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Netbooks... is the atom any good?

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February 17, 2009 8:33:27 PM

I'm currently using a really old Dell Inspiron 1100 as my 'away for desktop' computer which I've resorted to running linux on as the old 2.0GHz Celeron is pretty poor performance-wise.
It seems to work pretty well considering its age aside from the fact that it's bloody heavy and bulky by today's standards and the battery isn't great.

I've been hearing mixed opinions about netbooks, but they seem pretty cheap and they are really compact and I hear the battery is awesome on many of them.

How would the 1.6GHz Atom found on most netbooks compare to the old (about 5-6 years) celeron in my Dell? Would I see signifincantly better performance from a modern netbook compared to my old laptop?

I would probs run XP on it and use standard things like FF3, Office '07, VLC etc

More about : netbooks atom good

a b à CPUs
February 17, 2009 8:38:41 PM

miocene said:
I'm currently using a really old Dell Inspiron 1100 as my 'away for desktop' computer which I've resorted to running linux on as the old 2.0GHz Celeron is pretty poor performance-wise.
It seems to work pretty well considering its age aside from the fact that it's bloody heavy and bulky by today's standards and the battery isn't great.

I've been hearing mixed opinions about netbooks, but they seem pretty cheap and they are really compact and I hear the battery is awesome on many of them.

How would the 1.6GHz Atom found on most netbooks compare to the old (about 5-6 years) celeron in my Dell? Would I see signifincantly better performance from a modern netbook compared to my old laptop?

I would probs run XP on it and use standard things like FF3, Office '07, VLC etc



In a nut shell.. Yes the Atom for what it does is quite a potent processor for Windows XP.. Vista - nah but for XP yes.. I have used the Samsung NC10 ( best IMHO ) and for what it does it runs office, etc very confortably...

Dont expect too much from games as its a IGP - it will play Sims 2 ok ( a cracked copy ) and stuff like that... Dont expect Crysis running on it but it will do most stuff most low end laptops do..

Never used FF3 so at the mercy of others here but its a good little tool for the jobs a basic laptop does on a smalller scale..
February 17, 2009 9:20:50 PM

I love my netbook. I hope it comes with a disk, rather then installing a fresh version of xp, because each netbook, has the os tailored to it, to take advantage of certain buttens on em, and some other stuff. Mine works great though, and you will love it.
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February 18, 2009 12:17:38 AM

they're pretty decent cpus but dont expect alot of multitasking on them
February 18, 2009 12:25:40 AM

They run fine for everyday tasks, but not gaming or crunching stuff.

Triple the speed of my old celeron 800 subnotebook, but the gig of ram helps too. The big boost is the much faster bus speed vs the old celly's.
February 18, 2009 12:27:13 AM

I concur with everyone else... Firefox 3 is still a memory hog, you'll probably want a gigabyte of RAM.
February 18, 2009 2:25:05 AM

Anyone every try running VS2008 on a netbook? I'm curious as to IDE and intellisense responsiveness.
February 18, 2009 3:50:22 AM

I recently purchased a Netbook, let me give you the run down.

People that claim the atom is junk are false and obviously have minimal technical background.

There is two bottlenecks on Netbooks
1. 1G of ram is standard, and fine for XP, but not Vista/7 Upgrade to 2G is a must especially for $20.

2. "The main bottleneck in a Netbook" The hard drive. You either get a slow/small junk SSD, or a slow/old junk 5200rpm HDD. Either way you have a huge bottleneck.


I bought the Asus 900HA and upgraded to 2G of ram and a 60G OCZ solid series SSD drive. Now this little bastard is a beast running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The stock HDD was almost 40MB/s transfers and the new drive is 100% faster.

I also bought a touch screen LCD to mod mine with, so I could be pimpin. I like this netbook alot better then my Gateway tablet PC. Its faster, and easier to take with me.
February 18, 2009 3:50:33 AM

I recently purchased a Netbook, let me give you the run down.

People that claim the atom is junk are false and obviously have minimal technical background.

There is two bottlenecks on Netbooks
1. 1G of ram is standard, and fine for XP, but not Vista/7 Upgrade to 2G is a must especially for $20.

2. "The main bottleneck in a Netbook" The hard drive. You either get a slow/small junk SSD, or a slow/old junk 5200rpm HDD. Either way you have a huge bottleneck.


I bought the Asus 900HA and upgraded to 2G of ram and a 60G OCZ solid series SSD drive. Now this little bastard is a beast running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The stock HDD was almost 40MB/s transfers and the new drive is 100% faster.

I also bought a touch screen LCD to mod mine with, so I could be pimpin. I like this netbook alot better then my Gateway tablet PC. Its faster, and easier to take with me.
February 18, 2009 3:50:41 AM

I recently purchased a Netbook, let me give you the run down.

People that claim the atom is junk are false and obviously have minimal technical background.

There is two bottlenecks on Netbooks
1. 1G of ram is standard, and fine for XP, but not Vista/7 Upgrade to 2G is a must especially for $20.

2. "The main bottleneck in a Netbook" The hard drive. You either get a slow/small junk SSD, or a slow/old junk 5200rpm HDD. Either way you have a huge bottleneck.


I bought the Asus 900HA and upgraded to 2G of ram and a 60G OCZ solid series SSD drive. Now this little bastard is a beast running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The stock HDD was almost 40MB/s transfers and the new drive is 100% faster.

I also bought a touch screen LCD to mod mine with, so I could be pimpin. I like this netbook alot better then my Gateway tablet PC. Its faster, and easier to take with me.
February 18, 2009 4:02:10 AM

I recently purchased a Netbook, let me give you the run down.

People that claim the atom is junk are false and obviously have minimal technical background.

There is two bottlenecks on Netbooks
1. 1G of ram is standard, and fine for XP, but not Vista/7 Upgrade to 2G is a must especially for $20.

2. "The main bottleneck in a Netbook" The hard drive. You either get a slow/small junk SSD, or a slow/old junk 5200rpm HDD. Either way you have a huge bottleneck.


I bought the Asus 900HA and upgraded to 2G of ram and a 60G OCZ solid series SSD drive. Now this little bastard is a beast running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The stock HDD was almost 40MB/s transfers and the new drive is 100% faster.

I also bought a touch screen LCD to mod mine with, so I could be pimpin. I like this netbook alot better then my Gateway tablet PC. Its faster, and easier to take with me.
a b à CPUs
February 18, 2009 4:11:23 AM

lol nice one roadrunner197069

atom = good
chipset = fail

overall - basic platform for basic use - for what its designed for its 100%
February 18, 2009 4:13:59 AM

I recently purchased a Netbook, let me give you the run down.

People that claim the atom is junk are false and obviously have minimal technical background.

There is two bottlenecks on Netbooks
1. 1G of ram is standard, and fine for XP, but not Vista/7 Upgrade to 2G is a must especially for $20.

2. "The main bottleneck in a Netbook" The hard drive. You either get a slow/small junk SSD, or a slow/old junk 5200rpm HDD. Either way you have a huge bottleneck.


I bought the Asus 900HA and upgraded to 2G of ram and a 60G OCZ solid series SSD drive. Now this little bastard is a beast running Windows Vista or Windows 7.

The stock HDD was almost 40MB/s transfers and the new drive is 100% faster.

I also bought a touch screen LCD to mod mine with, so I could be pimpin. I like this netbook alot better then my Gateway tablet PC. Its faster, and easier to take with me.
February 18, 2009 4:16:33 AM

LOL, kept saying domain not found, now I got 100 post and I cant edit.

Is it just me or has Toms really MESSED up the forums lately?????????

Hey Tom, take some HTML classes and get the site straightened out again.
a b à CPUs
February 18, 2009 5:08:39 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
LOL, kept saying domain not found, now I got 100 post and I cant edit.

Is it just me or has Toms really MESSED up the forums lately?????????

Hey Tom, take some HTML classes and get the site straightened out again.




Nah your a compulsive serial poster :) 
February 18, 2009 7:07:12 AM

OMG we have a drive by poster!!! Ahh crap it's the Roadrunner *straps ACME rocket to himself and lights fuse*

Now that my fun is out of the way, I have to side with Roadrunner that those little Atom powered netbooks are quite fun. My friend picked up an atom powered EEE PC and tossed in 2gb of ram and that little bugger has some speed to it for normal day to day stuff. Granted its not going to be running anything too intense but for normal or school use its got everything you need. I have yet to hear him complain about a single thing about it and he definately put that thing through its paces.

I have only a few reccomendations for you:

1) Throw in 2gb of ram.
2) Get a good battery for it (one is probably enough, most of those have easily 5+ hour battery life)
3) I have to give it again to roadrunner, as I must idmit the HD wouldnt be a bad idea for upgrade, that is if your picky about your HD speed.
a b à CPUs
February 18, 2009 9:45:50 AM

They are quite fun except its the GMA 950 which keeps it from being awesome fun... gotta hate its short battery life! VIA C7 ULV ftw!
February 18, 2009 10:20:45 AM

Wait for the 5-core's and then a decent chipset for them
February 18, 2009 11:51:14 AM

Mine has 5+ hour batter life.

Plenty for me.
a b à CPUs
February 18, 2009 5:31:14 PM

amdfangirl said:
They are quite fun except its the GMA 950 which keeps it from being awesome fun... gotta hate its short battery life! VIA C7 ULV ftw!


Mine has between 4 and 6 hours, depending on what I am doing. Hardly a battery life I would complain about...
February 18, 2009 6:04:58 PM

Thanks for the responses. I'm pretty tempted - an eeePC would make my old Dell look like a serious brick.
Might wait until Windows 7 comes out though - got it on my Desktop (Beta) and it's much more lightweight than Vista while being really nice to use!
a b à CPUs
February 18, 2009 6:51:20 PM

ION is supposed to make things interesting... maybe able to play a game or 2...
a b à CPUs
February 19, 2009 3:41:27 AM

cjl said:
Mine has between 4 and 6 hours, depending on what I am doing. Hardly a battery life I would complain about...


I'd prefer to increase that two-fold with an EE chipset.
a b à CPUs
February 19, 2009 4:26:21 AM

Oh, it could definitely improve with a lower power chipset. I'm just saying that the current battery life isn't something that's a huge problem.

Interestingly, there's only a 15 minute difference between idle battery life and fairly heavy CPU usage battery life (~50% average usage), showing just how little of the overall battery power goes to the CPU. The 2 hour variation mentioned above is mostly a result of screen brightness settings.
a b à CPUs
February 19, 2009 6:54:05 AM

Just curious, do you use wireless and how many celled battery do you use?
February 19, 2009 11:35:52 AM

I use wireless and mine is a 6 cell.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2009 7:49:00 PM

That's pretty cool, but I'm opting for twice the battery life.
February 20, 2009 7:53:33 PM

If you need to be on the PC for over 5 hours straight, u need to get a life.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2009 9:21:04 PM

amdfangirl said:
Just curious, do you use wireless and how many celled battery do you use?


Wireless and bluetooth are on whenever the computer is on, and it's a 6 cell.

Oh, and I run Ubuntu.
February 20, 2009 9:30:33 PM

I have run xp, vista and 7, but I have to have the external monitor capability and vista nad 7 have no driver for my model to enable the multi monitor.

All 3 run great, but I'm stuck with xp for multiple moitors for now.
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2009 8:34:09 AM

roadrunner197069 said:
If you need to be on the PC for over 5 hours straight, u need to get a life.


Nope, I'm way too lazy to charge a laptop regularly.
March 2, 2009 6:51:02 PM

Ok, cheaky resurrect...
I've bitten the bullet and shelled out 307 quid for a white samsung NC10:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150184
Should arrive in a couple of days - looks pretty sweet!
a b à CPUs
March 3, 2009 5:11:58 PM

amdfangirl said:
They are quite fun except its the GMA 950 which keeps it from being awesome fun... gotta hate its short battery life! VIA C7 ULV ftw!



ViaFanGirl then !!!
March 12, 2009 4:17:23 PM

Hi I'm new here so HELLLOOOO!
I love netbooks, I'm on my second now... I had a MSI Wind, and have just got the Compaq mini 700.

You are correct, not great for gaming, light gaming maybe but thats not what they are designed for.
I use mine for everything, surfing, web design, web development, DVD encoding.


Good artical at: http://www.totallybloggered.com/2009/02/are-netbooks-ac...

If you are on the edge about getting one, I would just do it, as they are very good.
Just look for one with the Atom CPU.

J



a b à CPUs
March 13, 2009 3:03:53 PM

amdfangirl said:
That's pretty cool, but I'm opting for twice the battery life.


Uhh - get two batteries? :D 
a b à CPUs
March 13, 2009 3:17:23 PM

etheridge said:
Hi I'm new here so HELLLOOOO!
I love netbooks, I'm on my second now... I had a MSI Wind, and have just got the Compaq mini 700.

You are correct, not great for gaming, light gaming maybe but thats not what they are designed for.
I use mine for everything, surfing, web design, web development, DVD encoding.


Good artical at: http://www.totallybloggered.com/2009/02/are-netbooks-ac...

If you are on the edge about getting one, I would just do it, as they are very good.
Just look for one with the Atom CPU.

J


Dell has a 10" mini that currently is kinda lame but with the promised upgrades (especially built-in GPS) might prove to be a winner. What I'm looking for is a dual-CPU SOC, touchscreen, Windows 7 lite, GPS and full connectivity. In fact, 3G connectivity would be nice since I currently have iPhone envy :) .
!