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 Post subject: VIA shows off 3.5W 1Ghz C7M CPU for ultra-mobile sector
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:26 am 
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http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=40132

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The first one is the new Via Mobile ITX form factor motherboard. It is actually smaller than a business card, and runs a 1GHz C7M CPU. It will comfortably run XP all day long with the CPU pulling 3.5W worst case, but about .25W idling. The northbridge adds about another 3.5.


note the northbridge uses as much as the CPU!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:49 am 
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I wonder what the performance is like. This could be sweet if the price is right. We could all build mini PCs that barely need a heatsink

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:56 am 
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I was interested in the via C7-M but that was years ago, it's a chip from the pentium M era.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:02 am 
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I keep wanting to love Via mini/nano/pico/whatever-ITX stuff, but it always seems to fall short. Yes, there is a case-modding hobby community that loves it and it is used in industrial apps, but:
- Via always underperforms Intel/AMD at comparable clocks
- Particularly bad float & multimedia
- Hardware MPEG2, but what about other codecs?
- Poor price/performance
- Poor availability. Promises <> reality.
- Driver issues
- Linux users have seriously bad driver issues

Now that Intel is going mini-ITX and AMD is going DTX, there is less and less reason to put up with Via's issues. Commodity Intel/AMD SFF boards with low-power, higher perfomance CPUs are a better option.

Please, Via fans, don't bother to flame. If you are happy with your Via project, great! These points are verifiable in reviews of the boards and CPUs. even on sites like mini-itx.com and here at SPCR http://www.silentpcreview.com/article609-page1.html

picoPSU -- yes; pico-ITX -- no! ;-)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 10:10 am 
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Spare Tire wrote:
I was interested in the via C7-M but that was years ago, it's a chip from the pentium M era.

Pentium M is/was a sweet chip. Considering that it is much better clock for clock than P4 and there are still a lot of those still in use, what's the problem? Yes 1 GHz is puny, but what do expect for 3.5W? No, the issue with with Via is price/feature set. Ideally, you'd be able to get this chip bundled with a mobile-ITX MB for $100 and have a great 10W solution for building a NAS or Apple TV style media player. Sadly, retail solutions, if there are any, will likely cost $200-300 and thus be worthless to all but those concerned with super-tiny form factors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:36 pm 
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Add in the TCO (power), and the need for a small, not-in-the-way media dvice or server, and the cost might work out a bit better. I have always been a fan of Mini-Itx, because it is super cool, and has so many cool applications that just can't be done with regular ATX and more power-hungry CPUs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:22 pm 
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I'd like to get a bunch of these and build them into drive-bay sized modules. Put half a dozen of them into a case and dedicate each one to a function that needs to be active all day (router, file server, HTPC etc) and one general purpose one for web browsing and other light-weight activities. The main, normal PC can be booted whenever real processing power is needed.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:06 am 
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Mr Evil wrote:
I'd like to get a bunch of these and build them into drive-bay sized modules. Put half a dozen of them into a case and dedicate each one to a function that needs to be active all day (router, file server, HTPC etc) and one general purpose one for web browsing and other light-weight activities. The main, normal PC can be booted whenever real processing power is needed.


That sounds cool, but if you have six of them, that would be at MINIMUM 42 watts running all of the time. For that power, you could build one C2D machine with a PicoPSU, and then use VMs if you need to run different machines. On Hak.5 they made a server out of a FlexATX via board, and it was pretty cool. They virutalized their domain controller, Asterisk box and other stuff that they needed, which was pretty cool.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:26 am 
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if you have six of them, that would be at MINIMUM 42 watts running all of the time


actually the minimum would be 22.5W if the CPUs are idling. But you're right, the exceptional thing about this is not the power consumption (an AM2 sempron could probably pull the same power at 800Mhz/0.8v) but the form factor (although this is probably also not that exceptional for the ultra-mobile sector). Still, a credit-card sized board that can run XP at single-digit power consumption is always going to be cool. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:44 pm 
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Most of you have missed the point.

Yes, VIA processors aren't as powerful as Intel/AMD, but so what?. VIA's trying to make computing as efficient as possible, to the point where they've made an x86 board smaller than a business card.

Soon enough we'll have fully fledged computers that fit in our pockets. When do you think Intel would have gotten round to such a concept, 2015, 2020 perhaps?. It's just not on their agenda.

VIA are next generation computing and by continually shrinking the itx range, however flawed it currently is, they're forcing the big boys to sit up and take notice, accelerating computing no end.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:58 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
if you have six of them, that would be at MINIMUM 42 watts running all of the time


actually the minimum would be 22.5W if the CPUs are idling. But you're right, the exceptional thing about this is not the power consumption (an AM2 sempron could probably pull the same power at 800Mhz/0.8v) but the form factor (although this is probably also not that exceptional for the ultra-mobile sector). Still, a credit-card sized board that can run XP at single-digit power consumption is always going to be cool. :)


Yes, but not 6 of them. You could still run one with VMs if the stuff is light enough to behave in VMs on that light of hardware.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:40 pm 
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Would it be a PC that fits in the pocket, or a PC that hangs from the end of your monitor's cable? At some point, further miniturization has vanishing practicality.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:40 pm 
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Brian wrote:
Would it be a PC that fits in the pocket, or a PC that hangs from the end of your monitor's cable? At some point, further miniaturization has vanishing practicality.


I agree, but I don't think think we have reached that point yet. Standard desktop PCs are still bulky ugly things that can dominate small rooms (e.g P180). The low power consumption means this thing doesn't need a massive heatsink (or even one at all?) further contributing to the small form factor.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:45 pm 
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Geeks like us will always want big systems to play around with the hardware and stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:28 pm 
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The Gangrel wrote:
Most of you have missed the point.
Yes, VIA processors aren't as powerful as Intel/AMD, but so what?. VIA's trying to make computing as efficient as possible, to the point where they've made an x86 board smaller than a business card.
Soon enough we'll have fully fledged computers that fit in our pockets. When do you think Intel would have gotten round to such a concept, 2015, 2020 perhaps?. It's just not on their agenda.
VIA are next generation computing and by continually shrinking the itx range, however flawed it currently is, they're forcing the big boys to sit up and take notice, accelerating computing no end.

Intel has a new platform for Ultra Mobile PCs due next year. It sounds very impressive and here’s some data:

“Intel went on to describe its 2008 Ultra Mobile platform, codenamed Menlow. In the first half of 2008 Intel will introduce a new low power micro-architecture with its Silverthorne processor. Silverthorne will be built on the same 45nm Hi-k process that Penryn will use at the end of this year. Intel didn't say anything more about Silverthorne other than that it would use a new chipset codenamed Poulsbo. According to Intel, both Silverthorne and Poulsbo were designed from the ground up to be used in UMPC and MID platforms. We believe that Silverthorne is Intel's 0.5W part, and according to Justin Rattner it will require 1/7 the total space of current mobile platforms to implement which should enable better sized UMPCs. Of course, Silverthorne will still be based on IA although it will most likely be 32-bit only given power and die size constraints.â€


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