Via Nano kicks Intel Atom's ass in tests

Planning to use Atom for a desktop computer? Get real. HardOCP pitted new low-power chips from Intel and Via in battle, and the latter's Nano outperformed Atom by up to 28 percent under synthetic benchmarks, 37 percent on DivX encoding, 59 percent on MP3 encoding, and attained at least marginal superiority in every single benchmark run. Gamers, particularly, should note that it got almost double the frame rate in Quake 4, though neither impressed on the graphics front – at least using the integrated video included on each CPU's respective Mini-ITX motherboards. HotHardware got similar results. While Atom was never intended for such heavy use, the amazing part is that Nano's gains are made on just 8 watts difference in power consumption under load, 53W to 45W. Furthermore, the Nano had lower consumption when idle. These figures apply only to desktop-style use (the Atom's forte will be in handheld devices under much different circumstances) but should put the brakes on those planning to use Intel's platform for an everyday-computing application. From Kyle Bennett's conclusion:
I did not expect the Intel Atom to take such an overall beating. ... I have spent a good week or so using both the Atom and Nano in a Windows Vista 32-bit environment, and I can tell you now that I never want to be subjected to Atom on the desktop again.
Via's onto a good thing, it seems: the Nano is pin-compatible with its earlier C7 series, meaning equipment makers can use their old chipsets and motherboards with the new CPU while tooling updated replacements. Now all it requires is a theme tune. Atom vs Nano [HardOCP]

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4 Responses to Via Nano kicks Intel Atom's ass in tests

  1. royaltrux says:

    #2 said it all. The A.T. article reminds us more than once that the comparison is not entirely fair and the two chips are intended for somewhat different markets/applications.

  2. Zed says:

    The comparison is between Atom + a 945GC chipset vs. Nano + a CN896 chipset. The 945GC chipset is more power-hungry than the Atom itself.

    I’d be interested in seeing another comparison with an Atom + US15 chipset.

  3. strider_mt2k says:

    I read Ars Technica’s article on this as well and I’ve found the comparisons of these two CPS to be pretty interesting.

    I’ve been keen on getting a “netbook” from Dell, and it’s cool knowing what to expect from the Atom.
    My guess is that lighter-weight OSs will do better at basic tasks with either platform.

    Funny thing about VIA.
    I was never a big fan, but I do recall seeing many computer setups over the years featuring their chips.
    While they may not have been performance machines, invariably each was in an application where it had been performing reliably for a number of years.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Ars Technica article is well written – and refrains from the ‘Kicks Ass’ style polarised interpretation of the results. Definately worth reading – though like one Slashdot commenter, I agree that the 2nd generation of this power friendly platform will be where it gets interesting.

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