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Intel Launches Next-Gen Atom N450 Processor

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the should-have-called-it-an-isotope dept.

Intel 165

MojoKid writes "Intel has unveiled its next-generation Atom N450 processor, and a review of the new Asus Eee PC 1005PE netbook that houses it shows decent gains in performance and lower power consumption. The Atom N450 has been re-architected similar to Intel's other notebook processors in that it now has an integrated memory controller and graphics core on the CPU itself. In addition, Intel's serial DMI (Direct Media Interface) now replaces the system bus to the Southbridge IO controller. From a performance standpoint, the Atom N450 single core chip offers a nice performance gain versus previous generation Atom CPUs and it appears Intel has dual-core variants of the chip on the horizon as well."

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So... (3, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512386)

Is the new integrated graphics core a descendant of intel's much maligned; but well supported in linux, GMA950 line, or is it another take on the HD-media-accelerating-but-dear-god-the-drivers-oh-why-does-it-hurt GMA500 stuff?

RTFA, please (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512464)

RTFA: "The graphics core is a basic DX9 instantiation that is a kin to Intel's GMA500 graphics core in the previous generation Intel 945G chipset"

Re:RTFA, please (3, Informative)

nxtw (866177) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512636)

RTFA: "The graphics core is a basic DX9 instantiation that is a kin to Intel's GMA500 graphics core in the previous generation Intel 945G chipset"

Makes no sense: the 945G and variants had a GMA 950.

Re:RTFA, please (2, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512742)

RTFA: "The graphics core is a basic DX9 instantiation that is a kin to Intel's GMA500 graphics core in the previous generation Intel 945G chipset"

I have a 945GM system whose graphics part is called GMA950. It uses the common opensource Intel drivers. On the contrary, GMA500 aka Poulsbo is the problematic one with closed drivers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_GMA [wikipedia.org]

Re:RTFA, please (2, Informative)

MarcQuadra (129430) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513506)

That doesn't make any sense. The 945 chipset uses the GMA950, the GMA500 is actually a totally-outsourced PowerVR chip. The 'native' Intel chips (i810 through G45) are all tatally supported by Intel's open-source drivers, the GMA500 is almost impossible to get working in Linux.

The new built-in N450, D410, and D510 graphics chips are based on the GMA3100, if I recall, they're even called 'GMA3150'. That means they're supported by open-source drivers (and possibly by Mac OS X!), but the performance is bad enough that even Google Earth will make you want to cry.

They really should have used the G45 series of graphics for these things, instead of the G33. They're -worlds- apart in functionality and performance.

Intel and Linux (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512484)

Intel has been tearing apart their Linux graphics stack and rewritting it for the future. For a while, that meant poor performance during the rewrite, but it really is getting better. Intel is really helping push DRI2, GEM, TTM, UXA, etc.

At least Intel does their development in the open. Didn't Intel also contribute code to Moblin to optimize Moblin performance on their hardware? I'd like to see some more general kernel enhancements for these processors. Any speed increase over Windows on the most common netbook processor is a huge win.

Chrome OS is already fast. If Intel can help make it faster when comparing it side-by-side to 7, it only helps Linux adoption on the whole.

I also have a small tangental question. I always hear about huge performance gains that can come from properly writing code to take advantage of SSE2,3,4,etc instruction sets. I also hear that almost no one does write code to take advantage of these instruction sets. If Intel really wants to push their hardware, why not write such optimizations for the Linux kernel?

Re:Intel and Linux (2, Informative)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512808)

I also have a small tangental question. I always hear about huge performance gains that can come from properly writing code to take advantage of SSE2,3,4,etc instruction sets. I also hear that almost no one does write code to take advantage of these instruction sets. If Intel really wants to push their hardware, why not write such optimizations for the Linux kernel?

The kernel doesn't do much CPU-bound processing. It is math and media libraries where these vector instructions would be actually useful. You can already have some of their advantages using a decent compiler. Basically, that means different binaries for processors with different capabilities, so your average binary distro is not going to have any fancy instructions. I suggest trying Gentoo if you actually want to use your modern CPU.

Re:Intel and Linux (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512900)

Wouldn't it be fair to assume anyone running a 64-bit distro has a procesor capableof SSE4 insturctions? Write the code to take advantage of these instruction sets, but only enable them on your 64-bit binaries then.

I'm no low level programmer, but I assume IO and CPU scheduling are math intensive enough. If SSE instructions really boost video encoding, what about encryption algorhythms, or file systems?

Re:Intel and Linux (2, Informative)

Virak (897071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513494)

The various SSE instruction sets provide SIMD instructions, which is an acronym for "single instruction, multiple data". As the name suggests, they allow you to perform operations on multiple pieces of data with a single instruction. SIMD is great for media applications, where you often have to do the same mathematical operations over and over again to lots of data at once, however pretty much all of the stuff that happens in a kernel is logic-heavy tasks that only deal with single pieces of data at a time, and thus can't really take advantage of these instructions in any way.

"Memory copy", cries the nit picker (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514494)

pretty much all of the stuff that happens in a kernel is logic-heavy tasks that only deal with single pieces of data at a time, and thus can't really take advantage of these instructions in any way.

There is one SSEx function which is useful for the kernel, namely, load/store of 128-bit registers for copying and moving memory around.

Re:Intel and Linux (2, Interesting)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513586)

Certainly not. No AMD CPUs prior to the Phenoms support SSE4.x; nor did any Intel chips prior to the 45nm switchover (later Core2 CPUs). MMX, i686, SSE, and SSE2 are the baseline for all AMD64-capable CPUs. Subsequent instruction sets have been added to various architectures in a willy-nilly fashion, and with varying levels of per-clock performance depending upon the chip being discussed. I can't really speak for the utility of putting SIMD code to work in non-multimedia related code, but it seems to be a trend across the board.

Re:Intel and Linux (1)

bfields (66644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513206)

Intel has been tearing apart their Linux graphics stack and rewritting it for the future. For a while, that meant poor performance during the rewrite, but it really is getting better.

As the original poster points out, none of this applies to the GMA500, which is supported by a different driver--a proprietary binary driver, and not a very well-maintained one at that, if reports are true.

Re:Intel and Linux (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512948)

Your post completely missed the original poster's point - the Intel GMA500 is a major outlier in terms of Linux support.

The GMA950 series is well supported by Linux (with the exception of the re-architecture issues that hurt Ubuntu 9.04 so badly).

The GMA500 is simply minimally supported in Linux and all indications state that it will stay this way. The GMA500 graphics core was outsourced to another company, as was driver development.

As to SSE2/3/4 - They only benefit for certain operation types. Most kernel ops won't benefit, and also, using SSE usually means hand-coding in assembler - compilers that generate good vector SIMD code are rare. The kernel developers tend to prefer to avoid hand-coded ASM whenever possible.

However, I do recall that RAID checksumming code and memcpy() were once implemented using MMX to improve them, so these sections might benefit from SSE (and might already do so.)

Re:Intel and Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514116)

Your post completely missed the original poster's point - the Intel GMA500 is a major outlier in terms of Linux support.

The GMA950 series is well supported by Linux (with the exception of the re-architecture issues that hurt Ubuntu 9.04 so badly).

The GMA500 is simply minimally supported in Linux and all indications state that it will stay this way. The GMA500 graphics core was outsourced to another company, as was driver development.

As to SSE2/3/4 - They only benefit for certain operation types. Most kernel ops won't benefit, and also, using SSE usually means hand-coding in assembler - compilers that generate good vector SIMD code are rare. The kernel developers tend to prefer to avoid hand-coded ASM whenever possible.

However, I do recall that RAID checksumming code and memcpy() were once implemented using MMX to improve them, so these sections might benefit from SSE (and might already do so.)

all kernel code is integer, i think most SSE instructions are float based.

Re:So... (2, Informative)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512556)

It is, supposedly, X3150, so basically the same part that's in G31. 3100/X3100? Anyway, seems it's "proper" Intel GMA, with good Linux support.

PS. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512856)

Wiki says it's 3150; from the in-house Intel line: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_GMA#GMA_3100 [wikipedia.org]

And we all know wiki doesn't lie...

Re:PS. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513964)

Goddamn, its Wikipedia, not just "wiki". You should understand the difference here in Slashdot.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513126)

The graphics core doesn't provide H.264 or VC1 acceleration.

Basically, it's worse than useless for HTPC use, or casual web surfing use in a netbook or nettop, especially now that Flash accelerates H.264 with hardware.

Oh, "net"book. Web Surfing. YouTube HD/etc. Arse.

Midnight Blue? (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512392)

(photo) Asus Eee PC 1005PE In Midnight Blue

What Midnight Blue? Oh, you mean underneath all those stickers? Seriously, why do non-Apple laptops always look like Nascar, erm, cars?

Re:Midnight Blue? (2, Interesting)

anss123 (985305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512510)

They get paid for the stickers. What annoy me more are the 1 million and 1 slightly different models; I would have preferred a slightly inferior but well supported (by the community as well as the company) model like the 700 was in the past.

Re:Midnight Blue? (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512586)

My guess is that it's a variety of factors:
  • Apple, having such a strong design culture, is the only manufacturer who realizes these stickers make your computer look cheap and stupid.
  • Apple's design culture is often about minimalism, and so they probably wouldn't put extra symbols or stickers on their computers even if it didn't look cheap and stupid.
  • Apple is just about the only laptop manufacturer who can't be bullied by Microsoft into putting any kind of "Microsoft certified" sticker on it.
  • Apple customers are less likely to be casual about their attachment to the brand. If you're a Dell customer, you might not think twice about buying an HP. If you're an Apple customer, buying an HP instead is a little more noteworthy. Therefore, they don't have to try to compete by advertising energy star compliance or the latest Intel chip. An awful lot of Apple customers couldn't care less about which Intel chip is in their computers.

There are probably more, but that's off the top of my head.

Re:Midnight Blue? (3, Interesting)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512982)

I just bought one of the new HP Envy laptop and was presently surprised at the lack of stickers. Its just an HP logo on the back, similar to apple. In fact, the entire thing pretty much was just ripped off from Apple - keyboard design, body construction, multi-touch mousepad, you name it. Even the packaging was slick and minimalist, just like an apple. (Pricier than a PC, but way more bang for your buck than a similarly priced macbook pro). And no, not a window's certified sticker in sight - oh snap, maybe its not actually windows certified!!!!

Re:Midnight Blue? (2, Interesting)

instantkamera (919463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513444)

I just checked the HP Envy out, it is EXACTLY like a macbook. They didnt even try to hide it.
Still, I applaud the rip-off. It shows, at the very least, that they understand how ugly the rest of their lineup is.
The guy who said "NASCAR" was right on the money. No other term quite embodies the black-hole-of-suck that is PC laptop design.

Re:Midnight Blue? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513520)

* PC customers are capable of removing the the stickers.

Re:Midnight Blue? (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512600)

Stickers can be always removed...what's really frustrating is that many otherwise fine laptops come in glossy finish.

That might look good on an equipment which sits on the shelf in your house...or in shop. But terrible for something which is meant to be routinely touched by hands and kept in usual bag with other stuff.

Guess it just shows that such manufacturers care more about how it looks in shop...

Re:Midnight Blue? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512972)

ASUS isn't too bad in this regard as a lot of their other eee's are done in a matte finish.

Re:Midnight Blue? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512994)

Because unlike pretentious Apple fanboys, most people care more about a computer being cost effective and able to do what is needed. Its the reason why PCs and not Macs own most of the market.

Re:Midnight Blue? (3, Insightful)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513346)

Because unlike pretentious Apple fanboys, most people care more about a computer being cost effective and able to do what is needed. Its the reason why PCs and not Macs own most of the market.

Why does cost-effective, capable hardware imply a need for a billion stickers on the casing?

Re:Midnight Blue? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513638)

Because they probably get a discount for some of the stickers. (That's certainly why they put bloatware on there - the bloat developers pay the computer manufacturers to bundle it.)

Re:Midnight Blue? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514118)

Because they probably get a discount for some of the stickers.

Well, sure, but go up three posts in this thread and it looks more like AC is arguing that the stickers make it go faster... :) The stickers, by themselves, do not make the machine better. I think there's a fair case that they make the machine worse, at least until they are removed.

Re:Midnight Blue? (4, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513264)

Once you have removed the stickers, you are often left with difficult to remove adhesive gunk on the laptop. An easy way of removing the gunk without damaging or scratching the surface is to spray a little silicone based lubricant in the area and wipe with a paper towel. It quickly wipes off and the silicone lubricant won't damage plastic like petroleum based lubricants (like WD-40) sometimes do.

Re:Midnight Blue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513854)

WD-40 is not a lubricant

Re:Midnight Blue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514136)

then why is the very first listed application on the can that I have, "LUBRICATES: moving parts such as: * Hinges * Wheels * Rollers * Chains * Gears"?

Re:Midnight Blue? (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514310)

Because they want the sales?

I used to work in bicycle shops doing repair and sales. We *never* sold WD-40, and always recommended against it's use ( at least as a chain oil ). It was not very good for that. Technically, it may be a lubricant, but it is not a very good one. It was designed to displace water ( WD - Water Displacer ). It you want something like a penetrating oil, something to drive out water, to clean, WD-40 is probably very good at those. Light lubrication? Maybe. I wouldn't, myself.

Re:Midnight Blue? (2, Informative)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514398)

I prefer orange oil based cleaners. They are often marketed as label or gum removers.
Not only do they smell good, they also don't damage plastics. Oh and they're also a great insecticide and will keep ants away because all insects hate the smell - after all the oil is the oranges' natural defense.

Still chokes on flash? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512398)

Intel and Adobe both have completely dropped the ball, but right now it's Intel that's in trouble. The only "netbook" I know that can handle fullscreen flash is the LT3013u; At 12" and $350 it hits the price point okay but misses size. Still, it's at least got a 720p display, which means it has to do more than most of the competition to even break even — it does better than that.

Re:Still chokes on flash? (3, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512422)

If you think Flash sucks on Windows then obviously you've never seen it run on Mac OS X. Adobe is a complete disgrace on that OS.

Re:Still chokes on flash? (3)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512472)

If you think Flash sucks on Windows then obviously you've never seen it run on Mac OS X. Adobe is a complete disgrace on that OS.

That's okay, I can experience how much it blows on Linux. Using the 32 bit flash for Linux in a 32 bit firefox or in 64 bit firefox with a little help, on my Athlon 64 X2 4000+, was about like using it on my Acer Aspire D250 (1.6GHz Atom, old type.) Using the 64 bit flash on that machine was more like using it on a 1.4 GHz Thunderbird or something. Now I have a Phenom II 720 and I can just barely watch fullscreen flash video, and flash games perform worse than a Core Duo T2600 with Windows XP. Adobe hates Linux as much as they hate Mac OS.

Re:Still chokes on flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513034)

Why would anyone run a browser in 64bit mode?

Re:Still chokes on flash? (3, Funny)

Big Boss (7354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513116)

Doesn't Firefox need more than 4GB these days?? :D

Re:Still chokes on flash? (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514442)

The latest versions aren't too bad. I've never seen more thna 1GB even with many windows and tabs open.
On 3.1 I have seen over 2GB.

Re:Still chokes on flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513154)

I certainly do, especially since the 64-bit Flash plugin is stable on the distro I use. The day I can disable multilib is the day that I can reduce wasted hard disk space.

Re:Still chokes on flash? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513450)

Why would anyone run a browser in 64bit mode?

Why not?

I don't have a good reason, personally, for my decision to run 64-bit versions of any software I use, if it's available. I made the switch to the AMD64 platform rather late (last 2008) - by which time a lot of the problems had already been solved. I've never had to run the 32-bit Flash plugin on my 64-bit processor, for instance.

I don't know if there's any practical benefit to running a 64-bit build of the Browser... Running a 32-bit build on a 64-bit kernel would get me 4GiB of virtual memory space for the process - do I actually need more than that? I couldn't tell you. And is the cost of a 64-bit build (64-bit integers and pointers everywhere, larger instructions as well I suppose) significant? Again, couldn't say. I run a 64-bit build because I want to run a pure 64-bit system, that's all, really.

Re:Still chokes on flash? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512496)

If you think Flash sucks on Mac OS X then obviously you've never seen it run in Linux. Adobe is a complete disgrace on that OS.

Re:Still chokes on flash? (2, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513334)

On the other hand Flash Player for linux is the only x64 flash player out there.

Re:Still chokes on flash? (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514192)

I installed Flash through the website with the "Ubuntu Partners Channel" on 9.10 and it was really easy. The partners channel looks like just another apt source. It'll be interesting to see if upgrades "just work".

Re:Still chokes on flash? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512624)

Yeah well that's because of the famous superior graphical capabilities of Apple... Flash just can't keep up with it!!!

Re:Still chokes on flash? (5, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512486)

Have you ever even considered that the problem isn't the hardware, but the [lousy, crappy pile of rancid sheep dip] software known as "Flash"?

Re:Still chokes on flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512582)

Intel and Adobe both have completely dropped the ball, but right now it's Intel that's in trouble. The only "netbook" I know that can handle fullscreen flash is the LT3013u; At 12" and $350 it hits the price point okay but misses size. Still, it's at least got a 720p display, which means it has to do more than most of the competition to even break even -- it does better than that.

Thankfully Adobe has finally started working on hardware acceleration for their Flash video decoding. Check out the 10.1 betas to see how it's coming along. Still a ways to go, but it's a hell of a lot better than it's been.

Finally proper platform (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512410)

Now only few other pieces of the puzzle in the quest for ultimate ultraportable.

Pixel Qi screen, for even longer battery life and legibility in sunlight.

With lower temps & power draw of Pinetrail it might be also possible for netbooks to become routinely cooled passively.

Also just for me and other faithful...uhm...clit ;p (plus preferably as close in overall form to original Lenovo S10 as possible, it was actually very nice) Can't help it, playing Diablo2 in a cathedral during organ concert, on a cemetery on 1 XI night (it looks like this here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wszystkich_swietych_cmentarz.jpg [wikimedia.org] ) and in a train while sitting next to some nuns are things I simply must do. And with touchpad that's not really possible.

Re:Finally proper platform (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512546)

Clits have been deprecated because they wear out. They just can't take any abuse whatosever and you're always having to buy replacement covers for them. The glidepad, on the other hand, is only hard on your fingerprint, and those are a liability anyway. :)

I've actually done a bit of point and click gaming with a glidepad, it's not too bad. A FPS, on the other hand, is basically a gigantic fail. If not a mouse, I need a trackball [logitech.com] for that. I had the original marble, whose ergonomics better suited my bear paws, but the trackman wheel is pretty amazing. I've used mine resting on my leg while sitting on the couch, and it's quite workable in that configuration. Don't put it on the seat next to you though, you'll fuck up your wrist.

(OT: Trackman marble gaming) (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513306)

I had the original marble

I had a Trackman Marble FX... (the one with the rather large ball).
Man I kicked ass in Quake 2 CTF with that thing. Unlike a mouse, it's easy to hold it perfectly still even with huge gain (high mouse speed setting), and then adjust aim with a slight strafe. Makes for good railgunnery. You know you are doing something right when people start calling you a bot. :->

Re:Finally proper platform (2, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513892)

Clits have been deprecated because they wear out. They just can't take any abuse what so ever...

Just because your girlfriend isn't into S&M.

meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512462)

For 2 years now I've been reading that ARM netbooks with awesome battery lifes are just around the corner.

So, where are they? Newegg lists exactly *zero* of them. No local store in my entire city of 500K people has a single one - I have called around to verify this. Not one!

I'm aware of the "alwaysinnovating" thing, but for various reasons I don't like it, and anyway it's just a beagleboard.

Where are the dozens of choices in different configurations that were supposed to hit the market? First we heard Q408. Then we hear Q409. Well, Q409 is about over... At some point I'll give up and just buy a damn Atom based one.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512566)

Microsoft seem to have been quietly killing them off, since unlike the Atom ones they can't run Windows. Some of the usual suspects had prototypes which were rapidly yanked.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512758)

At the moment, available arm processors are still behind the atom in performance by a fairly large margin, and ahead in power consumption by a similar margin. The current top of the line arm chip is the cortex-a8 used in the beagle board and gumstix systems-on-a-chip. When dual core and quad core arm cortex-a9 processors become available, that might change.

We are currently in the "roll your own" stage of development for arm machines.

Buy a beagle board or a gumstix, attach it to an lcd, mini keyboard and battery, now install one of the handful of linux operating systems available for it and you have an arm netbook.

http://beagleboard.org/ [beagleboard.org]

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513058)

Correction, the top of the line is currently the Snap Dragon.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513314)

I see it stated by wikipedia "The Snapdragon application processor core is called Scorpion and is similar to the ARM Cortex-A8 core."

However, I also see that snapdragon is powering windows mobile phones. This means that it can not be an ARM chip as windows mobile will not run on ARM chips.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

bflong (107195) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513364)

Windows *mobile* runs on ARM cpus.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513384)

On further investigation, looks like WinMo can run on an arm. But I still can't find any official word that snapdragon is ARM.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (2, Insightful)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513694)

Dude you are being an idiot.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snapdragon_(processor) [wikipedia.org]
First line:
"Snapdragon is a name of an architecture of a family of chipsets with an ARM-based CPU."

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513832)

No, I just am not taking wikipedia as truth. It isn't a valid source for research and nowhere does it state what ARM architecture it uses. Qualcoms snapdragon page does not state that snapdragon is an ARM cpu. I have found a grand total of one blog article, in reference to an Asus snapdragon eePC that was only shown for one day that even mentions ARM in association with snapdragon, and that article is also filled with innuendo that microsoft forced Asus to withdraw the netbook.

If you have some real references, please do show them. I welcome it, I really do.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (3, Informative)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514086)

Fine:
http://www.arm.com/markets/embedded_solutions/armpp/25333.html [arm.com]

Doesn't take much looking.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513242)

Buy a beagle board or a gumstix, attach it to an lcd, mini keyboard and battery, now install one of the handful of linux operating systems available for it and you have an arm netbook.

Right... that'll go over big with the general public, so I'm sure to see that kit available at newegg and bestbuy any day now.

Point is, there was headline after headline proclaiming that 2009 was going to be the year of the ARM netbook, and by 2012 that 20 or 30% of the entire netbook market would be ARM based. That simply isn't going to happen if the answer is "buy your own components, get yourself a CNC milling machine and design a case for them, and fashion your own netbook".

People are always quick to blame MS and Intel, but the problem is more that their competitors keep dropping the ball.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513778)

Buy a beagle board or a gumstix, attach it to an lcd, mini keyboard and battery, now install one of the handful of linux operating systems available for it and you have an arm netbook.

Right... that'll go over big with the general public, so I'm sure to see that kit available at newegg and bestbuy any day now.

Wait, that's your complaint? Not that building and setting up your own machine would be a pain in the ass, but just that the kit wouldn't be popular with the general population, and wouldn't be available on Newegg?

Point is, there was headline after headline proclaiming that 2009 was going to be the year of the ARM netbook, and by 2012 that 20 or 30% of the entire netbook market would be ARM based. That simply isn't going to happen if the answer is "buy your own components, get yourself a CNC milling machine and design a case for them, and fashion your own netbook".

People are always quick to blame MS and Intel, but the problem is more that their competitors keep dropping the ball.

Well, really, building your own ARM netbook isn't the answer to ARM netbooks being "the next big thing". It does sound like a fun project, actually (I think I'd start with an old EEE case or something) but, yeah, I really don't think a build-your-own-ARM-netbook would make for a successful popular platform...

But that's the other big problem with ARM netbooks: binary compatibility. People generally want IA-32 compatibility (whether they immediately realize it or not) - and a lot of people want to run Windows or Mac OS X and their usual collection of applications. This is the basic pattern we saw with the second round of EEEs and such - there were the Linux versions that could do a bunch of stuff, had a good web browser and Open Office and so on, but to a lot of people these machines were worth more if they were running Windows. I think when people saw that netbooks could be used as ordinary laptops, that's what they wanted. From a Windows user's perspective, a Windows netbook is more useful than a Linux netbook because the Windows netbook can do everything the Linux netbook can, plus it can run Windows software. Now, going back to the ARM netbook thing - going to an ARM processor, one burns that bridge. Such a machine would presently be doomed to be forever surrounded with warnings and caveats. "This is a nice machine, but you can never ever run Windows on it, it won't work." If this machine is on a shelf next to a machine with an IA-32 processor, the IA-32 machine has a distinct advantage. From most people's perspective, there's something that IA-32 machine can do that the ARM can't: It can run all their IA-32 software. Even running Linux, there are a few pieces of software I use that are specifically IA-32... Hardware drivers and WINE are the main examples. This is why my lovely G4 powerbook is gathering dust instead of running Linux - it would have been a pretty feeble Linux environment, not having decent drivers for the video chipset or the wireless card...

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514312)

Binary compatibility is a non-issue if your free of Windows. I'm happy with my SheavaPlug. Be happier still when I can have a decent ARM netbook. I don't need Windows, Wine or not. The idea of a virtual machine Wine client with native Wine server interests me, but only technically.

Re:meanwhile, where are the ARMs? (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513868)

Atom is ahead in performance, no denying that, but it's not clean cut as it's not by much and it is hard to compare as they eat instructions very differently. But just to be clear, the ARM is much further ahead when it comes to low power consumption and cost. If you free of Windows you are free of x86, then you are free to balance power consumption, cost and performance, which means ARM or MIPS win every time. In fact you could cheat, and fit multiple ARM cores and come out on top with performance whilst still coming out on top with cost and power consumption. That's how big a difference we are talking.

Re-Architecting English (3, Funny)

dwm (151474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512474)

The Atom N450 has been re-architected ...

Wow -- I guess it was waaaaay too advanced to merely be "re-designed".

Re:Re-Architecting English (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513110)

Yes, the architecture changed: No more FSB, which also means no more alternative chipsets. The only chipset available for the new Atoms is Intel's one-chip NM-10. Other changes are not really architectural changes but would not have been possible without the abandonment of the FSB architecture: The analog video output is limited to 1440x1050 and the LVDS port for the LCD only drives up to 1366x768. Intel would not have dared crippling the chip so seriously if manufacturers could circumvent it by using a different chipset and a separate graphics core.

Re:Re-Architecting English (2, Funny)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513588)

They're just trying to be more precise. Doing so incentivizes brand awareness action-takers with post-current paradigms and forward-looking product models. A mere "re-design" would incorporate less-than-best-practice message exposure methodologies whereas a "re-architect" or architecture secondary optimization message distribution implies ground-up re-envisioning.

Not impressed (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512480)

This would be a whole lot more interesting if Intel didn't have a pretty solid track record of producing some of the worst GPUs on the market. Perhaps the performance and power gains are more than I'm expecting, but from my perspective this seems like a pretty transparent move to cut Nvidia out of the netbook chipset market, and consequently cut down on consumer options on how they want to configure these types of machines as well.

Who actually needs this? (5, Insightful)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512520)

If you'd ask me: it's still a slow piece of crap that has no particular place in the market if it weren't for (consumer) Microsoft Windows being x86-only, and now it's even worse than the original Atom since you get a crappy Intel GPU for free.

In the low-power segment: you are still better of with an ARM chip if you don't need Windows (it consumes less power), another x86 SoC if you absolutely need Windows but don't need anything else (which also consume less power) or a Via Nano if you are a consumer who likes Windows a lot but only do a little browsing and email (they are faster and comparable in terms of power consumption).

In the HTPC/Media center segment: the Atom + Nvidia ION platform was great, low-power/low-performance CPU with a GPU that does all the video decoding and OpenGL. Now you get an Intel GPU that is *still* not able to do full video-pipeline accelerated GPU decoding. Better get yourself an old Atom, or hopefully in the future a Via Nano + decent GPU.

In the Netbook segment: with the performance of the original Atom being nothing but abysmal unless you only use Notepad, you really want a Celeron ULV anyway. It's a much better design, in a whole different performance class than the Atom, and you don't get any of the stupid restrictions Intel puts on using the Atom.

In the embedded segment: you don't need x86 compatibility at all, so ARM would be your 1st choice.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I really don't see the point of a crippled and slow x86 CPU with a design based on 10-year old technology, which is forcibly coupled to an IGP that isn't able doing much more than rendering your desktop...

Re:Who actually needs this? (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512702)

I agree 100%. Atom processors are a combination of stuff that I don't want. Too slow to do anything. So who cares about battery life.

Re:Who actually needs this? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513906)

I agree 100%. Atom processors are a combination of stuff that I don't want. Too slow to do anything. So who cares about battery life.

A fast processor is useless if you haven't got power to run it... The really nice thing about my EEE is I can take it places - it's light enough to comfortably carry it around, and it's got enough power that I can get several hours of use out of it... Like 4-5 hours of actual usage, compared to the three or so I could get with my Powerbook - doesn't sound like much but in practice it's a big difference.

It is too slow to do a fair number of things - for instance, Youtube and Hulu (i.e. Flash video) playback is poor, and combined with the weak-ass GPU it's not much good for games or real-time 3-D animation. But it's good for web browsing, and it's powerful enough for most of what I want to do with it - playing video, running Blender, running gEDA PCB, writing code and so on.

Re:Who actually needs this? (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514030)

Yeah but there is a middle ground between Atom and the fastest Core2 you can put into a 'laptop'. You can get low power fast processors and get 4-5 hours of battery easily.

Look at the X200S by lenovo.

Re:Who actually needs this? (2, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513140)

They're cheap, that's the point behind them.

Also, it seems like ION will still be usable, but in a slightly revised form for the Pinetrails.

Don't exaggerate, the Atom isn't THAT bad.

Re:Who actually needs this? (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513762)

The only way I can see Ion working is if it's treated like any other discrete GPU - attached via PCIe, and overriding the integrated graphics.

That's not exactly cheap.

Re:Who actually needs this? (2, Interesting)

b0bby (201198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514142)

I have read that there's also the possibility of adding a Broadcom decoder chip to offload the work of video decoding, which might allow 1080p video while keeping power consumption low. That's what I'd like to see in my next netbook.

Did you bother reading the article? (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513274)

Look again at the bit where it says "battery life"....

In the real world outside Slashdot not everybody is hung up on their 3dMark scores. In fact very few people are, judging by the fact that Intel GPUs outsell both NVIDIA and ATI combined.

Re:Who actually needs this? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513516)

Its quite refreshing to read someone who admits they may be missing something. For most uses the advantages of an integrated GPU (i.e. lower cost, less power, improved reliability, etc) outweigh any performance reduction. Highly compressed mp3 music is very popular despite alternative formats with better fidelity. It is the good enough syndrome. A Mazda has good enough acceleration; you don't need a Corvette. Or to put in another way, the second five hour battery operating hours in a notebook is worth far less than the first five hours.
Don't choose marketing as a career.

Re:Who actually needs this? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513738)

I think Intel is crippling it to keep from killing higher margin notebook sales.
From AnandTech
"The integrated GMA 3150 graphics hasn’t been used by Intel before, it’s a 45nm shrink of the GMA 3100. It’s technically a DX9 GPU running at 400MHz, however as you’ll soon see - you can’t really play any games on this platform. The GPU only offers hardware acceleration for MPEG-2 video, H.264 and VC-1 aren’t accelerated."

No H.264 or VC-1 hardware support means poor performance.
Then add this.
"Max output resolution is also limited. The best you can get over a digital connection (HDMI/DVI) is 1366 x 768, over analog VGA you can do 2048 x 1536 (only 1400 x 1050 on the N450). It’s a curious coincidence, Poulsbo also had a 1366 x 768 digital output limitation. "
What??? No 1080p support over HDMI?
Well so much for a media PC.

AMD/ATI or Via+Nvidia really need to start pushing Intel in this market. I would love to see a good ARM solution because I do think it is a better platform for Netbooks and Nettops than Intel. The big problem is getting full Flash performance out of it and that is only a software issue.

I knew I should have waited! (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512522)

Doh! What can you do? I guess I'll just have to wait until I kill this netbook thingy before I upgrade to the delectable do-hickey, with the whatchamacallit... Oh and the thingy-majig... Gotta go spend money... Need new netbook... Mmm.

Re:I knew I should have waited! (2, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513288)

If you buy this one there's another one waiting in the wings to piss you off after you buy it.

Netbook question (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512584)

I'm starting my next term in university and were going to use a program called Orcad to do PCB layout and design and Matlab. Now I'm pretty sure that Matlab would be to much for a netbook but what about PCB design? does any one know if you could use a program like Orcad on a netbook. By far the biggest power horse of a program is Matlab but it's best saved for my desktop anyway.

Re:Netbook question (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512732)

Try a 12" Nano based netbook for Lenovo. It rung Designer with no problems.

Re:Netbook question (1)

phil-trick (24853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512738)

If you want to do PCB design, do yourself a favour and get a display with a minimum resolution of 1280x800.

You need the vertical space for layouts and design. If you can get a higher resolution display, go for it, as it makes it WAAAAY easier for design.

Also, see if you can borrow a netbook from someone to try for a few days. I find them infuriatingly sluggish, even with a fresh install of Windows XP or linux.

You can get good value laptops now for not a huge amount more money than a netbook.

If you have to go for a netbook, get an nVidia ion based netbook, preferably with a dual core atom, like the N330, as you will see way better performance from it.

Phil

Re:Netbook question (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513490)

Thanks for the info, no I don't need a netbook I was just wondering if it would work. I have to use Windows on the book. Which sucks because personally I hate windows because it doesn't have the preformance I like or want but I can make due

Re:Netbook question (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514158)

You want as much screen real estate as you can get. These tiny "LCD watch" resolution screens suck for any real-world work. Sure a netbook can be handy for travel, but for serious tasks like PCB design, you want pixels, and more than a thimble-full. I do PCB design with protel (altium or whatever protel turned into), and I do it at 1920x1200 and I would love twice that. You don't want to stare at the world through a toilet paper tube.

Sheldon

"decent gains"? (1, Troll)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512720)

So, I assume performance-wise this mean going from the equivalent of a 700 MHz P3 to a 1 GHz P3.

Sorry, but truth be told, the balance of performance and power consumption right now favors using the Pentium Dual Cores. The Atom is a niche product that works best with stuff like cash registers.

MEET THE NEW ATOM !! SAME AS THE OLD ATOM !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512774)

I believe The Who did that one already.

Power use? (1)

MSG (12810) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513240)

That all sounds nice, but have they built a system that draws less power than a comparable Athlon 64 system?

Re:Power use? (3, Informative)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514106)

Even the original Atoms used less power than the most power-efficient single-core AMD platform.

Platform TDP for the Yukon platform (RS690E northbridge, SB600 southbridge) ranges from 19 watts with a 1 GHz Sempron, to 26 for a 1.6 GHz Athlon. (29 for a dual-core 1.6 GHz Turion.) The most efficient Athlon-based Yukon is 1.2 GHz, and platform power consumption is 24 watts.

Platform TDP for the typical N270+945GSE+ICH7M is 11.8 watts, N450+NM10 is 7 watts. Granted, the Yukon stuff doesn't really compete with the Atom, it competes with Intel CULV.

CULV has a 14.5 watt chipset (GS45, ICH9M) TDP, add 5.5 watts for single-core, 10 watts for dual-core CPUs.

Oh, and I'll toss the VIA Nano in, it fits somewhere between the Atom and the CULV and Yukon platforms in performance.

The fastest current Nanos for netbooks are the U2225 and U2250, both at 1.3 GHz (the U2250 is at "1.3+ GHz") and 8 W TDP. (IIRC, though, the Nano is significantly faster than Atom.) The matching VX800U chipset has a 3.5 W TDP, so 11.5 W total platform TDP - less than the old Atom platform.

The upcoming U3200 is at 1.4 GHz (and even faster than the clockspeed implies, apparently,) possibly 5 W TDP, and 2.3 W for the VX855, so 7.3 W platform TDP.

I'm still waiting for a 1024x768 screen (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513328)

Who cares about the CPU? Gimme more pixels, preferably non-glossy.

Have people still not figured out that the glossy screens are crap ... or does the magpie syndrome still dominate purchasing decisions?

Re:I'm still waiting for a 1024x768 screen (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514132)

Widescreen makes sense for form factor reasons, too, so don't expect 1024x768 any time soon. 1280x720 and 1366x768, that's slowly starting to appear.

As for glossy screens, they're cheaper, and the margins are so slim on these things that I doubt you're going to see matte unless it's a "high-end" netbook (or just a straight-up CULV machine.)

Linux Back in the Netbooks? (2, Interesting)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513540)

So do we finally get Linux and Unix distros back in the netbooks instead of XP? Oh God do I hope so.

Nice perfomance gain ... but only in certain areas (1)

thesandbender (911391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513614)

Read the review carefully. While memory performance improved substantially, cpu multimedia gains were marginal and integer performance actually degrade (although just a hair).

The platform is not meant to be a processing powerhouse but to say it showed "a nice performance gain" (implying overall) is a little misleading.

historically it went like this! (2, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513774)

asus: we have a great new product called the 'netbook' that will revolutionize the way people use laptops, and it runs linux!

Microsoft: we can fix that.

asus: oh...well, it still revolutionizes the way people connect to the internet and some day it will support googles os!

intel: we can fix that...

WOW sounds like just like an AMD chip (1)

justdrew (706141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514504)

way to innovate intel. err. I guess I mean shamelessly copy. To hell with intel, down with monopolist chip makers.
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