Dual Core Atom CPUs in netbooks? don’t count on it

Posted on 23 September 2008, Last updated on 11 November 2019 by

You may have seen some news over the last few days that Intel has started to ship a dual core variant of their Atom processor. To some of you that may sound like good news for the mobile world as nearly every new netbook seems to be running on Atom, and who doesn’t like a boost in performance? Well, as jkk points out, unfortunately the dual core Atom CPU is not for netbooks, they are actually for nettops, or low cost desktops.

In the beginning, there were two types of Atom chips, the kind that focused on low power consumption, low heat output, and small size, and the others (which we see in all the recent netbooks), focus on low power consumption, low heat output, and low price. Now the Dual Core chips present a new focus, which is primarily keeping prices low and performance high (relatively), or course keeping the low power consumption/low heat output out of the focus means that you have a CPU that isn’t suitable for a netbook, which has minimal cooling, and limited power to be consumed. For comparison, the Atom CPUs that we are used to seeing in netbooks, have a TDP of 2.5w, while the dual core version has an 8w TDP. So not only does that mean more power drain on your battery, but also there might not be enough cooling to keep the chip from overheating in a netbook.

On top of all of this, jkk says that he has gotten word that Intel is actually telling OEMs not use Dual Core Atom CPUs in netbooks. Looks like we’ll need to wait for the next round of Atom CPUs in order to see anything new for the netbook wave.

19 Comments For This Post

  1. TareX says:

    Maybe not for netbook for a good reason:

    It’s official: Raon Digital has issued a recall for its delightfully tiny Everun Note due to a handful of “failure symptoms” detailed on its Korean website.

    Have you been facing any problems?

  2. chippy says:

    Ben wrote the article but i guess you mean me?

    The recall of the Everun was a local recall for Korea and doesn’t affect final release versions being shipped out. The issues were due to early engineering faults. e.g. some cpus were thinner and the heatsink didnt make the correct contact!

    8w tdp is not an issue for a well designed netbook or even a umpc as weve seen it in a number of devices already. For me it was clear that Intel would target the device away from netbooks. They and their partners will probably do everything they can to avoid netbooks becoming any more powerful!

    Although Intel and partners might try and prevent anything more powerful appearing in a netbook, i think it wil happen eventually as independants start to put Nanos and Turions in.
    It is going to seriously change the notebook market and cause serious problems as consumers stop buying bigger notebooks in the next 2 years.
    What Asus hav started was a brave move but i think its going to cause a lot of oems some serious problem on the bottom line.
    It will affect the MID, UMPC and pro laptop market too as prices have to be dropped meanining less money for r&d, quality components and engineering.

    If Samsung cancel their UMPC or MID plans having now entered the netbook market, It wil be a sad sign that we’ve entered an era of safe, boring, mass market products. As a fan of specialised products I will be very sad to see it.

  3. Brack says:

    there has always been a nettop Atom (4w) & a netbook Atom (2.6w).

    it’s no surprise the DC nettop Atom is out 1st & its just a matter of time before the DC netbook Atom is out. besides, do these various bloggers just think we will use this Atom forever & nothing else will come out? lol. Intel just doesnt want THIS nettop Atom put in netbooks, thats all.

  4. fraggo says:

    It’s only a matter of time. I’m pretty sure it’s just business reasons that Intel isn’t releasing the dual cores for netbooks yet. The advantages of dual core can be seen in the comparisons between core solo and core duo ulv’s, the difference in power consumptions is marginal but the performance gains are pretty significant. Of course at full power these will suck twice the amount but most of the time they will be underclocked, and the better performance means you get more productivity.

  5. TeraTraxmore says:

    JKK is 1 hell of a nice guy but he is simply wrong on this 1. quoting information he gets from lame industry reps is nearly useless, they slant everything in order to cater to their bottom line..

    the fact is, if some of you guys knew where to hang out online more of you would know that there IS a DC version of the netbook Atom in the works & there is also a successor to the Atom in the works. the DC Atom for netbooks will be out before the end of the year with the Atom successor ueo in Q2 2009.

    the main reason they dont want to go public with the info until shortly before its release is so they dont stifle current netbook sales (with several million in production) which is why its no coincidence JKK specifically said “So if you were waiting for one, stop waiting and buy something that is available.”

  6. Q says:

    heck my m1210 xps runs on a core 2 duo which has 34W TDP. i would say 8W is little high, but still managable.

  7. bpm says:

    8 watts is not out of the ballpark – apparently that’s the TDP of the C7 used in the HP 2133.
    “According to the official specsheet from HP regarding the mini-note, the 1.6GHz ULV has a TDP of 8 watts. http://tinyurl.com/65mlr7

    from http://www.hp2133guide.com/new-open-book-subnotebook-reference-design-from-via/

  8. jkkmobile says:


    I get tons of emails from people asking if the should wait another month or so to get “dual core Dell Mini” etc. so my post was more targeted in current situation, not to whats happening next year(s).

    “In the works” is far from “available soon”..

    As you seem to know about mobile dc Atom, it would be nice if you could share the info and maybe even post a link…

  9. sarah says:

    For me, as long as the Internet speed, the CPU is not a big problem!

  10. chippy says:

    I agree and its one of the reasons I will probably not buy an Everun Note but possibly a Q1 HSDPA which is less powerfull but better tailored to my needs. Still fast enough for internet though!

  11. mike says:

    Like others have said, this is probably for business reasons … If the low-cost Atom netbooks are as powerful as full-fledged notebooks, Intel might end up hurting their bottom line by not selling as many more costly Core 2 chips.

  12. Vakeros says:

    The HTC Touch HD, Dream/G1, Sony Xperia and some others are using Qualcomm’s dual-core processors. 1 is ARM9 the other is ARM11. The difference being ARM9 for phone functions and ARM11 for applications and multimedia etc.
    Maybe the Shift 2 could have one of these SoCs and another ULV chip for full blown OS.

  13. roverw says:

    It is interesting why only the processor power is mentioned – the chipset itself takes quite much more power and I guess it will not be changed greatly… Although without doubt most of us would like to see integrated low power CPU+chipset!

  14. ProDigit says:

    The 8 Watts TDP is under full load,will mostly not be used,since most of the time a mini-notebook is in idle mode,or used only little (browsing,listening to MP3, reading…).
    Unless you go gaming with it.

    Dual core Atom looks very promising in desktops like the EEE-BOX.

    Bad news for some: Dualcore Atom systems will probably NOT ship with XP, due to the license agreement between MS and the manufacturers (unless manufacturers want to pay more for their OS).

    This alone shows that chances are small 2Core Atoms will be manufactured on mini notebooks, unless if they come with ‘Vista’ (read:”Battery&Resource Hog!) or windows 7.

    For the desktop I hope they will come with Dual DDR2 RAM slots (pref. sodimm),and drivers for XP.
    XP will fly, I tell you…

  15. Jack MeHoff says:


    I really hate commentary form idiots! Most folks doing their own reasearch can find out that you are totally full of feces. Wise up before your next write-up. Try to enlighten yourself before you spew crap’ola

  16. Maury says:

    Intel… Microsoft… They are like Penguin & Joker… both villiains… it’s a dam recession and they still monopolizing…

  17. Bill says:

    My friend got an asus netbook with a dual core atom. Guess what? It screems and its very stable. Just an FYI.

  18. Tim says:

    HAHA nice prediction mate!

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  1. [UMPC Portal] Dual Core Atom CPUs in netbooks? don’t count on it - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net says:

    […] need to wait for the next round of Atom CPUs in order to see anything new for the netbook wave. Source Not sure just how credible this site really is but if theres any truth to this, I guess I can just […]

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