Energy And Efficiency
VIA says that that the production version of its Nano DC processor will require around half the power of this pre-release sample due to a die shrink from 65 nm to 40 nm. Yet the power reduction won’t apply to any other part of the system, making accurate power estimates of the released part impossible. We might get a rough idea of how the final part could look by considering the difference between idle and full-load consumption.
A full-load, full-system reading of 73 W doesn’t appear to be too bad, given the 65 nm manufacturing process of VIA's pre-production CPU. But the rough estimate we spoke of would put the retail processor somewhere around 55 W total system consumption. That’s still far better than the Core i3 desktop CPU, but marginally worse than the 1.80 GHz Atom used in the ION 2 platform.
Since efficiency is a comparison of work-done to energy-used, we calculated the average performance difference for use in our efficiency charts.
The ION 2’s 12.7% efficiency lead will most likely be completely negated by the die shrink of VIA’s retail Nano DC. But notice that the Core i3’s superior performance gives it an efficiency advantage over low-energy platforms. Reasons not to use a desktop processor include noise, heat, and mounting space.