VIA Nano ultra-low power processor
Preview The mobo in our pics may look like a VIA SN18000G, which sells for about £150 with a 1.8GHz C7 processor, but it’s more exciting: it's a reference board for VIA's would be Atom-smasher: Nano.
It's designed to demonstrate the new 1.8GHz VIA Nano L2100, to be precise. The CPU's fabbed at 65nm and is set to consume no more than 25W of power. It supports the Intel's SSE 3 instruction set. It runs on an 800MHz frontside bus, and in many respects it's the least interesting model in the Nano range.
VIA's Nano reference board
The 1.6GHz L2200, for instance, has a 17W TDP and yes, we have noted that the higher model number has a lower clock speed. If you think that’s strange, the U2300 runs at 1.0GHz with a 5W TDP; the U2500 has a clock speed of 1.2GHz and a surprisingly precise TDP of 6.8W; the U2350 runs at 1.3GHz and 8W; and finally we have the U2400 with a clock speed of at least 1.3GHz - it's not finalised yet - and the same 8W TDP.
If there is any rhyme or reason to those model codes, it has completely passed us by.
VIA supplied a reviewer’s guide with the Nano kit and this compares the chip with Intel’s Atom, and as we have reviewed the 1.6GHz desktop Atom 230, we’re all set to put the Nano through its paces.
PCMark05 favours GenuineIntel CPUID
Does no-one at El Reg read Slashdot or Ars Technica? Ars demonstrated that just changing the CPUID of the Nano to "GenuineIntel" improves the memory subsystem benchmark by 47.4%, pushing it significantly above the Atom for memory. I'm not making this up, check the Ars Technica "Low-end grudge match: Nano vs. Atom" by Joel Hruska (29 July 2008). Worth a mention, if only for the PCMark/Intel conspiracy...
So it's unlikely to play Crysis then?
What a pile of rubbish. Where does this (p)review show that Nano is twice as fast as Atom? What are the specs of the test system - memory, hard drive(s), power supply? What did you do to it to push it to 80W? I can do 80W with a 45W dual-core AMD (under $100 including mATX mobo, miniITX might be more expensive), 1GB DDR2 and a "green" Caviar, so either the Nano, or the review is full of crap.
"As VIA SN hardware sells for £150 ... that suggests Nano might be three times the price of Atom. Ouch.
If so, it'll be roughly three times the price of a comparable Atom."