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Intel Now Shipping New Dual Core Atom N550

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

Netbooks to get a little bit more capable thanks to an additional CPU core.

The Atom CPU is a bit stronger today thanks to Intel's roll out the a new dual-core version that has found homes in a dozen of new netbooks available in stores.

Intel says that the new dual-core model is better equipped to handle multimedia, especially web technology using Adobe Flash, including online hotel booking systems and multimedia sites such as YouTube and Hulu.

According to Intel, the dual-core Atom N550 will achieve "similar" battery life as the single-core Atom N450.

"In their short history, the netbook category has experienced impressive growth," said Erik Reid, director of marketing for mobile platforms at Intel. "Having shipped about 70 million Intel Atom chips for netbooks since our launch of the category in 2008, there is obviously a great market for these devices around the world."

Acer, ASUS, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI, and Toshiba are among the OEMs with new systems based on the new CPU.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    decode , August 24, 2010 11:25 AM
    I'm waiting for bobcat, It sound's as if to be better than Atom, but only time will tell.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    cmartin011 , August 24, 2010 11:10 AM
    Oh Boy!!!!
  • 2 Hide
    DjEaZy , August 24, 2010 11:19 AM
    ... is this chip x64 capable?
  • 7 Hide
    welshmousepk , August 24, 2010 11:19 AM
    Would have been nice to have not needed to google for the clockspeed.

    anyways, this is pretty cool. hopefully we will se a nice 10 inch netbook with one of these and a 9400m. would make for a reasonable light gaming machine. considering how well i was able to get some stuff running on the single core atom N10j from asus, this could offer a nice boost.

  • 11 Hide
    decode , August 24, 2010 11:25 AM
    I'm waiting for bobcat, It sound's as if to be better than Atom, but only time will tell.
  • -1 Hide
    insider3 , August 24, 2010 11:47 AM
    Waiting another year for the quads. It's bound to happen.
  • 0 Hide
    Godfail , August 24, 2010 1:58 PM
    insider3Waiting another year for the quads. It's bound to happen.


    Doubt it. The point of a netbook is efficiency, the point of a quad is power.
  • 7 Hide
    cookoy , August 24, 2010 2:02 PM
    Quote:
    is this chip x64 capable?


    Yes according to Intel website. Seems to be a valid question. Wonder why people flag it down.
  • 3 Hide
    wotan31 , August 24, 2010 2:15 PM
    What a pointless chip. The dual-core Atom 330 has been out since 2008. The 330 had a higher clock speed too. This "new" 550 is simply the 330 with a die-shrink, and a slower clock speed. So what? Old technology, no thanks. The reason Netbook vendors never used the 330, is that Microsoft didn't allow them to install Netbook or Tablet Edition of Windows on a dual-core processor. Microsoft demanded single-core only for the those editions, which means the OEM's would have had to use the much-more-expensive Home edition on a dual-core netbook. The whole situation is stupid.
  • 0 Hide
    Aragorn , August 24, 2010 2:50 PM
    The 330 used too much power for a net book. They were used in Nettops with ultra cheap windows.
  • 1 Hide
    Dkz , August 24, 2010 2:57 PM
    I think they should focus a bit more on the chip-set to enhance it's multimedia capabilities.
    I'm not talking about games.. for the easy jumpers out there..
  • 2 Hide
    brandonjclark , August 24, 2010 2:57 PM
    I've been using an Atom 330 Dual Core in my lightweight home server for over a year now. It works great as an SSH and File server, all the while sucking less than 50w.
  • -1 Hide
    jaydice , August 24, 2010 3:15 PM
    A. Atoms have a huge low application for low end markets such as Africa and 3rd world countries. So yeah they don't offer much that can't be accomplished here in the USA because you have electrical outlets every 50 feet here.
    B. These are not old technology chips, they deliver the performance of a chip a few years old, but at a power cost that allows them to run on smaller batteries for many more hours than current power hungry chips.
    C. The future of CPU hardware is redundant execution cores, not clock speed. In five years a CPU with 128 cores running at 50mhz will destroy a cpu of today with 2 cores that pumps out 1.8ghz.
  • 2 Hide
    bobusboy , August 24, 2010 3:21 PM
    GodfailDoubt it. The point of a netbook is efficiency, the point of a quad is power.



    Implying there wont be an advance in technology which makes quad core processors more efficent and suited to the task.
  • -1 Hide
    7amood , August 24, 2010 3:26 PM
    guys... sorry to disappoint u but obviously it is atom.
    I don't expect it to exceed 20% performance over the last atom.
    If it gained 15% performance... I would be really happy.

    You should already know that Intel like to take it slow on their products and bleed the money out of them until... well... until there is profit, profit, and more profit.

    Think about it...
    Couldn't they come up with a dual chip 1 or 2 years ago??
    Was it difficult for them to produce a dual core chip with low power requirements??

  • 0 Hide
    stevelord , August 24, 2010 3:34 PM
    The Atoms stink for power. They barely handle a low end game like Bookworm.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2010 4:31 PM
    L335 anyone? I've had the amd l335 in my netbook for quite awhile now, welcome to party intel (just a little late)!
  • 1 Hide
    w3k3m , August 24, 2010 4:36 PM
    jaydiceIn five years a CPU with 128 cores running at 50mhz will destroy a cpu of today with 2 cores that pumps out 1.8ghz.

    What use would that make, if software won't follow ? Multicore programming is not a trivial thing, and lot of applications wouldn't even get any benefit out of it. We can see it even today, very few applications see linear performance increase with multicore CPUs.

    Talking about Atom, N550 has only 1,5W lower TDP then e.g. Dual-Core Intel SU4100 which is some "real" cpu. It may be cheaper, but it's still simply too lame to be useful for anything but simplest applications.

  • -1 Hide
    wildwell , August 24, 2010 5:06 PM
    .... as the 'notebooks' slowly die away...
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 24, 2010 5:30 PM
    DjEaZy... is this chip x64 capable?

    The Atom processor is 64 bit capable,only you won't get any benefit with it, as the memory controller of the N550 only allows for a single channel of 2GB DDR memory at max.
    wotan31What a pointless chip. The dual-core Atom 330 has been out since 2008. The 330 had a higher clock speed too. This "new" 550 is simply the 330 with a die-shrink, and a slower clock speed. So what? Old technology, no thanks. The reason Netbook vendors never used the 330, is that Microsoft didn't allow them to install Netbook or Tablet Edition of Windows on a dual-core processor. Microsoft demanded single-core only for the those editions, which means the OEM's would have had to use the much-more-expensive Home edition on a dual-core netbook. The whole situation is stupid.

    The N550 is a lot different than the N330, in that it has a graphics and memory controller onboard. The N330 needed a GMA chip.
    And the reason why no netbook manufacturer used the N330 is because the N330 + GMA950 thermal envelope would be greater than a undervolted or ULV dualcore chip. Not only that, but the N330 was more expensive than the N280, and the performance was only marginally faster; not worth losing a couple of hours of battery life for.
    So far, as performance goes, you probably will be able to overclock the N550 quite a bit from it's standard 1,5Ghz. The 100Mhz lower clock speed of the CPU does not significantly degrade performance for singlethreaded apps (at worst by 7%), but for multi threaded apps, you'll see a boost of about 180% or more.
    Optimized multi threaded apps will see a near boost of 2x here!

    And for those who completely dis the N550 you can always go for more expensive single core netbooks from AMD, only I prefer Intel over AMD in chipset anytime.
    If only Intel would allow AMD and NVIDIA to create a good energy efficient graphics card. I think the integrated graphics chip is doing a lot of bad to the netbook.
    A N550 is powerful enough to run simple games like PSU at resolutions of 1024x768 or 1024x600 if they only where equipped with a better than an intel graphics chip!
  • 0 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , August 24, 2010 5:30 PM
    decodeI'm waiting for bobcat, It sound's as if to be better than Atom, but only time will tell.


    I love how Bobcat's TDP is listed as "
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