HP to consider VIA Isaiah and Intel Atom in HP Mini-Note refresh


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.



1.6ghz C7-M is 7.5w?! geeez, what kind of gas guzzler are they designing over at Via? even my old 2005 laptop had a 1.2ghz Pentium-M ULV was just 5w, and it could also run circles around the Via in performance. i realize it’s a bigger CPU, discontinued, & couldnt be upgraded like the C7-M > Isaiah. but still, Via is using some seriously old (in-order exec) & power hungry technology with the C7-M.

no wonder the HP’s 6-cell battery life sucks. if they had used the A110 3w this would probably be a 9w (total) machine & achieve around 6 hours (and be slightly faster also). as it stands right now, it’s probably a 13w-14w machine getting only 4 hours.

HP MUST be planning an upgrade path to Isaiah, that is the absolute only thing that makes sense. i am more convinced now than ever.

Mike Cane

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

Run that by me again? You cannot get a Mini with XP until *MAY 15*?!!?

Ismail Bagci

I believe it is a business strategy from HP. This is done quite often in business. They play two competitors against each other both trying for the business and each offering a discounted price. Even if HP knows it will goes with VIA, the will make sure that VIA knows that there is still competition from Intel so they make sure the target price is where they need it for a decent profit margin.


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


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


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).


ooops, i should definitely clarify…

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


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.


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?

Mike Cane

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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