Conclusion - Business = YES, Multimedia = NO
The VIA C3 at 1.0GHz is definitely a step towards VIA's goals for a CPU; cheap, reliable and quiet. The VIA C3 is ultimately the quietest PC system available. Requiring no fan but just a passive heatsink and very little power, you can have a single or no fan system. During out testing, we took a 250w Aopen PSU and removed the fan from the unit. We then placed the CPU, HDD and DVD into the system along with the memory. This system stayed stable the throughout the entire test with very little heat being generated at all from the PSU or the internal system.
The VIA C3 also has built-in thermal management should you overclock the CPU, and overclockable it is. While the board we had gave us no voltage controls, we were still able to get 1.23GHz out of the CPU; fully stable with a 200RPM fan placed on the CPU cooler and 1.1GHz with passive cooling. To make things even better, at default speeds and voltages you can even run the system without a heatsink for several hours, even when playing games. As VIA demonstrated in a rather unique video, we are happy to confirm this test as a full success.
On the end of this long note, VIA has come quite a way in achievement but still has a long way to go. With Intel releasing the Celeron on P4 cores and AMD pushing the Duron to 1.4GHz, VIA is definitely fighting an uphill battle.
Runs even without heatsink
Overclocks quite well
Rather slow, even for value CPU
Not suitable for games
Rating - 8/10
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