VIA Nano L2100 vs. Intel Atom 230: Head to Head

The Comparison and PCMark Vantage

Before we jump right into the benchmark comparisons, we'd like to explain a few things about the test setup.  We used the same PSU, optical drive, and WD Raptor hard drive on all platforms, but there were some unavoidable differences in the Nano and Atom configurations.  For one, the frequencies for each CPU were different; the Nano was clocked at 1.8GHz, the Atom at 1.6GHz.  The Nano and Atom each used a different GPU as well, and we couldn't get around this difference because each platform had a different expansion slot configuration.  Please keep this in mind as you look through our results.

For our next round of benchmarks, we ran all of the modules built into Futuremark's PCMark Vantage test suite.  Vantage is a new benchmarking tool that we've incorporated into our arsenal of tests here at HotHardware.  The individual workloads for each of the tests we ran are outlined above each graph...

 Futuremark PCMark Vantage
 Synthetic Benchmarks

"The PCMark Suite is a collection of various single- and multi-threaded CPU, Graphics and HDD test sets with the focus on Windows Vista application tests. Tests have been selected to represent a subset of the individual Windows Vista Consumer scenarios. The PCMark Suite includes CPU, Graphics, Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a subset of Consumer Suite tests."

The overall PCMark Vantage score is a weighted average of all of the modules in only the PCMark test suite calculated in total "PCMarks".  Here are the results:

We should point out that in addition to VIA Nano and Intel Atom benchmarks, we have included scores from a couple of more traditional desktop systems as well, strictly for reference purposes.  The Athlon 64 X2 and Core 2 Duo are much more expensive, more power hungry products, that are not in the same class as the Nano or Atom, but we watned to give you all an easy way to gauge performance versus other desktop processors, hence the results.

With that out of the way, we can focus on the Nano vs. Atom battle.  And in the PCMark test suite, the Nano holds a clear advantage.  The Nano was actually 21% faster than the Atom here, but remember that's with its 12.5% advantage in clock speed.



Vantage TV and Movies suite includes the following tests:

TV and Movies 1 - Two simultaneous threads, Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive, Video playback: HD DVD w/ additional lower bitrate HD content from HDD, as downloaded from the net
TV and Movies 2 - Two simultaneous threads, Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive, Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 19.39 Mbps terrestrial HDTV playback
TV and Movies 3 - HDD Media Center
TV and Movies 4 - Video transcoding: media server archive to portable device, Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 48 Mbps Blu-ray playback


There was about a 4% delta separating the VIA Nano and Intel Atom, in favor of the Nano, in Vantage's TV and Movies benchmark, which is actually a good sign for the Atom.  Had the processors been clocked at the same frequency, the Atom would likely have come out on top here.


Courtesy, Futuremark:  "Gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment for all ages. Today’s games demand high performance graphics cards and CPUs to avoid delays and sluggish performance while playing. Loading screens in games are yesterday’s news. Streaming data from an HDD in games – such as Alan Wake™ – allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action. CPUs with many cores give a performance advantage to gamers in real-time strategy and massively multiplayer games. Gaming Suite includes the following tests: "

Gaming 1 - GPU game test
Gaming 2 - HDD: game HDD
Gaming 3 - Two simultaneous threads, CPU game test, Data decompression: level loading
Gaming 4 - Three simultaneous threads, GPU game test, CPU game test, HDD: game HDD



PCMark Vantage's Game benchmark had the VIA Nano finishing about 10% ahead of the Intel Atom.  This test is heavily influenced by GPU performance, however, and neither platform was equipped with a particularly powerful GPU.

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