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Preview: VIA VN1000 And Nano DC Platform: An IGP With Game?

Last response: in Reviews comments
October 29, 2010 7:38:43 AM

At last, VIA! Let the triple threat flame war begins! :lol: 
October 29, 2010 7:48:19 AM

VIA shouldn't stop it should move right away.
October 29, 2010 7:50:22 AM

I'm interested, but I guarantee that I won't be by the time this is actually released.

Technology seems to be the one thing in which the underdog third-party can't seem to do better. =[
October 29, 2010 7:57:38 AM

im glad they are making a good try. I believe they will be on par (or maybe even better than an intel and ion platform) by the time the chip is manufactured at 40nm and drivers are finalized.
October 29, 2010 8:16:59 AM

D525 and ION2 is expensive combination. If VIA can deliver at price level of D400 series with ION2 or cheaper it would put good pressure on Intel.

nVidia was late to market with GTX460, but given it's price point a lot of pressure was put on ATI.
November 2, 2010 6:23:22 AM

Very interesting. While they should take their time and not try and get into the market too quickly, I would be happy to have a third competitor to Intel and AMD. The more competition the better.
November 2, 2010 6:51:37 AM

Oh good, Tom's did examine the performance of a d525/ion2 platform. For this, I am pleased, even if they chose relatively intense dx10 games, not oldish dx9 ones.... point being I still love my 1215n. The i3 efficiency is damning though, too bad all the optimus ultraportables are (imho) way overpriced.

However, when the new shrunken processor arrives, I think Tom's should also include netbook-like tests. These low-energy platforms aren't meant to encode videos or apply 100 photoshop filters to a terabyte tiff. The atom was specifically built to reduce cpu overhead (it doesn't even have out-of-order execution). Maybe toss in a ulv i3 if you can scrounge one up. So ya, I'll be waiting.
November 2, 2010 6:57:39 AM

Doesn't this remind me of previous S3 GPU offerings?
Pretty decent low end performance... if the drivers were up to the task. But they're not.
The shipping product needs to be rock solid if Via wants to overcome the suspicion.
5 bucks cheaper but doesn't work... is not the way.
November 2, 2010 7:15:47 AM

At least they are trying and seems like a good one. They should speed up things a bit.
November 2, 2010 7:23:49 AM

correct me if im wrong but i thought no intel CPU had OOO execution
November 2, 2010 7:29:58 AM

Yay VIA! I hope they can finally topple Intel and bring back powerful mobile solutions. All hail competition and the price drops that follow!
November 2, 2010 7:39:47 AM

CTPAHHIKD525 and ION2 is expensive combination. If VIA can deliver at price level of D400 series with ION2 or cheaper it would put good pressure on Intel. nVidia was late to market with GTX460, but given it's price point a lot of pressure was put on ATI.
I will be very happy if the production version can stomp on the D525 while consuming similar power at a lower cost, mostly because I think the low-energy market is far too inflated right now.

Yet rather than brag about what could be a performance leader in the low-energy class, VIA calls this a "mainstream desktop" solution. I think they need to rethink the marketing on this.
November 2, 2010 7:56:54 AM

All things considered, I was rather impressed by what Via has to offer, especially since its not finalized yet. While I would never game with this, I would more then consider using it for an always on file server/NAS. Heres to hoping they are able to further improve it along the way. In the long run, the more options we have, the more these companies will compete for our money. Good job Via!
November 2, 2010 8:11:38 AM

at least its good to know my dual core atom 330 and nvidia ion 1 12inch netbook is in good company and almost as good as a general laptop while my PC is still a beast.... asus really makes the lightest and thinnestdual core atom netbooks..... check out the asus eesashel 1020n... its a great netbook...
November 2, 2010 9:03:54 AM

I enjoyed you VIA when you made mobos that didn't need expensive rambus ram for intel but sorry you mean nothing to me anymore :T

The thing i would look for was movie playback and in that arena it's not exactly a show stopper. With that platform i'd be most concerned with if it can play full 1080p movies and flash particularly flash playback. then i'd look into power consumption etc.

Really these low power solutions are meant for cheap media playback or cheap workstation solution.
November 2, 2010 9:53:55 AM

:fou:  Heatsink orientation is all wrong! Must resist urge to straighten...
November 2, 2010 10:11:32 AM

I' want to see this on a netbook/notebook solution.
November 2, 2010 10:24:56 AM

No AMD products in the comparison charts?

November 2, 2010 10:28:05 AM

I want to see the 40nm Nano DC clocked at 3GHz with an Nvidia discrete GPU compared against i3's. Good review but could the Nano DC been tested for OCing. I would like to get an ideal of how far a 40nm Nano DC can OC.
November 2, 2010 10:43:42 AM

Looks pretty good for HTPCs rather than gaming.
November 2, 2010 11:08:59 AM

reynodNo AMD products in the comparison charts?

Really, what's up with that? AMD has a set-up that is used in some netbooks. I would have liked to see a comparison including that.
November 2, 2010 11:51:47 AM

Back in the day, I was a huge VIA fan and nearly all of my mobos used VIA chipsets. I even had a few of their mini-ITX offerings (C3 and C7 based) for special uses (linux firewalls and file servers). The thing I really appreciated about VIA was the lost cost of ownership and stable products with good driver support. It would be good for the market for VIA to offer viable (and desirable) products to consumers, again.
November 2, 2010 11:51:48 AM

reynodNo AMD products in the comparison charts?


The real question here is: can it play crysis?

Hell no it can't.
November 2, 2010 12:18:40 PM


The Nano has nothing to do with Cyrix. Via bought Centaur, and the Nano is from that lineage, not the Cyrix design, which was killed. The design team is still Centaur. They were part of IDT before VIA bought them.

Having said that, I'm glad someone finally gave them some attention. Although, AMD may have given them too much with the Bobcat, which may compete for the same market.
November 2, 2010 12:53:56 PM

I know that you can couple an Ion2 and a Nano.
Does anyone make a board for that? I think I'd like to see some specs.
November 2, 2010 12:57:07 PM

You should've done benchmarking with the processors ID/vendor set to Intel, since most intel's benchmarks are compiled with an intel compiler, which is clearly biased.
November 2, 2010 1:54:29 PM

Good Summary. What's with via releasing a dx10.1 product, have they been under a rock while dx11 hit the world?

I wish they'd sell that x86 license to nVidia, then we could potentially have some serious competition from a third player.
November 2, 2010 2:26:29 PM

lashtoncorrect me if im wrong but i thought no intel CPU had OOO execution

The Atom processors don't. All the rest have been doing it for years. Instruction reordering is expensive, and part of why modern x86 cores are relatively large, but it's also part of the reason that i3's huge IPC lead over the low-energy crowd.

AMD's low-power Bobcat chip, due Soon(TM) is a 40nm OOO part, which will also be competing with the Nano and Atom in the low-end notebook space.

Unfortunately, by the time the Nano DC launches, it won't be able to claim the fastest IGP anymore. AMD will have Bobcat out, which has a HD 54xx class GPU, and Sandy Bridge will be out too (the ones with faster IGPs are about on par with HD 5450). And of course, Llano is going to eat every IGP ever built for breakfast.
November 2, 2010 3:08:55 PM

Where's the street Fighter IV Benchie? I swear that's what I'm always looking for in the reviews but they took it out. They should change their game benchmarks for these lower-end performance IGPs.

They should be benchmarking older games like:
Valve games - CSS, HL2
Games with UE3 which are great performers.
November 2, 2010 3:10:27 PM

Fusion will smack it and the VN1000 will call Fusion Daddy. I was kinda hopeful that VIA would provide something interesting, but perhaps with some polish and that 40nm CPU this will be a good setup for HTPCs, or not.
November 2, 2010 3:15:56 PM

I did my calculations and would estimate the Via system at full cpu to be closer to 45W, compared to your 55W!
We'll see in the final version.
November 2, 2010 3:38:31 PM

looking at the benches none of these solutions are realistic to game on. If you have to tune down all settings to minimum (including resolution), and you still only manage 20fps... you just shouldn't be gaming. Games just plain loose their appeal. I think this was fairly obvious.
November 2, 2010 3:48:20 PM

NVidia needs to buy VIA while they are down so they can enter the CPU market and compete.
November 2, 2010 5:02:02 PM

I am looking forward to VIA being able to do something in this one area. I have always felt that Atom was nearly useless, but I recognize the importance of the low voltage platform. All VIA needs is to get to market soon, be much better than this preview, and get on production hardware. All intel has to do to render VIAs efforts useless is to modify the I3 - say one core with HT. Something both companies must do is make them CHEAP.

Then there is AMD.
November 2, 2010 10:34:15 PM

dman3kNVidia needs to buy VIA while they are down so they can enter the CPU market and compete.

+1 best idea i have heard yet.
idk what toms was thinking other then they seriously wanted to slap via in the face. throwing DX10 games at POS p/c's well since toms wants to skew things so bad like that then from now on i expect every bench mark to be max'd and only max'd no more of this 1080p b.s. screen size can be no smaller then 55" with 2 or 3 55" screens and the only game benchmark should be crisis or crisis2. no file size compression under 4.7gb either, no more itunes encoding full flac only and nothing that doesn't run full ddr3 or less then 16X sli and all the benchmarks have to be run and done at the same time for every application being tested.

seriously TOM's i don't like rigged comparrisons and will show you truely crippling results as watching a move burning a dvd while compressing the next one, while watching another dvd and playing a crisis and listening to flac while downloading all at the same time is how i roll every day. if you can't or won't do this i don't know how much longer any of us are going to continue bothering with this site's benchmarks.
anybody can skew things to show biased favor, especially me, i like to break every one no exceptions.
you haven't succeeded until you found the breaking point.
go all out or go home.
November 2, 2010 11:12:51 PM

f-14idk what toms was thinking other then they seriously wanted to slap via in the face. throwing DX10 games at POS p/c's well since toms wants to skew things so bad...(more useless blather)...
Rigged? VIA said games. VIA said DX10.1. VIA said "Mainstream PC Platform". Tom's then proceeded to use the lowest-possible DX10 settings from its mainstream motherboard benchmarks in an effort to find some DX10 games that the IGP could pass.

From then your comments go off on a complete tangent so you should let us know: Are you really trying to say that Tom's hates VIA in your first sentence and then proceeding to say Tom's shills for VIA in your next paragraph?
November 2, 2010 11:52:33 PM

yes, if nvidia and via combined forces, they would be able to produce quite brutal cpu/gpu combo's. Between them and AMD, intel would then start to lose a fair bit of market share. Without that happening, Like always, VIA will fall short and offer a low end product that few people will want. Also VIA's graphics drivers/cards have always produced glitchy graphics and poor-average performance and I dont think more refined drivers have ever fixed their problems.
November 2, 2010 11:56:48 PM

I really agree that nvidia should buy via, then we can have the big three fight it off, and we the consumer would win even more :D 
November 3, 2010 12:53:26 AM

i don't think VIA will like to sell them self to anyone , they try so hard to get everything they can on the desktop , so far they got the sound chip , network chip , graphic chip and now CPU ......
November 3, 2010 1:06:23 AM

Did they try changing the CPU-ID and rerunning some of those benchmarks? As an avid Via user (for home router / low end home servers) I've noticed that damn near all software on the market checks the CPU-ID to determine the code path. Most software is only optimized for Intel CPU's and sometimes AMD depending, most have no clue what a Via is and instead use a generic non-optimized code path. This will cause all sorts of weird performance issues, mostly because SSE type instructions won't be executed and instead everything will be done using plain x86 instructions.

On another note, WHY wasn't AES encryption tested in all this? One of the features of every Via CPU is onboard AES encryption, its called padlock. Because the encryption can be done with a handful of single instructions vs using a software solution its usually 10 ~ 100 times faster (I'm not joking about this). I've achieved real-time R/RW speeds on full disk encryption with a 1.8Ghz Via C7 CPU before, I imagine the Nano would be even faster.
November 3, 2010 1:18:16 AM

To further explain my above post. I use Linux on my Via systems and I found that I have to rebuild the Kernel of any distro I put on to get any enhanced features out of the system. Most installed software works ok but I find that rebuilding OpenSSL / OpenVPN / Apache and a few others nets me pretty big improvements once I recompile with it recognizing that the Via CPU has advanced x86 instructions. Problem with only have two big manufacturer's is all the software produced is only optimized for them and coders tend to get lazy and use CPU-ID to set a code path instead of feature set flags.
November 3, 2010 4:50:51 AM

Turion II X2 Neo K665 1.7Ghz (15w) + HD4225 needs to be included.
November 3, 2010 6:42:22 AM

welcome VIA , skrew intel !
November 3, 2010 7:16:31 PM

WOW it can play Crysis WOW.

Via might be waiting for some company that is going to use the Intel 1% of 22nm fab process before releasing ?
November 3, 2010 7:22:44 PM

WarraWarraWOW it can play Crysis WOW.

You call that "playing"? At 5.7FPS it's not a game, it's a slide show.
November 3, 2010 9:56:23 PM

You call that "playing"? At 5.7FPS it's not a game, it's a slide show.

Loock at this: VIA Nano L2200 1.6GHz (Single-Core Processor) + S3 Graphics Chrome 435 ULP (VIA Trinity Platform) play Crysis SP Demo

Crysis Demo Benchmark DX9 1280x720 all LOW details
VIA VB8003 (VIA Trinity) : 25,695 fps /Min FPS: 16.73 at frame 1947, Max FPS: 41.53 at frame 71/

Total playble not a slide show :o )
November 4, 2010 2:05:28 AM

Crashman said:
You call that "playing"? At 5.7FPS it's not a game, it's a slide show.

Slide shows have a play button right?

Yup thats "Playing" :sol: 
November 4, 2010 6:09:24 AM

Crashman: Please write in youtube: VIA Nano + S3G Chrome 435 ULP play Crysis and Xpand Rally.

November 4, 2010 7:12:16 AM

tralalakCrashman: Please write in youtube: VIA Nano + S3G Chrome 435 ULP play Crysis and Xpand Rally.
I didn't try DX9 mode because DX10.1 is supposed to be one of its major features. Then again, a min FPS of 16.73 in DX9 mode could be 1/2 second of 0FPS (1 frame) and 1/2 second of 32FPS (16 frames in 1/2 second), which is still unplayable. That's why the site generally sticks to a 20FPS lowest minimum or a 40FPS lowest average as its frame of reference for playability.