Notebook Italia

The Intel Atom N550 processor is the first dual core Atom chip built specifically for netbooks. Up until now all dual core Atom processors have been designed for low power desktops. While there aren’t any netbooks shipping with the N550 chip recently, the folks at Notebook Italia got a chance to spend a few minutes with a pre-release Asus netbook with an Atom N550 chip recently, and they ran a simple benchmark to see how the computer stacked up against PCs with several other processors.

The long and short of it is, the Atom N550 is pretty darn good and performing tasks that can take advantage of the chips multithreading capabilities. While the chip technically has only 2 cores, thanks to multithreading, it can run as many as 4 threads simultaneously. And so when using the file compression app 7Zip’s built-in benchmarking utility, Notebook Italia found that the 1.5GHz Atom N550 was twice as fast as a 1.66 Intel Atom N450 processor. It was also a little faster than systems with Intel Atom 330 and D510 desktop dual core processors.

One interesting sidenote is that the Atom N550 also trounced the Intel Core 2 Solo SU3300 processor in this benchmark. That’s likely because the core 2 Solo chip is a single core processor that doesn’t support hyperthreading. But I suspect that for many tasks, that processor will actually offer better performance than the Atom N550. I’d expect to see the multi-core, hyperthreading Atom N550 take the lead when it comes to running multiple applications simultaneously or running apps that are designed to take advantage of multiple threading capabilities.

That said, if you’ve been lamenting that Intel has been pumping out Atom chips for netbooks for over two years with almost no perceptible difference in performance, it looks like the Atom N550 could be the first chip to change that.

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12 replies on “Dual Core Intel Atom N550 benchmarked: It’s fast (for a netbook CPU)”

  1. Anyone notice that usually compression benchmarks show the lower the better instead of reversed like shown above?

  2. Finally! Of course this means I can no longer scan for CULV vs atom any more on posts as I’m a performance monger… dang Intel making me read and stuff!

  3. I have a su3500 and the 7z bench 2 thread is 1444; ok weak
    but pi bench 1M is 00h 00m 35.646s
    how much pi bench on n550?

  4. It would be interesting to benchmark this against the Acer Aspire
    1410 (AS1410-8414) , which uses the 1.4 GHz Intel Core2 Solo ULV SU3500 Processor.

    The Acer Aspire 1410 is also available as the Gateway EC1803u (and maybe eMachines and Packard Bell as well). This used to be obtained for as low as $350 + shipping from the likes of TigerDirect (for the Gateway model).

    The key positives (vs a netbook) were the 3.1 lb weight, 11.6″ 1366 x 768 screen, HDMI output, 2 GB std RAM (up to max 4 GB), 6 cell battery, full operating system (albeit Vista). b/g/n Wi-Fi, full size keyboard, 2 mouse buttons

    Specs are:
    Display Type: HD Widescreen Ultrabright™ LED-backlit Display

    Screen Size: 11.6″

    Maximum Resolution: 1366 x 768

    Memory Type: DDR2

    Memory Size: 2 GB

    Memory Speed: DDR2 667 MHz

    Memory Slots (Total): 2

    Memory Slots (Filled): 2

    Memory Slots (Available): 0

    Maximum Memory Supported: 4 GB (Requires 64-bit Operating System)

    Capacity: 250 GB

    Drive Types: Hard Drive

    Hard Drive Speed: 5400 RPM

    Processor Brand: Intel

    Processor Class: Core 2 Solo

    Processor Type: Ultra-Low Voltage

    Processor Speed: 1.4 GHz

    Processor Number: SU3500

    Lifestyle: Home & Student

    Condition: New

    Operating Systems: Windows Vista Home Premium

    Platform: Laptop

    Graphics Description: Integrated Graphics

    GPU/VPU: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD

    Video Memory: up to 1759 MB of Intel® Dynamic
    Video Memory Technology 5.0 (64 MB of dedicated video memory, up to 1695 MB of shared system memory), supporting Microsoft® DirectX® 10

    Video Interface: HDMI

    Optical Drive Type: N/A

    Supplemental Drive Type: Media Reader

    Capacity: 5-in-1

    Media Types: Memory Stick
    Memory Stick PRO
    Multi Media Card
    Secure Digital

    Audio Description: Integrated Audio

    Audio Chipset: Dolby Sound Room®

    Audio Channels: Built-in Stereo Speakers

    Audio Input: 1- Microphone input port

    Audio Output: 1 – Headphone output port

    Integrated Microphone: Yes

    PS/2 Mouse Connectors: N/A

    PS/2 Keyboard Connectors: N/A

    Serial Communication Ports: N/A

    Parallel Ports: N/A

    USB Ports: 3

    FireWire Ports: N/A

    Fast Infrared Ports (FIR): N/A

    LAN Ports: 1

    Modem Ports: N/A

    Audio Out Jacks: 1

    Line In Jacks: N/A

    Microphone Jacks: 1

    VGA Ports: 1

    DVI Video: N/A

    HDMI Ports: 1

    S-Video Connectors: N/A

    Port Replicator/Connector: N/A

    eSATA Ports: N/A

    Communications Description: Integrated LAN
    Integrated Wireless LAN

    Interface Type: RJ-45 Ethernet Connector
    Intel WiFi Link 5100

    Data Transfer Rate: Up to 300 Mbps
    10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN

    Protocols: WIFI

    Width: 11.22″

    Height: 0.87″~1.18″

    Depth: 8.03″

    Weight: 3.08 lbs

    Mouse Type: Multi-Gesture Touchpad

    Scrolling Capability: Circular Scrolling
    Pinch-Action Zoom, Page Flip

    Keyboard Type: Full-Size Keyboard

    Battery Type: 6-Cell Lithium-ion

    Battery Life: Up to 7 hours

    Biometrics: Kensington Security Lock Slot

    Color: Black

    Integrated Webcam: Yes

    Software Included: Adobe® Flash® Player
    Adobe® Reader®
    CyberLink® PowerDVD™
    Gateway PowerSave Solution
    Gateway Recovery Management
    Norton™ Online Backup
    Google Toolbar™
    Microsoft® Works with Office Home and Student 2007 Trial
    Norton™ Internet Security 2009 Trial
    WildTangent® Demo Games

    1. In the benchmark you can see that the Atom did cross the Solo due to HT.

      This typical type of netbooks with the new processor will support Full OS as well. It would be interesting to see how the customers would actually react to these two processors.

      I feel that Solo should also be considered as a netbook.

    2. I have the Acer Aspire 1410, and I absolutely love it. It’s perfect for my computing needs. The real test is going to be how hard I can push it for Adobe Creative Suite.

  5. Yipee! I guess we can all thank AMD for this movement from Intel. Regardless, this is great news.

  6. I think you meant the SU3300, specs at

    Status Launched
    Launch Date Q3’08
    Processor Number SU3300
    # of Cores 1
    # of Threads 1
    Clock Speed 1.2 GHz
    L2 Cache 3 MB
    FSB Speed 800 MHz
    FSB Parity No
    Instruction Set 64-bit
    Embedded Options Available No
    Supplemental SKU No
    Lithography 45 nm
    Max TDP 5.5 W
    VID Voltage Range 1.050V-1.150V
    1ku Bulk Budgetary Price $262.00

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