Via's Nano processor tops Intel's Atom in first reviews

Reviewers say Via's Nano processor outperforms Intel's Atom.

Performance comparisons of Via Technologies' Nano processor and Intel's Atom chip conducted by several hardware-enthusiast sites this week confirmed what many industry observers have long suspected: the Taiwanese processor company has produced a chip that outperforms Intel's offering for low-cost computers.

"Both the VIA Nano and Intel Atom processors and platforms have their own positives and drawbacks but it was really the Via Nano L2100 processor that impressed me the most," wrote Ryan Shrout, editor-in-chief of PC Perspective, in a review of the two processors.

"Coming from a very small CPU design team here in the US, the Isaiah architecture is able to outperform Intel's similarly priced and placed Atom processor while offering a much more open platform design," he wrote.

Shrout's verdict was echoed by reviewers at HardOCP and HotHardware, which also found Via's new processor had more processing muscle than Intel's Atom.

"I have to admit, I expected the Via Nano to come out on top given its superscalar out of order architecture, but I did not expect the Intel Atom to take such an overall beating," wrote Kyle Bennet, managing editor of HardOCP's motherboard and CPU site, in a summary of his findings. "The Nano looks like a power efficient version of the Pentium 4 while the Atom looks like a power efficient version of the VIA C7."

All of the reviewers used similar desktop systems to compare the processors. The Nano-based system was a prototype Mini-ITX motherboard with a 1.8GHz Nano L2100 processor, which was compared with an Intel D945GCLF Mini-ITX motherboard with a 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor.

While the Nano's slightly higher clock speed may give the chip an edge over the Atom, that alone wasn't enough to compensate for the performance gap between the processors.

"While the VIA Nano L2100 processor we tested had a 200MHz, or 12.5 percent, higher clock frequency than the 1.6GHz Atom 230, it typically outperformed the Atom by more than 15 percent to 20 percent in the applications we tested," wrote HotHardware's Marco Chiapetta in a review.

Via has been shipping Nano processors to hardware makers since May. Boards based on the chip are expected to arrive in August, with the first Nano-based systems planned to ship during the fourth quarter.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?