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VIA Nano Bests Intel Atom In Netbook Benchmarks

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the still-too-slow dept.

Intel 130

Glib Piglet writes "ZDNet UK has a whole set of benchmarks comparing a 1.8 GHz Nano in VIA's Epia SN motherboard and a 1.6 GHz Atom in Intel's 'Little Falls' D945GCFL mobo. It's not good news for Chipzilla: 'As far as memory performance is concerned, the Nano is clearly superior in every test' and 'The VIA Nano emerges as the better processor for internet tasks. While the Atom needs 132.8 seconds to display simple HTML pages, the Nano does it in 70.1 seconds.' The Nano even outperforms Nehalem on one test. It's not all a win for VIA, though. The benchmark concludes that in some ways all netbooks, underpowered as they are, remain in the IT stone ages."

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First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26803725)

Thanks to my Nano.

Re:First Post (3, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804003)

I don't believe you.

While the Atom needs 132.8 seconds to display simple HTML pages, the Nano does it in 70.1 seconds.

With those speeds, why do they call these things "netbooks?" :)

Re:First Post (5, Informative)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804385)

I don't believe you.

While the Atom needs 132.8 seconds to display simple HTML pages, the Nano does it in 70.1 seconds.

With those speeds, why do they call these things "netbooks?" :)

Very large web page. 17 seconds on an e5200 (That's a 2.5Ghz Core2Duo).

I had a feeling the second I learned the Atom was an In-Order processor that it was going to suck. Sure enough, it feels rather sluggish. Getting a dual core + dual threaded Atom might be better.

VIA's documentation is a nightmare to trudge through. Their hardware is usually great, but designing a product around it tends to be very difficult. With Intel, OTOH, we usually have no trouble getting a hold of an engineer if we have questions. Poor VIA...we'd love to use their chip but their support just isn't dependable when we have deadlines to meet.

I hope the netbook crowd (Acer esp) can muscle some legit documentation from them-- I'd take the Nano over the Atom any day.

Re:First Post (1)

altek (119814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805491)

Agreed, same here. But I'm still waiting for the Ion platform to come out, which should best both of them, giving a good performance mark between the Atom/Nano and the Core 2 Duo.

Re:First Post (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804415)

Because you'll get a chance to catch up on reading a book while your browsing the net.

Re:First Post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804499)

To display THOUSANDS OF THEM, apparently. Are you really that stupid?

Re:First Post (1)

c7fanboy (1133369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805221)

Wow 100 guys from Austin, TX (www.centtech.com) can make an x86 bests Chipzilla?!?! Centaur Technology FTW!

Hmm. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26803741)

Didn't we read similar tests already? The Nano should of course win, since it has out-of-order execution design. But, from what I hear the dual core Atom is at par of the single Nano. When the dual core Nano is released (should be late this year, early next year), it'll wipe the floor with the Atom.

Re:Hmm. (1)

cb88 (1410145) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806061)

what about when the dual core nano comes out... which it is also via's design is clearly superior if only they had the factory to produce 32nm chips

All but the important test (0, Troll)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803775)

Yeah, it's 1.5-2x faster but it also draws 50% more power so comparing them solely on the basis of CPU performance kind of misses the point of a netbook, if you want a fast CPU use a full laptop.

Re:All but the important test (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804049)

...50% more? since when? [pcper.com] Sure, the Nano may use more power, but it's nowhere near 50% more. 60.1*1.5 is 90.15, and x2 it's 120.2. The Nano tops out at 77.5. Making up bullshit is not "interesting" or "insightful".

Re:All but the important test (4, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804161)

Apparently making up bullshit is interesting.

Re:All but the important test (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804417)

Thank you for pointing that out, I couldn't tell from the GGP's moderation. ;)

Re:All but the important test (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804443)

Apparently making up bullshit is interesting.

Yes, it is. [amazon.com]

Re:All but the important test (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804195)

Um, RTFA? [zdnet.co.uk] 48W*1.5=72W, 68~=72.

Re:All but the important test (3, Interesting)

philipgar (595691) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804861)

Actually, this implies that the difference in power of JUST the CPU is far more than 50%. This is because most of the system's power draw is NOT from the CPU. Lets assume for instance that at idle the Atom processor consumes 5 watts of power (the rest of the system consumes the rest). This means that at idle the VIA cpu consumes almost 8 watts of power (both these estimates are perfectly reasonable based on the class of processors that they are). This estimates means that when idling the VIA cpu is consuming 50% more power than the atom.

Now, when the cpus are at load, the Atom processor is consuming ~8.5 watts of power, and the VIA is consuming ~25 or 26 watts of power. This looks to me that the via processor is consuming 4 times the power of the Atom, not merely 50% more.

Of course, this estimate is assuming that the Atom processor's idle power is only 5 watts. In reality, the idle power it consumes is likely even lower, as it was designed to minimize power dissipation. Now, claiming that the VIA's system power is approximately 50% more than the Atom is not accurate, but that doesn't mean that the CPU is not consuming that much more power. Anyone doing a fair comparison between the processors would likely be focusing on the difference in power of the CPUs themselves. Otherwise in a full system, the difference between a CPU that requires 50 Watts of power, and one that requires 100Watts of power wouldn't be that significant.

Phil

Re:All but the important test (1)

Vu1turEMaN (1270774) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804935)

thank god, someone gets it!!!!

the only thing that is stopping via from being HUGE is their gpu. if they had a faster, more reliable solution we'd all be using via netbooks right now.

Re:All but the important test (2, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805233)

The whole power usage thing as classically measured by what the processor draws under load doesn't exactly produce a fair and accurate picture. For instance, since AMD chips of recent years have tended to consume more power than Intel offerings. However, the north bridge for AMD chips consumes less power than for Intel in large part because the memory controller is bolted onto the AMD chip rather than the north bridge. Also, if a processor consumes say 50 watts of power and completes a given task in 15 seconds and another processor consumes 35 watts and completes the same task in 25 seconds the second processor has actually consumed more power.

Re:All but the important test (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806105)

...50% more? since when? Sure, the Nano may use more power, but it's nowhere near 50% more. 60.1*1.5 is 90.15, and x2 it's 120.2. The Nano tops out at 77.5. Making up bullshit is not "interesting" or "insightful".

You should investigate further before you claim bullshit.

In fact, the OP was quite generous to Nano. The 1.8 GHz Nano is rated (by Via) at 25W TDP (Thermal Design Power). The 1.6 GHz Atom 230 (desktop version) is rated (by Intel) at 4W TDP, the N270 (1.6 GHz netbook version) at 2.5W, and the latest N280 (1.666 GHz netbook) is a mere 2.0W. I'm sure Intel and Via use slightly different methods for measuring TDP, but not that different, you know?

Nano doesn't seem to have separate desktop and netbook versions. If you want the highest speed grade Nano in your netbook, you're going to be putting in a CPU which draws 12.5x as much power as the N280.

Re: the PC Perspective review you linked, you need to be aware that (1) PCPER measured whole-system power consumption, not the processor by itself, and (2) Intel's Atom desktop boards ship with an extremely old integrated graphics chipset which uses so much power that it actually requires a fan (the Atom CPU itself doesn't). Go back to your link and scroll down to the graph of entire-system power consumption during MP3 encode. Notice how the Atom's graph is nearly flat, going up by only ~3W during activity? That's because in this case, even at full load, the CPU accounts for a vanishingly small percentage of the total system power.

The story's a bit different in netbook land, where Intel will sell you a different version of the CPU with a more modern chipset. The netbook version features a reduced power variant of Intel's standard front-side bus. (The 'desktop' version of the Atom uses the normal Intel FSB, which increases its TDP and makes it compatible with the ancient chipset mentioned above.) The total TDP of an Atom N270 plus the netbook chipset (north+south bridge) is about 12W, less than half the TDP of the top speed bin Nano CPU all by itself.

The Nano's problem in a nutshell: its ULV low clocked versions still uses much more power than even the fastest single core Atom variants (5W TDP @ 1.0 GHz is the wimpiest version Via lists), but then loses its performance advantage. The high clock rate versions which destroy Atom in performance benchmarks use about as much power as a low or midrange Core 2 Duo. But even if you disable one core, a C2D is going to completely destroy the Nano in any benchmark. The only advantage Nano has over C2D for a CPU in the ~15-25W TDP power class is really low idle power consumption (500mW for the top 1.8 GHz speed bin, 100mW for the rest).

Unfortunately for Via, that advantage has not proven compelling enough for any manufacturer of portable computers to jump on the Nano. And it has literally no advantages for netbooks, where you never want a CPU over 10W. Via's been trying to get design wins for a long time now, and nobody's biting.

Oh, and there's one other problem they face: they might try to buy design wins by pricing it really low to make up for its shortcomings, but that's a game they can't win. Nano's die is ~63mm^2, Atom's is ~26mm^2. They can probably sell cheaper than a 45nm Core 2 Duo (82mm^2 for 3MB L2 cache variants), but not enough to make up for the C2D's vastly better performance within the same thermal envelope.

Re:All but the important test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804077)

Link please?

Everything I've seen shows the Nano drawing more power than the Atom under full load, but drawing LESS power while idle. I don't own a netbook, but my guess is they would spend more time idle than under full load. Most people aren't doing number-crunching on a netbook.

Re:All but the important test (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804235)

TFA has the Atom based unit running 48W full out and the Nano based unit at 43W idle (no numbers given for Atom system strangely). I think it's safe to assume the Atom unit is drawing significantly less than 43W at idle if it uses 48W running synthetic benchmarks.

Re:All but the important test (2, Funny)

AnarkiNet (976040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804599)

Maybe its time for Folding@on-the-go.

Re:All but the important test (4, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804177)

I agree. This review misses the point entirely. Netbooks are about portability--size and battery life. An Intel Atom-powered netbook can do all your web/officy stuff (as well as full-screen Hulu) and run for eight hours on a charge. There is no benefit in bumping the speed up a touch if that means shortening battery life.

If you want video editing and gaming capabilities, netbooks aren't for you. The only netbook processors that might interest me would be those that give me more speed with the same or less power use as the Atom.

Re:All but the important test (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805117)

That's not quite true. Most of the use of a netbook doesn't need a powerful CPU, it's true. Currently my Atom-powered netbook has clocked itself down to 1 Ghz; for posting on slashdot, nothing more is necessary. However, that's not to say that there is never a need for it to scale back up. It's like your car (come on, you knew that was coming): you don't usually drive it as fast as it will go, but it's nice to be able to go fast if you have to.

I would want a faster processor if only to reduce bootup time. Although I hear that others have made do with the existing processor limitations [lwn.net] .

Also, eight hours on a charge? Where can I get me some of that?

Re:All but the important test (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805203)

It's like your car (come on, you knew that was coming): you don't usually drive it as fast as it will go, but it's nice to be able to go fast if you have to.

If you buy a Toyota Echo, you have an affordable little car that will reliably get you from Point A to Point B. But you have to accept that your cargo capacity is going to be rather limited, and even if it's possible to get it above 85mph on the highway, the car wasn't really designed to do that.

Re:All but the important test (1)

muridae (966931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806217)

You've never driven an Echo, have you? It was not a third row of seats, be any measure, but they broke some laws of physics and reality to put that much trunk space in those cars.

Re:All but the important test (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805593)

Also, eight hours on a charge? Where can I get me some of that?

you can get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-NC10-14GBK-10-2-Inch-Netbook-Processor/dp/B001O94FY8/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1234307109&sr=8-2 [amazon.com]
its rates it at 6, but other places rate it at 8. to be completely fair - i do own this bit of kit and i regularly get a reading of 6hours batter left. and i run xp - linux would probably realize that 8 hours

You are an Impostor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26805769)

Currently my Atom-powered netbook has clocked itself down to 1 Ghz; for posting on slashdot, nothing more is necessary.

You need at least a 2.5+ GHz Quadcore to fire off all those AC-Post on slashdot - I should know!

Re:All but the important test (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805363)

Old benchies from last august put them at equal battery life, which suggests to me that it's the size of the battery affecting the battery life of the netbook - not the Atom or Nano CPU.

It's long been known that Nanos are incredibly fast compared to Atoms.

Now if only I could buy one. "Released" a year ago, huh? Where? :P

Re:All but the important test (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805743)

I haven't done this maths so this might all be wrong.

But if you spend more time waiting for the Atom to do stuff do you get more usable time out of the Atom or Nano, rather than waiting for it to computer something. So your 8 hours might be something like 6 with 2 hours waiting for the computer to catch up.

Re:All but the important test (1)

the 99th penguin (1453) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804257)

It also depends whether it would be worth using more power but finishing the task quicker, assuming that when idling they would be more or less comparable. One problem the Atom has had so far is that the chipsets they have been paired with draw a lot of power by themselves making the power savings less noticeable than they could have been.

Re:All but the important test (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804353)

50% more power my foot.

The Intel Atom at 1.6Ghz [wikipedia.org] is a 2-4 watt processor.

While they hide it in the details of their press release [via.com.tw] a bit, the VIA Nano processor [wikipedia.org] running at 1Ghz is the 8 Watt processor I believe you're referring to while the 1.8Ghz processor tips the scales at around 25 Watts.

Re:All but the important test (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804419)

I'm talking about from TFA the power draw of the entire system. I don't really give a crud about how low power the CPU is, I care how much battery life I can get out of a give weight in batteries. The Atom based unit draws 48W full tilt vs 68W for the Nano based system, heck the Nano system draws 43W idle!

Re:All but the important test (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804777)

The article is about the Nano processor VS. the Atom processor. While an entire system was put on the table for benchmarking, it's hardly representative of the problems the processor itself represents for netbook use nor is it the focus of the article.

I'm sorry I misinterpreted your response to a processor-related article to not be about the processors being analyzed.

As a side note, I'd like to add that it's funny that as I said the Nano benchmarked is a 25 watt processor and the Atom benchmarked is a 4 watt and the difference between the overall benchmarked system power at full load is 20 watts... Of course that couldn't be related to the processors being 21 watts apart... because you:

"don't really give a crud about how low power the CPU is"

Re:All but the important test (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804913)

Well it would be interesting to see the 1GHz Nano vs the 1.6GHz Atom since they would appear to have about the same power envelope once chipset is considered (assuming all other parts between the two units were equivalent) but that's not what the article was comparing at all so claiming the the Nano bests the Atom was way off base.

Re:All but the important test (1)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804993)

Well it would be interesting to see the 1GHz Nano vs the 1.6GHz Atom since they would appear to have about the same power envelope once chipset is considered (assuming all other parts between the two units were equivalent) but that's not what the article was comparing at all so claiming the the Nano bests the Atom was way off base.

And on that I completely agree.

power usage vs cpu performance (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805519)

Thanks for the info, that is the real story that was completely missed by the article. The main benefits of atom are obscured when attached to a lot of power-hungry peripherals.

Re:All but the important test (1)

Shadow-isoHunt (1014539) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804547)

But it doesn't have a chipset drawing more power than the CPU, either.

Re:All but the important test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804731)

OH STFU! The VIA C7 was always compared against the Dothan even though the C7 was 1/2 the power. Nano beats Atom on performance with slightly higher power. Congrats VIA!

Re:All but the important test (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804795)

Yeah, it's 1.5-2x faster but it also draws 50% more power

That means if it is under clocked to draw the same power it's still likely 50% faster. That's still a win for VIA. Heck, even if you under clock it and its only 20% faster, faster is still faster. I'm not sure how you see that as a lose.

Re:All but the important test (1)

wirelessbuzzers (552513) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804941)

The power consumption numbers in TFA are totally useless as applied to netbooks. My laptop (an ultraportable, not a netbook... it has a 1.6 GHz Core 2 Duo in it) uses maybe 25 watts at full load, and maybe 8-9 watts at idle, counting the screen and wireless (that's in Windows; Linux uses slightly more power for some reason).

TFA quotes one system at 48 watts and the other at 68 watts under load. You can't say that this is representative of their performance in a netbook.

The real question is, if you compare them with chipsets, clock speed, voltages, hardware, power management strategies etc that are suitable for a netbook, how is the power consumption and performance? TFA doesn't address that, so it's basically useless.

Also, remember that the two power figures of merit for a netbook are idle power and joules per operation. Suppose that procs A and B are the same at idle, and that B uses twice as much extra power under load than A, but is twice as fast. Then B wins almost no matter what you're doing (yadda cooling yadda voltage ramp yadda yadda).

Re:All but the important test (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805119)

They did give the idle power for the Nano system though, 43W which is within 10% of the Atom system full out. I really wish they had given the idle numbers for the Atom system, that missing piece would most likely strongly back my argument. Gah, I just did a bit more reasearch and they used the freaking DESKTOP chipset for the Atom. That thing draws 17W more than the portable version which further exacerbates the difference between the platforms.

yeah but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26803781)

does it run crysis?

Re:yeah but ... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804173)

does it run crysis?

2.6 FPS :)

Beats? (1)

hicks107 (1286642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803789)

Beats? Bests?

Re:Beats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26805427)

It's not a typo. I refrain from bitching you out only because English may not be your first language. In any case, you have learned a new word.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/best%5B4%5D [merriam-webster.com]

I'd be nice to see it in some devices... (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803801)

Unfortunately, all of that is largely theoretical until VIA can score some design wins, which is a pity because the present state of things doesn't exactly motivate chipzilla to drop margins or loosen restrictions on Atom.

Re:I'd be nice to see it in some devices... (-1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804347)

"While the Atom needs 132.8 seconds to display simple HTML pages"

Over two minuyes to display "simple" HTML pages?

So... this thing will take, what, 4 hours to render Slashdots front page? I have a contemporary (sorta) IBM thinkpad that Opera locks up while rendering for 15 seconds every time. And the page never renders right.

The new look may be cool, but it doesn't actually work well. Doesn't anybody try this stuff?

Re:I'd be nice to see it in some devices... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805007)

I'm fairly sure that they are referring to some sort of multi-page benchmark, or a rather meaty benchmark page, the number is just too absurd otherwise. I've loaded slashdot on the XO-1's screaming 450mhz Geode plenty of times, and it turns in better numbers than that. I've also tried the original 600MHz celeron based EEEs(with el-cheapo 2gig flash disk, no less) and the browsing experience for anything but heavy flash was wholly unobjectionable.

Poor tests (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803817)

The VIA chip has built-in crypto accelerators and the idiots running the test pick something that doesn't use it! How about a with and without for comparison?

Re:Poor tests (1)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803927)

No doubt for all those wi-fi access points you'll be cracking on your Acer Netbook, right?

Re:Poor tests (2, Insightful)

eddy (18759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804115)

Or maybe for free (as in performance) whole-system disk encryption?

Unfortunately, 'reviewers' think it beneath them to actually do any work beyond running their standardized tests. I've tried to reason with some of them before. They'll just continue running their LAME-MT and non-padlock enabled truecrypt or whatever. I tell you though, with Intel finally having crypto primitives in their new instruction set, they'll have to adapt sooner or later. Just as soon as Intel provide the how-to and/or software for them to blindly follow.

Re:Poor tests (1)

ofc (311641) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804491)

The Nano has been available for a while now, but the (64-bit) Linux kernel still doesn't support the crypto accelerator and random number generator.
I recently bought a Nano based Jetway board and had add crypto and rng support myself. It's mostly working now, but I'm waiting for VIA documentation to do things the right way.

This just in... (4, Funny)

stephentyrone (664894) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803819)

Processor with markedly higher power draw achieves superior benchmark results. News at 11.

Re:This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806261)

HUGE miscalculation considering I have a netbook (asus 900a) with the Atom N270 processor and I'm running Virtualbox with Windows XP, along with viewing webpages rather easily on Firefox in Linux.

I'm going to guess microseconds or even milliseconds was meant... but by far it's laughable that anything would take that many seconds for simple html.

And that while benchmarks are skewed against it (5, Interesting)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803865)

PCMark 2005 has been shown to yield wildly varying results for the nano depending on which CPU ID (CentaurHauls, GenuineAMD, AuthenticIntel) it is being presented with: http://arstechnica.com/hardware/reviews/2008/07/atom-nano-review.ars/6 [arstechnica.com] . Not surprisingly, if PCMark is made to think it is an Intel CPU, the benchmarks suddenly jump up across the board. Intel money buys good benchmarks.

Is that really a win? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26803881)

It takes over a full minute to render a simple HTML file, and that's considered a win?

Re:Is that really a win? (5, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804151)

Not A HTML page, HTML pages . i-bench is a browser torture test discontinued in 2003 and the HTML dates back to 2001 so it's not too relevant to today's web where CSS and DOM dominate, not table based layouts.

Re:Is that really a win? (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804771)

Not A HTML page, HTML pages . i-bench is a browser torture test discontinued in 2003 and the HTML dates back to 2001 so it's not too relevant to today's web where CSS and DOM dominate, not table based layouts.

You, sir, need to be modded informative before another dozen "my netbook renders web pages in 2 seconds - they must be using Vista lolz" posts go up.

Now find one... (2, Insightful)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803895)

The real news here is that even with these numbers, VIA will manage to blow whatever opportunity they have to gain advantage on netbooks.

It'll either be overpriced, hard to obtain in quantity or both. VIA seems to have a bad habit of showing stuff that, while it isn't vaporware, it's not something you'll actually SEE short of a consumer electronics show somewhere.

Re:Now find one... (1)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804013)

Such are the joys of competing against a monopolist.

Intel Atom 330 turns the tables though (3, Informative)

Vigile (99919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803907)

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=664 [pcper.com]

The benchmarks for the new Atom 330, dual-core HyperThreaded CPU seem to turn the tides though.

The Nano has ALWAYS been a better CPU than the Atom but that doesn't seem to matter when it comes to the push that Intel has...

Re:Intel Atom 330 turns the tables though (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804459)

The benchmarks for the new Atom 330, dual-core HyperThreaded CPU seem to turn the tides though.

Atom 330 benchmarks have been out for months, and Intel is limiting it to desktops.

Re:Intel Atom 330 turns the tables though (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804871)

That's more because of TDP, I suspect.

Re:Intel Atom 330 turns the tables though (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805397)

And the dual-core Nano will turn the tides on it - except that, you can't buy dual-core Nanos.

Intel won with the Atom because they actually sold Atoms. I can't find Nanos anywhere! I've been looking for a whole year.

Re:Intel Atom 330 turns the tables though (1)

PayPaI (733999) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805463)

It should be noted that they are testing the Atom 330 with a nVidia GeForce 9400M chipset, which you cannot purchase today. The BOXD945GCLF2 motherboard with the Atom 330 (dual core) has the same 945GC chipset as the BOXD945GCLF motherboard that has the Atom 230 (single core), and that is the only dual core Atom cpu+chipset that you can purchase today.

132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803911)

"While the Atom needs 132.8 seconds to display simple HTML pages, the Nano does it in 70.1 seconds."

I was thinking of getting a netbook, but damn, not with that performance. Over 2 minutes? Is this a big miscalculation somehow?

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (2, Informative)

_avs_007 (459738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803989)

I don't know what the hell kind of webpage they were trying to display... I have an Acer Netbook with the Atom in it, running Windows 7. It renders slashdot, ars, and even facebook, within 3 seconds or so...

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (0)

Clueless Moron (548336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804251)

Ditto here (Acer Aspire One with XP, using a 1.6GHz Atom N270). About 3 seconds for slashdot.

If firefox is already cached, it starts up in only 3 seconds.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (4, Informative)

Atti K. (1169503) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804605)

The benchmark was obviously rendering lots of simple HTML pages, not just one.

"While the Atom needs 132.8 seconds to display simple HTML pages, the Nano does it in 70.1 seconds."

Whoosh?

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805193)

Better context of this statement from the article would help. Because obviously single page renders are darn snappy (atleast on my Dell Mini 9 + Ubuntu 8.10). Do we have exact details on what pages they were trying to render in sequence to back your claim?

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805283)

Obviously, my Netflix queue.

Clearly... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804019)

They were using Windows Vista.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (3, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804021)

No idea what the hell they're trying to render, but my netbook renders just about every page I visit at about the same speed as my desktop machine. If there's any difference, I don't notice it.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804399)

With the word 'pages' in there, I'm inclined to think they have a set of a pages they throw at it, probably picked to test a bunch of different types of elements to render or control for some other variable. The time is likely the aggregate time it takes to render all of the pages in total.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

_avs_007 (459738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804475)

If that's the case, then what's the point?

Doesn't matter if the atom did it in 130 seconds, because 70 seconds still sucks.

Whose going to be doing that in real life? That's like comparing which is faster at encoding h264. Doesn't matter what the results are, becuase it'll suck for both, and nobody will be doing this on a netbook in the first place.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804649)

The point is that there are error bars on the measurements. Maybe the atom renders a single page in 500ms and the via in 300ms. That's all well and good, but what if the processor was handling some other background task for one or the other during that time? The extra few ms makes a difference. So, instead they have each one render some 100+ pages in a row. Little anomalies like that get averaged out, so you get a better comparison between the two.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806045)

I do it in real life, on my netbook. I save Firefox sessions and open about thirty pages at once whenever I load the application. The main point of a netbook is as an internet appliance, yes? Why are you surprised to find that one of the benchmarks involves opening web pages?

For encoding video, you are probably correct: anyone who is doing that is unlikely to be using a netbook. However, your post reads like an argument against benchmarking these computers at all. Perhaps you should reconsider your statements.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26805689)

Needless to say: Porn website with 132 animated pictures.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804095)

I wondered that, too. even 70 seconds is way too long. And they are referring to "simple" HTML pages. Maybe they meant milliseconds.

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804365)

I'll also join in and say those numbers are just wrong. My Acer AspireOne renders all kinds of webpages with no noticeable difference from my desktop machine

Re:132 seconds to display simple HTML page? (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805209)

I'd also like to know what the hell they were testing it with.

I'm running Gentoo on my MSI Wind U90. It boots pretty damn quick (about as quick as my desktop, actually) runs smooth for all tasks.

WTF Test? (1)

Crashspeeder (1468723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803917)

There's data missing for the Atom in the wattage test to the 132 second HTML rendering, I'm not sure this test is anywhere near correct...for anything.

What kind of MONSTER HTML file are they throwing at these systems? Why put the Cinebench multi CPU benchmark up if it doesn't show any data at all except for the Pentium E5200 (the Atom is a single core CPU, why even run it?). And how is a Cinebench 64 bit test running on Vista 32 bit?

Re:WTF Test? (1)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804727)

They used iBench 5.0 [wikipedia.org] for the HTML rendering test. Its an out of date benchmark for testing HTML render speeds that doesn't really represent internet browsing as it is today.

I love VIA processors because I've had great experiences with them, but this particular "win" seems to have very little actual value to it.

Wait, what? (0)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26803937)

Okay, I didn't RTFA... 70 seconds to display a html page? As in one minute and ten point one seconds?

Err... Please tell me that I'm missing something here.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804085)

They are apparently trying to render an 80MB HTML file.

Re:Wait, what? (-1, Flamebait)

kisak (524062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804297)

The tests are done on Windows Vista. The test shows that the bloated Vista is in the "Stone Age" compared to efficient OS's like Linux.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804565)

Please tell me you're kidding and you aren't _that_ clueless regarding iBench.

Atom has almost enough compute for me (1, Interesting)

Francis (5885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26804189)

*Disclaimer: I work for Intel
*Disclaimer 2: I actually do software research for Intel, and I haven't a clue about anything to do with hardware or business

I have a little EEE pc with an Atom 1.6GHz - I'm actually find it does have enough compute for most of what I do.

I did a stopwatch test on my computer - it takes less than 45 seconds from pushing the power button to getting on the network and rendering a web page. I'm running WinXP, but people have reported significantly better numbers with Linux.

The only time where I find I'm wishing for more compute power is when I'm watching HD flash video. (like Hulu or Youtube in HD mode - I get dropped frames)

I believe this is because Flash is written really quite poorly, and the video rendering code isn't very good. If I download the video and play it with VLC or something, it plays smoothly.

This is really the only reason I want more compute power on my eee pc. I'm actually hoping silverlight takes off so I don't have this problem anymore.

Re:Atom has almost enough compute for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806131)

Same disclaimers for me, I'm at Intel, have nothing to do with hardware design or anything like that.

But this is a nonsensical comparison. They compare Intel's not-top-of-the-line DESKTOP Atom board to their NETBOOK board.

The desktop Atom is actually crippled with a pretty lousy chipset. Based on the old 945G, as opposed to the mobile Atom getting a new chipset based on some third-party's chipset. (Sorry, this shows how little I deal with Atom; I just don't remember what graphics chipset it is.)

And, of course, they don't compare it to the dual-core Atom.

"outperforms nehalem" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804457)

eh? Nowhere in that article does it come even close to the E5200 gimp cpu...

nehalem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26804683)

It's not in the review at all.

No Intel Idle Power usage?? (3, Interesting)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805003)

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/i/z5/rv/2009/01/netbooks_pwr.jpg [zdnet.co.uk]

Why doesn't Intel get scored on IDLE power consumption? Who cares about MAXIMUM when idle is the state that most of these netbooks will be in. wtf?

Re:No Intel Idle Power usage?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26806345)

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/i/z5/rv/2009/01/netbooks_pwr.jpg [zdnet.co.uk]

Why doesn't Intel get scored on IDLE power consumption? Who cares about MAXIMUM when idle is the state that most of these netbooks will be in. wtf?

I can tell you what the missing bar would look like: about 45 or 46W, 2-3W less than the full load measurement. ZDNet reviewed the D945GCFL Intel Atom desktop board, not an actual netbook. This is important: the D945GCFL is how Intel has found a way to sell an ancient chipset which uses far more power than the Atom CPU it's paired with. (If you've seen a picture of the board, you'll see one small fanless heatsink and one large one with a fan. The large one with a fan is for the chipset, not the CPU.)

Since that chipset's power draw doesn't vary much (it doesn't really have a low power mode), the CPU's swing of 4W between idle and full activity (the desktop version of the Atom is rated at just 4W TDP) doesn't make much difference in the total system power.

Nobody builds netbooks with that chipset because Intel has a much lower power chipset designed specifically for Atom netbooks. Any review which claims to compare the Atom and Nano for suitability as netbook processors and uses Intel's desktop Atom board as a basis for comparison is extremely suspect.

price, performance, low power, pick two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26805337)

price, performance, low power

pick two

the nano might have better performance, but it's way more expensive.

Re:price, performance, low power, pick two (1)

c7fanboy (1133369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805429)

Naa it is a cheap chip... The 1.6Ghz Desktop boards are much less than $100... The Samsung NC20 which uses the Nano is sub $500

Re:price, performance, low power, pick two (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26805669)

I'm pretty sure you can classify sub 500$ as quite expensive compared to sub 100$, so the point still stands.

left in the stone age? (5, Insightful)

cadu (876004) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805351)

"The benchmark concludes that in some ways all netbooks, underpowered as they are, remain in the IT stone ages."

i don't know what kind of netbooks they're talking about, all newer netbooks (with decent resolution like 1024x600+ and 1gb of ram with a intel atom or via nano) perform VERY well, you can play quake3 in those using the onboard intel chip at the netbook lcd's native resolution, you can install windows xp and use that normally or go the [better] linux way and have a fully capable machine for programming, fun , studies.....

i used to listen to mp3s while programming on my first linux box , and that was a pentium 166mhz with 64mb of ram.....kernel 2.2.dontknow, can you guys tell me where 1.6ghz of processor with usb/wifi/bluetooth/1gb of ram/3d accelerated graphics is stone age? i wonder why they allow this kind of bullshit to reach slashdot's front page T__T

Is it just me, or is this a really dumb article? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26805619)

So they compare the power consumption of _Netbook_ CPUs by comparing the power consumption of _Desktop_ motherboards running _Vista_, when every netbook I'm aware of runs XP or Linux and Intel is world-renowned for having tied the desktop Atom to an appallingly crappy, backward and power-hungry chipset?

Then we should be surprised that they discover that a CPU which takes far more power than the Atom gives better performance in tests which are probably single-threaded and hence not even using the Atom's CPU to its full capacity?

What browser are they using!! (2, Funny)

vosester (1163269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26806303)

"While the Atom needs 132.8 seconds to display simple HTML pages"

Good to see IE8 coming out of beta

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