Back in March, Intel announced its low-power Atom processor for mobile devices and we've since seen an avalanche of Atom-based systems.
Intel's competition, announced in May, came in the form of VIA's Nano processor. The successor to VIA's ageing C7 chips was said to offer four times the performance whilst keeping within the same power envelope.
Back then, when asked about performance in comparison to Intel's chip, Glenn Henry, president of Centaur Technology, said: "The Nano is definitely faster, I said that originally and I'm very sure of that now."
However, Intel's Atom has gone on to power just about every netbook known to man, whilst VIA's Nano seems to have been all but forgotten. In an effort to remind us all about the Atom-beating alternative, VIA has served up a video demonstration highlighting Atom's shortcomings.The demonstration, viewable below in YouTube format, shows two notebooks playing a 1080p HD video. One notebook features a 1.3GHz VIA Nano processor, and the other a 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor. The result is clear for all to see:
1080p playback is Atom's Achilles’ heel and proves to be a significant drawback to media-centric systems such as the ASUS Eee Box. Though VIA's Nano seems to breeze through 1080p material with ease, it also uses more power. Intel's 1.6GHz Atom chip has a TDP of 2.5W, VIA's more power-hungry 1.3GHz Nano measures in with a TDP of 8W.
Though we don't discount VIA's efforts, and accept that its chip may well be the superior option in terms of performance, we're getting anxious in our wait for an actual Nano-powered netbook to put to the test.