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  • stephenbrooks - Friday, February 12, 2010 - link

    I'm wondering if this is partly Intel wanting to do the physical integration and logical integration in different steps (like the tick-tock model for mainstream CPUs).

    Whenever the x86 vs. ARM on netbooks issue comes up, I comment repeatedly that ARM would do a lot better if someone wrote a program to recompile ("code morph") x86 EXEs into ARM instruction set ones. This need only be done once and the morphed EXEs cached on disk.
  • UrQuan3 - Wednesday, February 03, 2010 - link

    Out of curiosity, what's up with Via's line of CPUs? The only benchmarks done by Anandtech were of a pre-production model that pulled way more power than shipping models.
    Are they just too expensive for the market?
  • MightyDrunken - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Why do I get the feeling that Intel is almost purposefully dragging their feet with the Atom? With the annoying restrictions imposed on memory and the feeble updates to the Atom line thus far I wish for more competition. Do they make only a small amount of profit on the platform and therefore put their efforts elsewhere?

    I hope the ARM based netbooks compel Intel to raise their game but I suspect the lack of windows support will severely limit their impact. Guess I will have to wait awhile longer.
  • QuietOC - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    It is amazing how close the $99 Chinese 7" ARM netbooks are to being very nice devices. The screen on my Delstar DS700 (aka Menq EasyPC E790) is much better quality than the piece of junk that is in the Gateway EC18/Acer 1410/1810. Windows CE could be fine for netbooks if Microsoft and the hardware makers worked on it a little. There's good Windows CE software. Even a 500MHz ARM isn't too bad, and something more like Tegra would be better than the Atom. I would also like an even smaller form factor without a touchpad like my old NEC Mobile Pro 900C or the Sony VAIO P series.

    As it is the EC18/1410 is worthless without a decent screen, closer to 2GHz, and the touchpad/arrow key problem fixed. The Asus UL20A might solve most of those issues.
  • JimKiler - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    Why haven't Anand compared intel Atom to the AMD Neo with it is built in Radeon 1250 video card. My MSI netbook with this combo can playback Quicktime 720p videos. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    The Neo isn't bad, although battery life doesn't match Atom notebooks, and it runs warmer. It does outperform, though.

    I'm really hoping AMD sees Intel's Pine Trail "mistake" and uses this as a chance to catch up. A lower-power Neo or one on a better process combined with an AMD graphics solution could really gain some ground here, if it could be brought to market in time.
  • ProDigit - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    I had suspected something like this when I seen the charts,
    It's really a pitty that they did spend time building the memory controller to the graphics core, but not spend time building the memory controller to the CPU.
    They would have done better to expect every netbook to have 2GB from now on, and use 2 separate memory controllers; or one controller that allocates 128 or 256MB of RAM to the graphics chip, and the rest to the CPU.

    Seemingly the FSB is the culprit, and as I suspected Intel actually equipped the N450 with a lower performing GPU, which benefits from the memory controller's lower latency to boost performance over a GMA950.

    It would have benefited me better if the memory controller would be connected to the CPU, as desktop apps would increase in responsiveness, and CPU bound apps would just run better!
    But then Intel would have to face the gamers and those who think that a better 3D performance means a better computer.
    For marketing purposes they probably went over to connecting the memory controller to the GPU.

    But I see very few people actually playing games on these machines. Most of them run apps; and as a sampler device, triggered by a MIDI interface, where audio and program latencies matter most, it would have been most beneficial to see the memory latency drop.
    I guess I'll just wait another 2 years then; hopefully Intel will have equipped their Atom processors with a sensor that automatically overclocks the CPU and GPU according to temperature, much like what they are doing with their core-i designs.
    If they can combine that technology, with a CPU bound memory controller that does not go through the FSB, then I think netbooks will have the performance levels strong enough to run most desktop apps, and perhaps even run modern games well at their 600pix screens!
  • AstroGuardian - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    So Intel were too "poor" to develop a true on-die memory controller and therefore they did nothing productive.... Ain't it stupid? Reply
  • AmdInside - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    Intel moved the memory controller to kill of NVIDIA's ION chipset. And to save some money. They aren't doing us any favors. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    Yep. Only at this point, it didn't do them any favors either, IMO, except for the less educated user.

    We're evaluating a purchase of about 30 netbooks for an educational use --and Ion wins. Nothing with an Intel chipset will do what we want.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    I was going to chime in with this. This is of no use to the end user. Reply
  • cyberserf - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    QFT Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    I'll speculate that the Lincroft chip will have a much faster memory controller than Pineview.

    Diamondville was essentially a value, Celeron like version of Silverthorne and Pineview is similar value version of Lincroft. Even though the rumored clocks of Lincroft lie at 1.2GHz, its said to be fast as current Netbook CPU. Won't happen without significantly enhancing the performance.
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    If AMD were to go under, the same as has happened here would happen with desktop processors-- improvements in designs would be much less significant and take longer to arrive. You could also expect to pay a very high price for the newest version ($999 or more) for a much longer time than you do now. Reply
  • morphologia - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    They really need to catch up though. Granted, I can really appreciate how much of their resources overall that they've invested in their ATI entity, given all the excellent products they've churned out. But they're quickly becoming a CPU also-ran, less than relevant in the grand scheme. Reply
  • Penti - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    At least AMD now plans on taking the mobile space seriously. K8 parts where just stupid, almost as much as P4s in notebooks. Lets see how the cooking turned out in 2011. Reply
  • QuietOC - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    Regor + 785G could be a nice alternative to Intel's CULV platform. AMD seems just as intent as Intel on dumping old chips into small, cheap portables. Reply
  • mczak - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    This is quite similar to what Clarkdale does. Granted, it uses QPI instead of FSB but the effects to memory latency are similar (then again, you'd expect this to make much less performance difference with this architecture, and it certainly doesn't seem to affect things much).
    So if intel can "unintegrate" the MC (from Nehalem to Clarkdale) without too much effort, they surely could do the opposite too. Next atom chip I'd guess...
  • RU482 - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    guess we'll have to wait until Newton Creek Reply
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    I'm guessing that's the code name for the next Atom(It doesn't google well)? Are we sure a truly integrated MC will happen even then? Or will Intel just sit on this until they need to boost Atom in the face of competition? Reply
  • Inspector2211 - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    Intel does not want to cannibalize sales of its Core 2 mobile chips (and its brand new "Arrandale" chips) by making Atom too fast.

    That said, just about a month from now the N470 Atom will be released - 1.83 GHz, up from the N450's 1.66 GHz. The N470 is the one to get. Forget the N450.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    I don't think it's much of a concern. Even at 2.0GHz single core Atom is dog slow compared to any Core 2 processor. Atom is about low cost and low power; unless there are some real power savings to be had by improving the memory controller, there's not much point in working to improve Atom performance. What we should have gotten was something closer to the new Intel HD Graphics in Pine Trail; at least then it would be useful for a few more applications. Now we'll have to wait for Pine Trail + Broadcom Crystal HD. Reply
  • QuietOC - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    My 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo SU3500 is sometimes slower than a 2GHz Atom core.

    I thought it was obvious that Pinetrail still retained the old Netburst FSB. It is basically Atom + die shrunk G31(aka P35/G33)--that actually should have been the original Netbook combo. Intel just didn't want to discount those chips at the time. Look at what they are now charging for "new" chipsets which are old 65nm southbridges!
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    Yes, Core 2 Solo. Never did quite get that CPU line, considering the Core 2 Duo is only a bit more and does substantially better in most areas. Even power doesn't favor the Core 2 Solo all that much. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places, but it seems all the CULV dual-cores are $700 and up, while the single-core ones can be found for $500 or less. I wish the dual-core ones were only slightly more expensive. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, January 28, 2010 - link

    Really like a lot of this... some will be put off by the 15.6" chassis, but that's the only drawback:">

    11.6" model in red:">

    ...or black (local pickup only):">

    ...or at Amazon (for a bit more):">">

    So the dual-core prices can range from close to $400 if you're lucky (Celeron SU2300 models) up to around $600. I think the Pentium SU4100 models are probably the best blend of price/performance for CULV right now.
  • QuietOC - Friday, January 29, 2010 - link

    So compared to my $380 EC1803u: I would lose 100MHz and 1MB of cache with the same crappy screen and awful keyboard and trackpad.
    The GMA4500MHD is the only reason to get these, and that could work just as well with a faster Atom.
  • Jorgisven - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    Could this be considered a tick in the Intel architecture, toward the 45nm process? Normally there are some performance improvements according to Intel's own website,"> But since the atom chip itself is already fairly small, they didn't change the process size, just crammed more into the same die, making it almost like a minor tock? Doesn't seem to follow their normal protocol. I hate when monopolies create situations like this, it lets companies get lazy. Reply
  • Inspector2211 - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    What do you mean "towards the 45nm process" ???
    The Atom ***is*** 45nm.

    I think you wanted to say "towards the 32nm process?" - and the answer is, since they are releasing Gulftown on 32nm just 1 1/2 months from now, implementing Atom on 32nm would have been a piece of cake, but was not done for cost/benefit reasons.
  • Taft12 - Sunday, January 31, 2010 - link

    Right, why would Intel waste production on their newest and smallest process on a platform that is not very profitable and indeed eats into higher margin business (lost laptop CPU sales).

    Anand just explained why Pinetrail is not much better from a technical perspective, but from a business perspective, Atom performance is right where Intel wants it (in fact, I've postulated many times Intel wishes they had never released Atom at all).
  • jamesadames12 - Wednesday, February 03, 2010 - link"> Reply
  • wwwcd - Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - link

    Double misery of both! Reply
  • joaopft - Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - link

    Intel designed the Atom because they were being shamed by designs of other companies on the low power / low cost market. On the other hand, Intel does not want to destroy their PC market. So, marketing constraints create difficulties for Intel.

    From what I see, this is a fake integrated memory controller. The on-chip FSB had to developed (it is the first time this has been done), and it surely costed money. And it is a cumbersome design anyway, that is now the main cause of the performance problems of this platform. I suspect this has been done with a sole purpose --- market segmentation.

    Intel stoped short of integrating the memory controler properly because the Atom platform would then compete with higher priced double core processors in many applications -- core i3's, for instance. This would ruin Intel's business on the consumer desktop market. But the future of the consumer market is the low power and low cost desktop or netbook. And, with the memory frequencies approaching the frequencies of processor cores, with a decent memory controller it would be possible to extract some serious performance out of in-order execution cores.

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