The Intel Atom and VIA Nano processors have been making a ton of noise in the market place as they are inexpensive, energy efficient and fit into sleek and sexy devices that consumers are looking for today. The day the VIA Nano processor was announced I was actually at Centaur Technologies down in Austin, Texas meeting with Gleen Henry where I got to see some Nano processors being produced right before my eyes. I had to wait nearly a month to get a VIA reference board in my hands with a VIA Nano processor, but it has been worth the wait. Since I have already covered the basics and introduced the Nano processor in my Centaur Technologies Tour article we will jump straight into things.
Armed with the VIA Nano processor and the Intel Atom processor, I can now do a direct performance comparison against two of the most talked about processors for 2008. The VIA Nano reference platform we were sent isn’t a retail product, so keep that in mind while reading the rest of the article. The Intel Atom was tested on the D945GCLF, which is a retail product you can purchase today for $66 plus shipping.
These two platforms might both be using Mini-ITX motherboards, but the features do differ between the very different processors. The VIA Nano processor is built using 65nm process technology (the Atom uses 45nm) and it’s major claim to fame is the 64-bit Superscalar Speculative Out-Of-Order MicroArchitecture. Will this be enough to keep the Intel Atom processor at bay? Let’s take a look a closer look at the test systems and find out which one is faster in the benchmarks!