VIA's C3 Hits 1 GHz

VIA's C3 At 1 GHz

At first glance, the C3 processor seems to be nothing but a low-end competitor to Intel and AMD CPUs; how could a 1 GHz processor compete with a fast Pentium 4 at roughly half the clock speed? Well, take the Pentium 4, it doesn't do everything right. There are two factors that put a damper on the Pentium 4. It is expensive and it gets very hot. A Pentium 4 at 2 GHz, for example, has a thermal output of 75 Watts! By the way, an Athlon XP 2000+ (at 1666 MHz) typically isn't any better at 70 Watts. C3 runs smoothly at a fraction of that power.

Maybe it's time for a little change in thinking since we have to pay such a high price for today's performance-focused processors. I'm referring to both the high costs for the CPU and the energy that is largely wasted by modern processors. Both VIA and Transmeta offer alternatives that may not be competitive from a performance point of view, but were designed with different goals in mind.

Just think about the power shortages in California or the applications that demand several computers (load-balancing or security considerations) without much processing power. Systems based on VIA's C3 could be the solution for such requirements, thanks to its low power output and low heat dissipation.