call of Juarez Benchmark

Call of Juarez Benchmark

World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft

low 800x600
44 48.6 ~ 46 fps    + Compare
med. 1024x768
24.4 27 ~ 26 fps    + Compare
high 1280x1024
11.6  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.

For more games that might be playable and a list of all games and graphics cards visit our Gaming List

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Notebook reviews with NVIDIA ION 2 graphics card


Review Asus Eee PC 1015PN Netbook

Power Pack. Asus launches yet another offshoot of the successful series with the Eee PC 1015PN. The highlights are a new Intel Atom N550, a dedicated Nvidia ION...
Intel Atom N550 | NVIDIA ION 2 | 10.10" | 1.3 kg

Review Asus Lamborghini VX6 Netbook

Lamborghini. The name exudes power and exclusivity. A dual-core Atom puts this netbook well out in front of its single-core rivals, while Ion 2 gives it a (smal...
Intel Atom D525 | NVIDIA ION 2 | 12.10" | 1.5 kg

Review Asus Eee PC 1215N Netbook

Power-Netbook. Even the first generation of Ion Netbooks proved that they could shine in many application areas with appealing graphics performance. Ion 2 build...
Intel Atom D525 | NVIDIA ION 2 | 12.10" | 1.5 kg

Nvidia Next-Generation ION (ION2) in review

High DefinitION. The first version of Ion already aimed at improving the performance of netbooks and enhancing their field of application. As Nvidia could no lo...
Intel Atom N450 | NVIDIA ION 2 | 12.10" | 1.4 kg

Asus Lamborghini VX6-BLK063M : Intel Atom D525, 12.20", 1.5 kg
  External Review » Asus Lamborghini VX6-BLK063M

Asus Eee PC 1015PN: Intel Atom N550, 10.10", 1.3 kg
  External Review » Asus Eee PC 1015PN

Asus Lamborghini VX6: Intel Atom D525, 12.10", 1.5 kg
  External Review » Asus Lamborghini VX6

Asus Eee PC 1215N: Intel Atom D525, 12.10", 1.4 kg
  External Review » Asus Eee PC 1215N

Asus Eee PC 1201PN: Intel Atom N450, 12.10", 1.4 kg
  External Review » Asus Eee PC 1201PN

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Benchmarks / Tech > Comparison of Laptop Graphics Cards > NVIDIA ION 2
Klaus Hinum (Update: 2016-01-26)