The folks over at Tom’s Hardware decided to cut through a bit of the buzz over Intel’s latest low-power CPU by comparing the Atom with a much older AMD Athlon 64 2000+ processor. The results? You can underclock the Athlon CPU a bit and get better performance and lower power consumption than you’d get from the Intel Atom chip. But there’ s a catch — the AMD chip is designed for desktops, not laptops.

Now, Tom’s Hardware did its best to make an apples to apples comparison. The Atom chip they pitted against the AMD was the Intel Atom N230 processor, which is the desktop variant of the N270 found in little laptops like the Asus Eee PC 901. So you might be able to make a case that the Eee Box should be using an Athlon CPU instead of an Atom. But it’s unlikely you could fit the Athlon 64 2000+ in a netbook case. The chip is about three times larger than the Atom N230. And space is at a premium in computers like the Acer Aspire One, Asus Eee PC 901, and MSI Wind.

So it’s probably safe to say that if and when AMD decides to release a chip designed for the netbook market, it will be a new chip, not a repurposed older model like the Athlon 64 2000+.

[via Engadget]

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3 replies on “AMD Athlon 64 2000+ bests the the Intel Atom – just not for netbooks”

  1. Sorry Brad but the folks at Gateway have decided to disagree with your conclusion that the AMD 64 2000+ is not for netbooks. They have recently announced the LT3103u (black) and the LT3114u (red) netbooks. These netbooks are 3.0 lbs., have 11.6″ displays, come with a 250 GB hard drive and run Windows Vista Home Basic. It’ll be interesting to see how they compare to Intel Atom netbooks. Personally, I would also like to see how this netbook would perform if Vista Home Basic were upgraded to the 64 bit version.

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