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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Intel should have made something better

That's the main point and the reason why I keep talking about the A110 which I consider a step backward.  I never have claimed -neither James and Kevin- to be a hardware expert or to know more than anyone about processors. This is why a comment like this is really appreciated.

It has been reported that the 915 chipset apparently supported Aero in MS Vista Beta's, however the drivers are not recognized by Microsoft as Aero capable in the final version. The number of computers with the Intel 915 chipset was very large, and all of sudden it became obsolete, generating in some cases an artificial demand for the Core Duo and Core 2 Duo computers with the newer 945 that fully supports Aero.

At some point it become obvious that the VIA mobile chips are very power efficient and require less space, making them ideal for UMPC's. The OQO 02 is much smaller than the Sony UX or Fujitsu U1010. The VIA based Q1B has better battery runtime than the Q1 and Q1P. Intel's response was the A110, basically the same 90nm Celeron M 900 MHz (353) found in the Q1, with 100 MHz lower maximal core frequency and SpeedStep technology.

I'm not 100% sure, but there is evidence that the "new" A110 consumes less most of all because it's lower clocked, it's not an advance. I mean, Intel should have used the 65nm process as the base for the new chip, there was no reason to use 90nm. Having a smaller core it would have more potential to consume less. Also the the new chip should have SSE3/VT micro instructions, perhaps AMD64 too. Very soon there will be some problems to address more than 2GB RAM with 32 bits technology, also 64 bits OS and applications should run faster.

I personally find A110 based Q1 Ultra acceptable, I have said before that the 353 Celeron M had enough performance for an UMPC. Also it's great that they have added SpeedStep. But, being a new processor, Intel should have made something better than the older chip. Not only focus on consumption.

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