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Summary:

This info from Crave surprises me a bit. It’s a good article on why HP chose the VIA C7-M for the HP Mini-Note, although I question the opening phrase “HP chose a relatively obscure processor from VIA…” It’s only relatively obscure if you haven’t been following […]

Hp21333_270x187This info from Crave surprises me a bit. It’s a good article on why HP chose the VIA C7-M for the HP Mini-Note, although I question the opening phrase “HP chose a relatively obscure processor from VIA…” It’s only relatively obscure if you haven’t been following the UMPC market since inception. Since most consumers haven’t, I can see the point being made.So Crave spoke with Robert Baker, an HP product marketing manger, on why the C7-M. Looks like a matter of timing, cost, and price / performance ratio. Makes perfect sense from a business perspective, but here comes the interesting part: Baker indicates an interim refresh of the HP Mini-Note in about six months.

I take “interim refresh” to mean mostly under-the-hood changes, not an outside redesign. The VIA Isaiah chip is due out in the second-half of the year and since it fits the same socket as the C7-M, it would be the obvious choice. However, Baker says “if the Atom is the right processor, that’s what we’ll go with.”That’s the surprise to me for a few reasons. It would require more redesign and changes due to the different chipsets. And the Intel Atom isn’t geared towards powering notebooks, its focus is more towards MIDs running lighter or mobile optimized operating systems. I know many commenters are clamoring for the Intel Atom in the HP Mini-Note, but don’t get hung up on the potential 1.8 GHz clock speed. It’s an unproven chip where the clock cycles can’t be compared to current Intel CPUs on a equal basis. I have no doubt we’ll see Intel Atom-powered “netbooks”, but I suspect performance won’t be the strong suit of such a device. In any case, we’ll have to see how both of these chips, the Isaiah and the Atom, pan out in real world testing. Too early to tell, but well worth watching this develop.

  1. hp is a big customer of Intel.

    I’m sure Intel has all sorts of, uh, incentives to persuade hp to bring the Mini back into the Intel fold.

    One of them could be free motherboard redesign.

    (No, I’m *not* kidding!)

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  2. You’re right. If they’re going to change the chip, it will be to Isaiah.

    Why would they go to the trouble of completely redesigning the board, when they can just drop in a faster chip?

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  3. The Isaiah chip would have been used but it’s not ready yet according to what HP told me.

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  4. There are two types of Atom. One for MID type devices and a cheaper version for Netbook or low cost desktop computers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Atom

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  5. to people looking for a basic explanation of the situation.

    Intel Atom:

    2.4w | in-order execution | 2 instructions per clock cycle

    Via Isaiah:

    3.5w | out-of-order execution | 3 instructions per clock cycle

    i think people keep stating that they wish the HP had an Atom CPU simply because they have no deeper understanding than that of the Intel branding. the advantages of the Isaiah is that it is pin compatible (needs no redesign) with current C7-M & no question will be a better performer. the primary downside being it needs 1w extra power (which isnt a major issue).

    although in the Atom’s defense, Intel has claimed it will have equal performance to the 1ghz Pentium-M. but that also means the Isaiah would be even faster.

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  6. ooops, i should definitely clarify…

    Intel stated that the 1.6ghz Atom will have equal performance to the 1ghz Pentium-M

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  7. i doubt HP will wait a full 6 months for a refresh, especially when the company they are in contract with is the 1 offering the new CPU & there is just going to be way to much compeition coming up in this market segment.

    i will ABSOLUTELY buy 1 of these when the Isaiah is dropped inside (or to a lesser extent Atom), but not until then. i also wont recommend it until then to any of my acquaintances or coworkers (i work in IT for an F500).

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  8. bostonirishguy13 Thursday, April 10, 2008

    I think performance will be much better on the Mini-Note with XP. It’s due on May 15.

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  9. does anybody know the power consumption of the current 1.6ghz C7-M found in the highend HP?

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  10. It’s at least double the draw of the low-end 1.0ghz C7-M, maybe more.

    Weird… only up to 1.5ghz listed at Via’s page. 1.6 is MIA.

    http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/c7-m_ulv/index.jsp

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