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Intel Atom vs. VIA Nano Platform Comparo - Benchmarks - Power Usage and Heat Output

By: Cameron Johnson | Editorials in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Aug 11, 2008 4:00 am

Power Consumption


We are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into an AC wall socket).


There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in PCMark Vantage in this instance at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.


The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD-ROM or many cooling fans.


So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


Intel Atom vs. VIA Nano Platforms


VIA claims noticeable power savings over Atom and they are correct. With a superior architecture and larger transistors they are able to keep under the power envelope of the Atom. I wonder what will happen when VIA goes 45nm?


Heat Generation


As a new measure, we are now monitoring the heat generation from the key components on the motherboards, this being the Northbridge, Southbridge (if it contains one) as well as the Mosfets around the CPU. The results are recorded at idle and load during the power consumption tests.


Intel Atom vs. VIA Nano Platforms


Lastly, we look at heat and VIA managed to again beat Intel here. Surprisingly, the 945GM chipset generated more heat than the Atom CPU, yet VIA was able to beat them all. It seems VIA has worked on power and heat management across not only their CPUs, but chipsets as well.


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