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Report: Atom to be 62% Cheap PC Sales by Q4 '09

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

As much as we love the Intel Atom processor, the thought of it powering a significant portion of desktops is one that goes against our instincts of bigger, stronger, faster.

When it comes to computers, the trend is always headed straight towards making things faster and power capable. But now the low-cost, low-power (in both senses of the word) Intel Atom processor could end up in more than half of entry-level desktop sales at the end of the year.

Normally a segment reserved for Celerons and Pentiums, Intel could be adjusting its entry-level CPU shipment plans of single-core Atom 230 and dual-core Atom 330 CPUs increasing from 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively, in the first quarter, to 10 percent and 52 percent by the fourth quarter of 2009, according to Digitimes’ "industry sources" in Taiwan.

Furthermore, the report says that the Celeron E1000-series and the Celeron 200-series processors will drop to less than a fifth of the shipment makeup by the fourth quarter this year.

While the proliferation of Atom-powered machines on the desktop will likely bring down the average computational power of budget-oriented PCs sold this year, falling with it will be prices. Given the current economic climate and increased consumer price sensitivity, OEMs see the Atom as a simple solution for low-cost offerings.

For many casual computer users, the Atom is perfectly adequate for web browsing, emailing, even watching online videos. But without additional acceleration (such as the Nvidia Ion), the Atom isn’t able to decode high-definition video, possibly reducing the usable lifespan of nettops and cheap desktops shipped later this year.

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  • 7 Hide
    jerreece , March 17, 2009 10:29 PM
    "Atom to be 62% Cheap..."

    So, are you saying the Atom will become 62% cheapER? Or that the processor itself is simply 62% cheap, and 38% quality?

    Or that the Atom will make up 62% of cheap PC sales by Q4 2009?

    Quote:
    Normally a segment reserved for Celerons and Pentiums, Intel could be adjusting its entry-level CPU shipment plans of single-core Atom 230 and dual-core Atom 330 CPUs increasing from 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively, in the first quarter, to 10 percent and 52 percent by the fourth quarter of 2009, according to Digitimes’ "industry sources" in Taiwan.


    Good Lord that's a long sentence. But I presume from that sentence that you intended to mean the Intel Atom CPU would make up 62% of cheap PC sales by Q4 of 2009.

    Interesting news I suppose. Just means folks with "cheap PCs" will have even less gaming ability than they have now with their Pentium & Celeron chips. Talk about "Internet/Email Only" PCs...
  • 0 Hide
    pharge , March 17, 2009 10:52 PM
    Just saw this on Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/17/asus-eeebox-pc-b208-with-dual-core-atom-and-hd-4350-graphics-un/):
    "ASUS EeeBox PC B208 with dual-core Atom and HD 4350 graphics un-announced... The B208 trumps ASUS' B206 by slapping a dual-core, 1.6GHz Atom 330 processor into the slim, monitor-riding slab as well as 256MB of ATI Radeon Hd 4350 graphics. ".

    Intel Dual core Atom + ATI HD4350... very interesting combination, isn't it? ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    Tindytim , March 17, 2009 10:53 PM
    Wouldn't a better title would be "Report: Atom to take 62% of budget marketshare by Q4 '09"?
  • 0 Hide
    fuser , March 17, 2009 10:54 PM
    The Atom makes sense for the netbook market, but I really doubt it will become so popular in the desktop segment. How much cheaper is the Atom 330 than a Celeron chip? $10? I think Dell, HP and others will end up with a customer service nightmare if they start pushing these processors on the desktop.
  • 3 Hide
    joex444 , March 17, 2009 11:09 PM
    TindytimWouldn't a better title would be "Report: Atom to take 62% of budget marketshare by Q4 '09"?


    Yeah, or even just tossing an "of" between the "62%" and "Cheap".
  • 0 Hide
    pharge , March 17, 2009 11:16 PM
    fuserThe Atom makes sense for the netbook market, but I really doubt it will become so popular in the desktop segment. How much cheaper is the Atom 330 than a Celeron chip? $10? I think Dell, HP and others will end up with a customer service nightmare if they start pushing these processors on the desktop.


    Good point.
    I am wondering is there other combination which can make an equally cool (low power, low nose), small in size, ok proformance, and still cheap nettop beside using Atom?

    By the way, how fast a Celeron is compairing w/ Atom 330? What are their power requirement different?
  • 0 Hide
    JimmiG , March 17, 2009 11:22 PM
    Small, stylish, power efficient PCs that everyone can afford and that are fast enough for what 95% of users need? Sounds good to me.
    Don't worry, there will still be $999 "Extreme" CPUs and $599 "Ultra GTX GTS+ HD X5999" videocards for those who want them. Indeed, if the PC itself, as an appliance, gets cheaper thanks to "nettops", chances are this will also deflate the prices of high-end parts somewhat. It will be harder to ask for $2900 for a system when that $225 nettop is good enough for most users.
  • 1 Hide
    mrubermonkey , March 17, 2009 11:51 PM
    Why have thin clients not really caught on?
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 18, 2009 12:16 AM
    Meh. This news makes no difference to most users of this site anyway - we won't settle for a weak computer for a main system.

    I have to wonder why Intel is still offering the Celeron though. It's significantly weaker than even Pentium Dual-Core, consumes too much power to be in a tiny system, and costs more than Atom. I don't see the rationale for keeping the Celeron.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 18, 2009 12:46 AM
    Which means that when AMD Yukon comes out, they will eventually follow suit with a low-cost desktop that stomps atom into the ground in every category. The "full computing experience" is kind of expected on a desktop, netbooks are a different story.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , March 18, 2009 1:19 AM
    I wonder how large these 'cheap' PCs are? Do they follow the regular form factor of the Atom, or are they a large form factor? It seems like you could get a Disc drive and a hard drive with an ION setup in something pretty small.

    mrubermonkeyWhy have thin clients not really caught on?

    Do you really want to pay a fee for how much computing you do? Not to mention the infrastructure isn't really there yet for anything High-res. If your internet went down, you'd be out of luck.
  • 0 Hide
    kewl munky , March 18, 2009 3:43 AM
    I wish I would have waited for dual core atoms before I bought my aspire one :( 

    But an atom in a desktop sounds pretty stupid considering the average person now has a core 2 duo in the 2Ghz+ range. maybe if they made a 3Ghz dual core atom that was very close to the same, if not the same or better, than a C2D clock for clock but still lower in voltage and cheaper to produce. But then again I recall an article a while back proving that when it came to faster speeds a C2D would be more energy efficient at the current speeds they are at than an atom if one would be made at the speeds of a C2D. Theoretically anyway, and what is on paper isn't always fact *cough* Phenom *cough*
  • 0 Hide
    city_zen , March 18, 2009 3:44 AM
    It's sad to see that here at Tom's Hardware the comments are often much better written than the articles ...
    And I thought Betanews' writers were bad .... I take that back Scott M. Fulton et al
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , March 18, 2009 4:05 AM
    city_zenIt's sad to see that here at Tom's Hardware the comments are often much better written than the articles

    Tom's might be picking up on that:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/tom-s-hardware-job,7302.html
  • 0 Hide
    city_zen , March 18, 2009 5:13 AM
    TindytimTom's might be picking up on that:http://www.tomshardware.com/news/t [...] ,7302.html


    I know! I was indeed surprised when I read that immediately after this article. I felt as if they had read my mind :) 

  • -1 Hide
    matt_b , March 18, 2009 9:44 AM
    If I wanted a slow CPU, I may as well pick up an older Athlon X2 or pentium dual core for like $40. Seriously, I could have sworn that for netbooks, the old Celeron running at 900 mhz is a little faster than this Atom at 1.6 ghz, anyone else see the same? With regards to possilby power consumption, why is this Atom so "great" architecturally?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 18, 2009 9:55 AM
    I'd love to see an AtomDC processor paired with a Radeon 4660!
    The two speak of powersaving and performance on a budget!

    As far as the atom 270,it wouldn't surprise me if the article read:
    "Atom to be 62% CheapER";
    Since the release of Win7 soon the Atom 270 will not have the juice to run that effectively; leaving Win 7 desktops to either run an Atom DC,or the newer Atom with graphic chip and/or memory controller on chip/die.

    I only pitty Via, who might release too late the via chip + nano platform, which might be barely enough for Win7 (unless it supports HT or is a dual core version).

    I've always said, what we need is a 2 core PC, one powerful and BIG core, and one small core; the smaller mainly to run Windows and background tasks, and the bigger to run the applications.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 18, 2009 10:20 AM
    Matt_BIf I wanted a slow CPU, I may as well pick up an older Athlon X2 or pentium dual core for like $40. Seriously, I could have sworn that for netbooks, the old Celeron running at 900 mhz is a little faster than this Atom at 1.6 ghz, anyone else see the same? With regards to possilby power consumption, why is this Atom so "great" architecturally?

    Because it outperforms the Celeron by MUCHfor dual threaded applications, whileconsuming about half the power, and due to it's HT structure. It not only boots up windows much faster, Windows itselfis also much more responsive. Not to mention, if you compare it to the Celeron 800Mhz used in the EeePc to a Celeron 1,2Ghz you benefit of the Atom's increased FSB as well as memory speed.
    Also the Atom has a 64bit capable structure (or something), to run 64 bit Operating systems (which many wonder why the need for that).
    It also has more sleep states,and quickly enters into a sleep state disabling unused parts of the processor as soon as they are not used.
    Unlike a ~2004 celeron processor which basically always is active if not put to sleep by Windows power scheme. This would result in even greater power savings!

    And I'm sure there are more benefits to it (like the fact that the Atom's die is about 1/4th the size of a celeron one; the chip + 'socket'= about 2,5 times smaller)... etc etc..
  • 1 Hide
    hillarymakesmecry , March 18, 2009 10:31 AM
    Nice title TH. It's so terrible I'm not even going to bother to read the article out of fear it'll be detrimental to my own grammar skills.
  • 0 Hide
    blazer_123 , March 18, 2009 6:21 PM
    Race to the bottom!
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