Shootout at the CPU Corral: Atom vs. Neo vs. Nano

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Image Credit: Crave

Here’s a tussle you don’t want to get in the middle of: Crave has a brief writeup with test results between the latest low-powered X86 processors that are widely used in today’s netbooks and low-priced laptops. They’ve pitted Intel’s (s INTC) Atom against the AMD (s AMD) Neo platform and VIA’s Nano. Which was the last CPU standing?

Turns out that in the three Crave tests, each platform earned a win. I almost feel let down. ;) For multitasking, Intel’s Atom took the prize. VIA’s Nano won the iTunes encoding event, while AMD’s Neo was the most efficient with a photo program.

Ideally, I’d like to see far more testing and comparisons and I should be able get a glimmer a difference between an the Intel and AMD platforms since an AMD Neo-powered HP (s HP) dv2 is set to arrive later today. Still, the triathlon that Crave ran does provide some good preliminary information. If you want your device to work well with high-end graphics apps or games, an AMD Neo system will likely spank the others, all things being equal. That’s because there’s an ATI GPU paired with the AMD CPU; battery life can take a relatively big hit, however. Multitaskers might be more inclined to go with an Atom device.

All in all, each platform offers its own unique strengths and weaknesses and I’d love to see a full battery of benchmarks between the three. That would give us more information to evaulate against our mobile device requirements.

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Since mini-notebooks (er… netbooks :) are supposed to be for the cloud why not run Futuremark’s “Peacekeeper” browser benchmark tool:

on a few different devices using your favorite browsers and compare yet another highly relevant metric? It runs in your browsers so there is no software to install and anyone can try it out.

Over at we ran the Samsung NC20 (based on the VIA Nano 1.3GHz processor) through the Peacekeeper benchmarks using Chrome and Firefox and got these results:

I’d be curious to see how other users devices perform.


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