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ARM in more Netbooks than Atom by 2012

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March 12, 2009 9:45:47 PM

AMD join the netbook market right now!!!
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March 12, 2009 9:59:37 PM

Is the ARM proc x86?
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March 12, 2009 10:14:31 PM

The ARM processors are of their own hardware architecture. However, knowing how power efficient ARM processors are, I'm sure you'd have a netbook that lasts at least 7, 8 or up to 10 hours on a single battery charge.


I'd love to see ARM overtake x86. They already dominate the cell phone industry so why not?
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March 12, 2009 10:35:48 PM

jacobdrjIs the ARM proc x86?



No, ARM is a different hardware architecture than x86.

Netbooks with ARMs would be epic. They would lower price substantially, and battery life could be amazing.
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March 12, 2009 10:36:33 PM

IIRC, they are power efficiant, but at the cost of useable speed. The atom is so populare because it is not only inexpensive, but it can easily run x86 based apps.
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March 12, 2009 10:44:48 PM

jacobdrjIIRC, they are power efficiant, but at the cost of useable speed. The atom is so populare because it is not only inexpensive, but it can easily run x86 based apps.



Meh, the power savings and low cost are what i am interested in. thats the point of netbooks, after all.

100 bucks for a cheap netbook would be fantastic, even if the processor was far from the performance of even the Atom.
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March 12, 2009 11:07:04 PM

ARM is crap, unless you wan't it in a router, dvd player or NAS... it's absolutly not x86 compatible so it will only work on a custom / ARM compatible linux OS or applications. Yes, you will pay 100 bucks for it!!! But you will only play mp3 with it, (maybe you will have a 4 gb ssd to store few of them...) and barely surf on the internet, as flash on a ARM processor is not very nice or have no more than 2 application active at the same time. For 100$... you will have 1/15 the computing power of a ION platform (x86!!) notebook at maximum 400-600$ and i'm not talking about graphics...
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March 12, 2009 11:37:50 PM

No 8086 = no hope. The 8086 architecture is popular for a reason. You realize how many people panic when facebook is updated, imagine having to learn an entirely different OS and program set...

I wish them well for competition sake, but it isn't going to happen.
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Anonymous
March 12, 2009 11:48:56 PM

There are netbook like devices with ARM already, they are called PDAs. The nokia N770/800/810 are good example of something that is like a netbook.

ARM is really making inroads, gone are the days of 200mhz processors typically seen in PDAs and similar devices. Now there are ARMs running 1 ghz plus. The TI OMAP3 is a great example of an ARM that is powerful enough to be used in a netbook and it can play HD videos.

ARM and linux are intertwined, no doubt the biggest factor in linux gaining popularity is ARM, and ARM making inroads is because of linux. These two make a potent combo, perhaps deadly enough to kill the atom + windows in the netbook market. Once netbooks have fallen to ARM+linux, it is only logical to conclude that the desktop market is up for grabs as well.
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March 13, 2009 1:23:04 AM

while the idea of somebody taking intel down a notch is good, I still can't help but think that the linux os is plain and simple, just too complex for the average person witch really hurts arm's possibilities since it's not going to do windows any time soon and apple is being..well, apple with osx (probably the most user friendly nix/bsd variant out there)

For amd though, I personally don't mind them not trying to do the netbook market, with their troubles it's probably best not to spread yourself out too much just to match what intel offers (an amd chipset/igp in a netbook would be killer though)
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March 13, 2009 12:02:53 PM

deadlypredatorARM is crap, unless you wan't it in a router, dvd player or NAS... it's absolutly not x86 compatible so it will only work on a custom / ARM compatible linux OS or applications. Yes, you will pay 100 bucks for it!!! But you will only play mp3 with it, (maybe you will have a 4 gb ssd to store few of them...) and barely surf on the internet, as flash on a ARM processor is not very nice or have no more than 2 application active at the same time. For 100$... you will have 1/15 the computing power of a ION platform (x86!!) notebook at maximum 400-600$ and i'm not talking about graphics...



I really wouldn't mind paying a one-time 100 dollar fee for a netbook with an ARM, even if the internet is slow on it. its still better than Smartphones, which often cost much more.
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March 13, 2009 12:36:49 PM

This article would make a lot more sense with a technical description of why ARM is different, and then a performance comparison. (2 systems running Ubuntu, one atom, one ARM)
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March 13, 2009 12:40:57 PM

Master ExonThis article would make a lot more sense with a technical description of why ARM is different, and then a performance comparison. (2 systems running Ubuntu, one atom, one ARM)



That wouldn't make sence, the two would have to be coded differently so any comparisons would be irrelevant to true performance.
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March 13, 2009 1:08:46 PM

For me, the great thing about a netbook is being able to run XP and all my standard applications on such a small, inexpensive device. I would never buy a netbook that doesn't run x86 code. It would be like an oversized, overclocked smartphone, and not much like a computer at all. If I wanted to run proprietary, non-x86 applications and OS, I'd just get an iPhone.
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March 13, 2009 2:03:08 PM

Unlike x86, ARM is not x86, it is ARM.
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March 13, 2009 2:04:33 PM

tipooThat wouldn't make sence, the two would have to be coded differently so any comparisons would be irrelevant to true performance.


I think the fact that they are coded differently is exactly why a head to head comparason would be useful. I'd love to see how much of a performance hit we would be taking for running an ARM processor.
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Anonymous
March 13, 2009 2:14:51 PM

Via is at the moment your only alternative, and that 100% fully from Windows 7.
ARM is good for basic linux OS, but even Ubuntu starts to become pretty loaded.
ARM will probably do best in os'es like the EEEPC's first Xandros version, and other easy desktop versions where you have a couple of tabs and program-icons on the screen.
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March 13, 2009 2:41:04 PM

I tried to repair a computer with a via samuel2 CPU... it was horrible. Can't get a web cam working with msn messenger and playing a mp3 at the same time. But the current via processors looks far more capable than before, I would prefer to see them in a netbook instead of a ARM.
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March 13, 2009 4:02:26 PM

deadlypredatorARM is crap, unless you wan't it in a router, dvd player or NAS... it's absolutly not x86 compatible so it will only work on a custom / ARM compatible linux OS or applications. Yes, you will pay 100 bucks for it!!! But you will only play mp3 with it, (maybe you will have a 4 gb ssd to store few of them...) and barely surf on the internet, as flash on a ARM processor is not very nice or have no more than 2 application active at the same time. For 100$... you will have 1/15 the computing power of a ION platform (x86!!) notebook at maximum 400-600$ and i'm not talking about graphics...


ARM is a full-featured processor that can run modern apps reasonably well. It's fully supported by Debian so you can run the latest (v5/Lenny) version on it. While Adobe has been pitiful in getting 64bit versions of their products (Reader, Flash, etc.) out, that just shows why Open Source is important. There are Open Source alternatives to Adobe's products.
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March 13, 2009 4:10:58 PM

Hatecrime69while the idea of somebody taking intel down a notch is good, I still can't help but think that the linux os is plain and simple, just too complex for the average person witch really hurts arm's possibilities since it's not going to do windows any time soon and apple is being..well, apple with osx (probably the most user friendly nix/bsd variant out there)For amd though, I personally don't mind them not trying to do the netbook market, with their troubles it's probably best not to spread yourself out too much just to match what intel offers (an amd chipset/igp in a netbook would be killer though)


Too complex? Actually it's Windows that fits the "too complex" appellation. The reason people think that Linux is "complex" is threefold. Firstly, they usually have to install it themselves. Secondly, it's not "Windows" so they're not used to it. Finally, it's not something they can usually talk to friends about fixing. It's "community" is different.

Moreover Linux installers are better than Windows in that they try to accommodate having another OS on the machine. This gets you into issues like partitioning. Buy a computer Linux pre-installed and you eliminate these problems.

And self-help groups like the Ubuntu community forums help with lots of problems should they arise.

Personally, I find having to run multiple malware defenders on a Windows box a real pain in the butt. Linux's better security model and the ease of installing new software and updates makes it the better choice for most users.
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March 13, 2009 4:22:59 PM

JimmiGFor me, the great thing about a netbook is being able to run XP and all my standard applications on such a small, inexpensive device. I would never buy a netbook that doesn't run x86 code. It would be like an oversized, overclocked smartphone, and not much like a computer at all. If I wanted to run proprietary, non-x86 applications and OS, I'd just get an iPhone.


I'm confused as to why you prefer proprietary x86 applications to open source ARM applications. I run Linux on a 64bit x86 box and note that people running Windows rarely get the 64bit version. But when they do, they usually end up running 32bit programs. I run pure 64bit because I don't rely on M$ or some other proprietary vendor to produce a 64bit version of their applications.

I could switch to PowerPC, ARM, or an IBM mainframe and run the same applications without resorting to emulation. Windows XP users on the other hand can only run on what Micro$oft supports - x86. I can even run most Windows programs, but don't because there are better Linux alternatives that don't require keeping track of multiple activiation keys.

It's worth noting that most netbooks give you the option of running Linux or Windows. However, the XP you get is an antique, stripped down version shoehorned into the netbook. The Linux versions are either cheaper or more powerful and feature an up-to-date edition of Linux and the various applications.

I find it strange that Windows users point to their shackles and claim that they are beautiful jewels. :) 
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March 13, 2009 4:23:47 PM

garydale Firstly, they usually have to install it themselves. Secondly, it's not "Windows" so they're not used to it. Finally, it's not something they can usually talk to friends about fixing. It's "community" is different.


So the fact that most people have no idea where to turn to for help is somehow a plus for linux?

I know most folks also want something with a different feel to it so that they can spend more time trying to figure out how to do what they already knew how to do in windows.

You've sold me. I can't wait to switch my parrents, grandparents and friends to an OS with no good support so that they can get confused and frustrated with trying to re-learn what they already have a basic mastery of.
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March 13, 2009 4:31:50 PM

hairycat101I think the fact that they are coded differently is exactly why a head to head comparason would be useful. I'd love to see how much of a performance hit we would be taking for running an ARM processor.


Agreed. Cross-platform benchmarks are available. However, we don't see them very often because most Windows users just care about their x86 computers. And since Apple went x86, even the PPC platform performance seems to be disregarded.

The ARM processor fairs quite well on price/performance and power/performance tests from what I've read. However, anecdotal evidence doesn't replace hard numbers.

On the other hand, some things don't always show up in benchmarks. While a CPU may lack the power to decode h264 video, it may be paired with a chipset that can. We'll probably have to wait until we start seeing ARM-based netbooks.
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March 13, 2009 4:47:41 PM

hairycat101So the fact that most people have no idea where to turn to for help is somehow a plus for linux? I know most folks also want something with a different feel to it so that they can spend more time trying to figure out how to do what they already knew how to do in windows. You've sold me. I can't wait to switch my parrents, grandparents and friends to an OS with no good support so that they can get confused and frustrated with trying to re-learn what they already have a basic mastery of.

Having a different community is neither a plus nor minus. It's just a difference you have to accept. It's the same with the Mac.

And anytime you switch to something better, you have to accept that there will be a learning curve. However it's hardly an insurmountable obstacle. Otherwise we'd still be running MS-DOS. I remember being taught how to use a mouse! They actually offered classes on it, believe it or not.

As for your parent and grandparents, they make ideal people to switch to Linux. It's harder for them to mess up. I could make a fortune if I charged people every time I had to fix something they broke in Windows. The "basic mastery" you talk about mainly carries over - Firefox is Firefox and an office suite is an office suite on both platforms. The learning curve between M$ Office 2003 and 2007 is larger than the learning curve between M$ Office 2003 and OpenOffice.org v3.0.

And who said there was no support for Linux? There's a lot of support and it's superior to what you find for Windows. However you're not going to call the local "Geek Squad" to get it. They just want to fix Windows because that's what they sell.

If you want Linux support, you call the people who make their money from Linux. Again, just because it's different doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
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March 13, 2009 6:10:14 PM

Actually, garyale, I think you illistrated my points quite well. The tech support is not as redily available. Novice computer users don't know where to get it. People who think the "Geek Squad" is good tech support definately fall into that catagory. As far as the learning curve from office 03 to office 07, I can't agree with you any stronger. That was the worst thing MS could have done.

The thing that I like least of all for novice users with linux is the installation of other software. There just isn't that much software to buy, and it's a lot harder (90% of the time) then windows installations.

I actually like Kubuntu. My main problem is that it doens't do what I need done. It won't run my AutoCAD programs for my work and it won't run Direct X at home for games. There are CAD programs for linux, but they suck and they're not designed for contractor take-off use and OpenGL just isn't as popular as DX is... so very few games are made to use it and thus fewer are avaible for a cost effective port to linux.
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March 13, 2009 7:26:57 PM

re. Tech Support for Linux: you go to where you got it. Same as with the Mac. mac users don't think "Geek Squad" either. If you got your Linux box from Dell, you'd call the tech support they've arranged for it.

re. Installation of software hard? Let's see, you click on add/remove programs, locate the software you want to install from the repository, and click "install". You don't even need to find the software's disk. Moreover there is no hunting down the original installation materials to locate the product keys to allow installation to proceed. Of course, the hard part of most software installs is (1) going to the store, and (2) parting with your money.

The last time I tried installing a Windows package, it took me weeks because the company I bought it from (online) didn't send me the code I needed to activate it and their support people couldn't figure out that I needed a different code than the one I'd used for the previous version. Once I finally got the software installed, I found out that their web site gave the wrong requirements (I needed a much better graphics card than I had) and also overstated its capabilities. I ended up having to request a refund because, apart from some user interface changes - which I didn't really like - it was just a slower version of the previous release with bugs in different places.

And that is one reason why I like Linux - if I find a bug, I can report it and it gets fixed. With Windows software, they usually want to you buy a newer release that may or may not fix the bug and probably has some new ones thrown in.

re. CAD: Yes, AutoCAD works better than any of the Linux CAD programs. However, Linux rules in other areas. It owns the animation & special effects markets.

re. Games: If you're a dedicated gamer, get a playstation or x-box (if you don't mind needing a new one every year). Yes, Windows has the edge in games, but it's a rapidly shrinking edge because the Mac market has also grown and developers are looking more at cross-platform game development, which DirectX doesn't offer.
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March 13, 2009 7:52:01 PM

Repository installs are easy... The software in the repository is pretty weak. If you want to install something that isn't free, i.e. has enough value for someone to charge for it, then you face an installation process. Your problem installing a peice of software with no activation code is atypical and reflects the need for the activation code and not a problem with windows install.
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March 14, 2009 1:19:26 PM

β€œI'm confused as to why you prefer proprietary x86 applications to open source ARM applications.”

With ARM, you're stuck with the open source alternatives, where as x86 whether running Windows or Linux gives you access to much more software. Most good open source apps are available for Windows too, like OpenOffice, Firefox, even GIMP. You can even run Linux apps inside Windows with things like andLinux. It works the other way around too with Wine, except for some games, music applications etc. As long as you're on x86, there are no limitations or "shackles".

My main desktop system is used primarily for gaming and music production, so Linux is out of the question. There are no good Linux DAWs that do what I want yet, and Wine or virtualization are not options because of the low latency you need when working with music. Running Windows games in Linux is hit or miss.

However I was not that impressed with Ubuntu on my Netbook either, even though I only use it for basic web surfing and email. Many power saving features were either absent or disabled and features like LEDs and the WLAN toggle switch didn't work out of the box. Getting WLAN power save to work required the use of ndiswrapper and an old Windows driver. Audio power saving doesn't work. Graphics performance was more sluggish. Audio and WLAN would sometimes break after resuming from standby. Battery life was at least 30-40 minutes lower than XP without any tweaks and I only managed to close the gap to about 20-25 minutes less at best.

β€œIt's worth noting that most netbooks give you the option of running Linux or Windows. However, the XP you get is an antique, stripped down version shoehorned into the netbook. The Linux versions are either cheaper or more powerful and feature an up-to-date edition of Linux and the various applications.”

The Linux version of the Aspire One comes with 512MB RAM vs 1GB for the XP version. The Linux version they give you is based on an ancient version of Fedora and they only provide a simple launcher by default with no easy way to add more applications or switch to the full desktop. The Linux OS that ships with the Eee PC is dumbed down in a similar way. At least they've optimized the OS for the particular Netbook, so battery life and performance are great. But that comes at a great cost in terms of flexibility and usefulness. The XP versions of these netbooks ships with a fully featured copy of XP Home, the same one that has shipped with most OEM systems for years and years.
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Anonymous
March 14, 2009 6:23:11 PM

ARM/Atom/Nano/... can co-exist in netbook market. Every product has their own focus!

In Asia, netbook is free for 3G/3.5G subscriber for some phone provider. ARM netbook would be perfect for this. We even can see Android netbook (ARM based) taking market share here.

For people like M$ products, Atom/ION/Nano/Whatever X86 is perfect fit for them.

I just found this company they have ARM-based netbook for demo: http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/

Quite interesting... you can detach the screen!
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Anonymous
April 2, 2009 1:58:55 AM

Battery life is a huge deal. ARM will gain a lot of momentum in the netbook market. Also dont underestimate Linux : Ubuntu, Mandriva and co. are great distributions, they'll work well on netbooks.
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April 5, 2009 11:46:54 PM

I think we're getting a little wide off the mark in this discussion. A Netbook isn't a Notebook or a Desktop Computer. It's an appliance.

There's a good article here: http://www.fool.com/investing/high-growth/2009/04/01/go...

It is about Cloud Computing and that is about running applications remotely. You use the power of the remote machine to do the processing.

Many of the open source applications would work just fine for most of us, and many would be free to use. They wouldn't have to reside on the local system at all but they could if you wanted them to, so you could still use them when you are off line.

If I didn't have to worry about application program Operating System hardware compatibility why would I want to? I don't worry about what software my phone is using, but I can still do all kinds of things with an iPhone or a Black Berry. I know the programs are up to date and I don't have to do anything to make sure they work. "Yes there's an APP for that.".

If I want to run AutoCad I can run it from the server. I can access it from anywhere from just about any computer using Remote Desktop Protocol. I could access programs and files on my Computers at work, or at home. I could access them using the Netbook and run them remotely from anywhere as long as I have Internet access.

Having a service that keeps the Operating System up to date using Android, or some other Linux flavor, works great for me. All of the program compatibility issues become the service providers problem. They only have to deal with a limited set of hardware configurations and I don't need to be a System's Administrator or pay for stuff I don't use or want.

If I could run anything I wanted to in its native mode from just about anywhere, and it's easy to use, I wouldn't care any more about what O.S. it was running then I would care what O.S. my phone is using.

Besides, who wants to run AutoCAD or Photo Shop from a 10" screen using a wheel mouse and a shrunken keyboard?

If I want to run professional Apps like that, I would much rather run them from a real computer. Even then I could just run them when I need them as a service, especially if I don't use them enough to justify buying them or paying for constant upgrades.

I'm not going to burn my desktop; but having a little two pound portable PC that could do all that for a couple hundred bucks by around 2012 would be cool.

I don't see any reason why an ARM processor wouldn't be plenty.

Linux is a light weight O.S. with light weight Apps. It is highly customizable, isn't a resource hog and most of what the Netbook will be doing is just sending and receiving commands from the Host machine.

That makes for low power consumption and long battery life. For some people it's all they will need. For others it augments what they already have.

Now, if they could just figure out a way so I could fold it up unobtrusively and clip it on my hip so I could ditch this damn phone

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April 5, 2009 11:48:23 PM

I think we're getting a little wide off the mark in this discussion. A Netbook isn't a Notebook or a Desktop Computer. It's an appliance.

There's a good article here: http://www.fool.com/investing/high-growth/2009/04/01/go...

It is about Cloud Computing and that is about running applications remotely. You use the power of the remote machine to do the processing.

Many of the open source applications would work just fine for most of us, and many would be free to use. They wouldn't have to reside on the local system at all but they could if you wanted them to, so you could still use them when you are off line.

If I didn't have to worry about application program Operating System hardware compatibility why would I want to? I don't worry about what software my phone is using, but I can still do all kinds of things with an iPhone or a Black Berry. I know the programs are up to date and I don't have to do anything to make sure they work. "Yes there's an APP for that.".

If I want to run AutoCad I can run it from the server. I can access it from anywhere from just about any computer using Remote Desktop Protocol. I could access programs and files on my Computers at work, or at home. I could access them using the Netbook and run them remotely from anywhere as long as I have Internet access.

Having a service that keeps the Operating System up to date using Android, or some other Linux flavor, works great for me. All of the program compatibility issues become the service providers problem. They only have to deal with a limited set of hardware configurations and I don't need to be a System's Administrator or pay for stuff I don't use or want.

If I could run anything I wanted to in its native mode from just about anywhere, and it's easy to use, I wouldn't care any more about what O.S. it was running then I would care what O.S. my phone is using.

Besides, who wants to run AutoCAD or Photo Shop from a 10" screen using a wheel mouse and a shrunken keyboard?

If I want to run professional Apps like that, I would much rather run them from a real computer. Even then I could just run them when I need them as a service, especially if I don't use them enough to justify buying them or paying for constant upgrades.

I'm not going to burn my desktop; but having a little two pound portable PC that could do all that for a couple hundred bucks by around 2012 would be cool.

I don't see any reason why an ARM processor wouldn't be plenty.

Linux is a light weight O.S. with light weight Apps. It is highly customizable, isn't a resource hog and most of what the Netbook will be doing is just sending and receiving commands from the Host machine.

That makes for low power consumption and long battery life. For some people it's all they will need. For others it augments what they already have.

Now, if they could just figure out a way so I could fold it up unobtrusively and clip it on my hip so I could ditch this damn phone

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