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Netbooks to see speed boost this year

Updated Atom CPUs to get DDR 3 support

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Expect to see Atom-based netbooks speed up a little in the latter half of the year when Intel releases upgraded Atom CPUs able to talk to faster memory than the current lot can manage.

Today's top-of-the-line netbook Atom, the 1.66GHz N450, connects to DDR 2 Ram through its built-in memory controller. Later this year, Intel will release the N455, which will hook up to DDR 3 memory.

DDR 2 runs at up to 800MHz. DDR 3 can clock at more than double that frequency.

What difference this will make to everyday netbook tasks remains to be seen. According to a report at website Fudzilla, the N455's CPU core will still be clocked at 1.66GHz.

DDR 3 consumes less power than DDR 2, but since memory isn't a key netbook power drain, the shift is unlikely to lead to any significant increase in battery life. ®

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