Friday, June 20, 2008

Atomic Musings



Intel's Atom processor is currently the talk of the IT world but let's be honest here, it is not god's gift to the CPU world. It's low power but in many ways. Low power usage (great) but also low power in processing power terms (not so great). However, it's good for PCs that are designed for browsing the net and word processing type tasks, just don't expect to encode HD video on it!

Anyway, my interest is in low power consumption - for downloading and for browsing - for a PC to sit next to the lounge TV.

There are many Atom configurations being offered and they differ a lot in their "green credentials"

230 and 945GC/ICH7 $29+$20 (4W+25W) $49 29W TDP

N270 and 945GSE/ICH7-M $44+$36 (2.5W+5.5W) $80 8W TDP

Pity we don't have Poulbo (designation, US15W, a more efficient single chip "chipset" that includes HD decoding) in desktop form as it is very low power. There is also a planned dual core Atom (code 330 perhaps) due later this year. In the real world, Intel's mini-ITX motherboard, D945GCLF draws 24W-27W using an efficient DC-DC power supply, 1gb Ram and 2.5" HD, compared to Apple's Mac Mini (20W-54W) with a much more powerful 2.0ghz Core2Duo processor. For a green PC you'd have to be looking at the 945GSE/ICH7-M and N270 combo.

This happens to be the chipset Asus have in the Eee Box (the many times renamed Ebox) which is due in UK in July.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moving to the Dark Side?



I keep getting tempted by people in my office who are clearly Mac fanboys. I'm not tempted by them as people (oh no, I don't swing that way) but I am tempted by the Apple kit they keep harping on about.

iPhone 3G - I am sold on this and have registered for it on CPW and O2 websites for the July release. It looks to be my ideal handheld device.

Phone - I don't like to carry a phone (some of us don't wanna be in 24/7 contact with the world) but my significant other likes me to be in contact so I need a phone like most people.
Internet - I'm an internet junkie - there, I admit it. The iPhone's Safari mobile browser is the best I have seen. Watch anyone doing the pinch and release resizing a web page and you'll see how easy it is to use. With 3G on the new model the internet is there for you all day and night, even on the train!
Games - not perfect as a mobile gaming device but it has some games and there is a joypad hack being worked on by GBAx.com
Music - it's a iPod Touch for crying out loud. It plays music, well!
...and much more

iMac - well this is for another post... I need to work on the significant other to allow me to get one of these.

Mac Mini - HTPC in waiting. Some months away for me I think.