Though the netbook and nettop markets aren’t quite as
thriving as they once were (due to powerful options becoming
ever more affordable and a shift to tablets as secondary
devices) there’s still a heck of a lot of market share to be had – especially now
that we will be seeing more of Intel’s brilliantly-named Atom chips in those
The netbook and nettop is a market where Intel has been the
underdog recently, with its Atoms requiring Nvidia’s ION graphics solutions
before they could handle such ordinary tasks as high-bitrate 1080p video or
very light 3D gaming – but that’s finally set to change with the new Atom processors
coming to market.
In order of TDP we have the 1.6-1.86GHz N2600, which uses a
mere 3.5W. The 1.86-2.13GHz N2800 gets along on 6.5W, which is more similar to the
older Atom chips in its power to performance ratio (remember the N470, running
at 1.83GHz with a 6.5W TDP?).
The D2000 ‘Cedar Trail’ series offer a little more
performance for a little more juice and are aimed at nettops (think ‘D’ for Desktop), with the D2500
running at 1.86-2.13GHz while the D2700 ups this to 2.13-2.4GHz. That’s
actually approaching proper Pentium or Core speeds – in terms of megahertz at
least; don’t expect these chips to match up to similarly-rated ‘proper’ CPUs. All
chips except the D2500 will have support for Hyper-threading and up to 4GB of
DDR3 RAM, which is a very welcome upgrade over the previous 2GB limit.
However, what’s most exciting here really isn’t the extra
processing power or features (welcome as they might be), but the new integrated
graphics found on all these chips. Finally, these Atoms should live up to AMD’s
Fusion APU and Nvidia’s ION efforts when it comes to visuals.
Not only will they be able to handle any type of HD video,
but they’ll sling out two simultaneous 1080p streams! Even better, these Atom
GPUs will finally support digital outputs, including HDCP on DVI/DisplayPort/HDMI
up to 1.3a.
With analogue VGA’s demise already set in stone (or at least
quick-drying cement), this is a very good thing, and a large step in removing
our objections to Intel-based netbooks. Let’s hope the new Atoms will make for
worthy competition to AMD’s low-power Fusion chips.
Via: The Inquirer