Intel has announced that its new dual core Atom processor for netbooks is now available, although I suspect the company may have jumped the gun in putting out a press release suggesting that “a dozen new netbooks… are available in stores today.” As far as I can tell, you still can’t actually purchase a netbook with an Atom N550 dual core processor yet — but I suspect we’ll start seeing dual core netbooks in the next few weeks leading up to the IFA trade show in Berlin in September.

Intel says netbooks from Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI, Toshiba, and other computer makers will sport the new chips, which support DDR3 memory and battery life that should be on par with what we’ve come to expect from the Atom N450 single core processor.

The official specs for the new Atom N550 chip haven’t been released yet, but last I’d heard the Atom N550 processor runs at 1.5GHz and features 512KB of L2 cache. It features hyperthreading capabilities, which — along with that whole dual core thing — should help out with multitasking performance.

via Eee

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12 replies on “Intel Atom N550 dual core netbook chip now shipping”

  1. $10 that Apple will put this and an ION2 into the rumored 11.6″ Air. If they are smart they’ll push the price below the MB. And I will not buy one.

    1. Nope.
      Most recent versions of mac OS X do not support atom CPUs. Remember the uproar from the netbook osx86 community?

      1. I do see an Apple premium netbook coming down the line. It’s just a hunch. I mean how could they not? Last time I check the ibook trademark was taken, so does that mean anything? Not sure. If they built an expensive 11 incher, people would pay the price to get it. Heck I might even consider one. I still say people will pay a premium price for a laptop that can do what they need in the smallest lightest package that makes sense. Remember Apple whining about no money in netbooks? Make it better and charge more. It’s still a netbook though…

        1. Why would they remove the capability of SL running on atom if they were to release an atom laptop half a year later?
          Wouldn’t Apple have planned the laptop at least a year in advance, like their iPhone and iPads?

  2. Another shakeup is about to begin in the industry. Let’s see who releases an 11″ laptop with this N550 processor. I think people will then realize how poor the AMD and ULV versions really are. I have high expectation for the 550 in terms of on par battery life with the previous Atom. I still say, you throw this processor into a laptop with ION and you have a pretty much unbeatable combo there.

    On a side note (because I can’t resist), an 11″ or 12″ with this processor is called a what? Afterall it’s not like we want to confuse the poor consumers out there who are trying to figure out what the hell is going on in all the 10-12″ computers…

    1. ULV and dual core AMDs are going to blow this out of the water. Even if they are more than a year old.Big disadvantage of atom is that it’s in order processing, not out of order. Even with hyperthreading (which, as pentium 4 proved, is little more than a gimmick), atom CPU is half the speed of regular C2D or i7 at the same gigahertz with the same amount of cores.

      Unless Intel drastically change the CPU architecture, don’t expect CULV performance from the new dual core atoms.

      1. My opinion comes from a different viewpoint. People will gladly take 3 or 4+ hours battery life over marginal speed for which they don’t probably need, especially considering the extra price tag for ulv.

        I see it this way. New Atom = faster netbook with still amazing battery life and low end price tag. ULV = faster netbook (premium netbooks) with less battery life and bigger price tag. ULV will still essentially suck for gaming when compared to an ION+Atom combo. Atom has battery life advantages which are simply juicy and futuristic in that sense. Remember, it’s juicy.

        You obviously have a deeper understanding of the technology than I do so I respect what you’re saying.

        1. I do agree that atom CPUs use much less power. There’s no way a CULV laptop can last 10+ hours on a 6 cell battery.

          Not so sure about the low price though, since the new S10 goes for US$499 over in AU (even if it’s $399 here, you can get a new gateway CULV dual core celeron laptop for that price).

          Ah well, at least we get a new atom to keep us busy before the next gen atom comes (lincroft?).

  3. I wonder if the performance will really improve though; I still feel like the AMD Neo II K125 will smoke it, at least in single threaded apps.

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