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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?