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Via Launches 'Nano 3000' Atom Rival

Gordon Kelly


Via Launches 'Nano 3000' Atom Rival

Could Via's newest Nanos finally challenge the dominance of the (rubbish) Intel Atom?

The company has announced the 'Nano 3000 Series', a range it boasts will perform up to 42 per cent faster than identically clocked Atoms in PC Mark (34.5 per cent in Cinebench R10) and playback 1080p HD video thanks to its Chrome9 HC3 graphics chip. Throw in a 64bit base and 20 per cent less power consumption than the original Nano (2000 series) and things look rosy.

"With the VIA Nano 3000 Series, we are launching our fastest and most power-efficient processors yet," said Via Technology marketing VP Richard Brown. "Coupled with our market-leading digital media chipsets, they enable the richest experience across a broad range of mobile and all-in-one system designs."

The problem with all this is CPU Land is a ferocious and fast moving place and trouble lies ahead. For a start, the 3000 Series is actually just a evolution of the Nano 2000 with the identical 65nm fabrication process, 800MHz FSB, 1MB L2 cache and it remains single core. In fact, the improvements are primarily SSE4 Instruction support and a new 2GHz maximum clock speed. Secondly, Via is pushing for mass distribution in Q1 2010 which is when we'll see next gen Atoms, which themselves are being increasingly fed upon by Intel's CULV platform.

So with the Nano 3000 series Via has indeed moved the standard on in comparison to the current Atom. The problem is the competition looks ready to move on again...

In related news Apple has continued its po-faced policy of locking its software from non-Apple hardware by removing support for the Intel Atom CPU in its Mac OS X 10.6.2 update. The move is an attempt to kill off the hugely popular 'hackintosh' practice of installing OS X on netbooks. Thanks Apple, we can't all afford (or want?) a Macbook Air.

Then again, with Windows 7, do we even want Snow Leopard?


Press Release

Nicholas Name

November 4, 2009, 1:46 pm

@ Gordon, "the (rubbish) Intel Atom?" = stupid comment.

If you extract your head from your arse and have a look around you, you might notice that rather a lot of people have invested in atom-powered technology. They are not stupid and do not regret their purchases (exceptions to every rule accepted). The reason is that for the vast majority of pc users the atom is the perfect compromise. Most computer users do not need to transcode multiple dvds, watch hd content or play games - some of us are grown ups. The atom offers all the power most of us need to run our OSs and applications whilst costing very little and using minimal energy. It is a technology that should be lauded and applauded - as it was by TR on its introduction (and it is no less relevant today).


November 4, 2009, 2:33 pm

I hope all Intel concentrates on is getting more power effeniency out of this great CPU.

I agree with everything Nicholas said.


November 4, 2009, 2:47 pm

@ Nicholas

I've just bought a Vaio X series with the 2GHz Atom chip. Runs perfectly fine! Considering the notebook is designed for stamina & portability the CPU is more than adequate.


November 4, 2009, 6:15 pm

"Could Via's newest Nanos finally challenge the dominance of the (rubbish) Intel Atom?"

"Then again, with Windows 7, do we even want Snow Leopard?"

Wow. Are we in a particularly combative mood today? ;)

Francesco Mastellone

November 4, 2009, 6:44 pm

...And with Ubuntu 9.10, do we even want Windows 7?


November 4, 2009, 8:31 pm

@Francesco: And with Ubuntu 9.10, do we even want Windows 7?



November 4, 2009, 8:41 pm

@ Francesco Mastellone

With Windows 7, do people really need anything else?


November 4, 2009, 8:53 pm


See you in a couple of months when Windows 7 has it's crippling service packs & DRM's injected.. :) <BangHeadAgainstWall> How many version of windows does M$ have to produce before people can spot the pattern. </BangHeadAgainstWall>


November 4, 2009, 10:06 pm

@Nicholas Name - it's called opinions, you can have yours and I have can mine. Of course I'm right. After all, even Intel execs have commented that they wouldn't use an Atom in their own machines.

Feel free to extract your own head from your arse.

Nicholas Name

November 4, 2009, 10:32 pm


"Intel execs have commented that they wouldn't use an Atom in their own machines." And Brown said that Britain was best placed to weather the recession. Come on Gordon, you're not going to fall for that one are you?

Intel execs are paid to increase Intel profits. Now, assumptions can be very dangerous things, but the branding of the TR website led me to assume that you were not. Intel realises that they have saturated the market with a low profit margin product. Now they have to try and repair the damage this has done to the sales of their own high margin Core i5/i7 products.

Opinions are all well and good, but don't you think that when writing under the banner "Trusted Reviews", the opinions should be balanced, tempered and considered?


November 4, 2009, 10:43 pm

@Nicholas Name - Hmmmn, you make very odd comparisons: a politician bigging up the country verses a company attacking its own products? You might as well have gone: "And Esso is a fan of oil" - it has no relevance whatsoever.

Don't throw the 'Trusted Reviews' nonsense around, the whole point is our opinions can reliably be considered our own and they are mine.


November 5, 2009, 12:26 am

@Keith: The same number of versions the Linux community has to proclaim as real alternatives apparently.


November 5, 2009, 12:39 am

First, I think it fair to point out that here at TR we, the great unwashed, get to air our opinion without sanction - soooo its good to see some heads reappearing from where the sun don't shine ;)

Now, as an Atom user for my MAIN pc (finances control my budget), I find it brilliant. I have an Asrock ION. I can surf and watch BR HD content to 1080p without issue. No flash is a pain, but with the upcoming 10.1 update that should provide HW acceleration. I don't play games on it - why ask a 950cc Mini to compete with a Bugatti Veyron! I benefit from low power and little noise - unlike some wind-turbine behemoths I have owned.

This kind of platform, from who ever, is clearly a winner in the market place, GOOD cometition can only help! Descent if you wish, but some of us are happy!

Nicholas Name

November 5, 2009, 2:20 am


The analogy drew on my opinion that it is all just politicking and manoeuvring. I can't be sure, but I hope Mr Brown isn't so delusional as to actually believe that comment to be true. Likewise, I would be liberal with the salt when considering the comments of the Intel execs you refer to. I agree that Esso and oil seems irrelevant, but at least I know your opinion, even if your reasoning remains a mystery. After all, I can accept that an atom chip IS rubbish, if what you really need is something to hammer a nail into a wall. Oh God, more analogies...


November 5, 2009, 3:23 pm

@Xiphias: Keith: The same number of versions the Linux community has to proclaim as real alternatives apparently.

mm, Xiphias. Yeah maybe your right. Linux requires the user to have some common sense, your best sticking with windows.

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