First benchmarks for Intel Cedar Trail netbook platform, new Atom CPUs revealed

Summary:Netbooks have been shoved aside by tablets, but Intel is carrying on with its forthcoming Cedar Trail platform and new Atom processors, even if their launch has been delayed by graphics driver issues. The company can at least be encouraged by the first benchmarks for the new platform, which have just been revealed by VR-Zone.

Netbooks have been shoved aside by tablets, but Intel is carrying on with its forthcoming Cedar Trail platform and new Atom processors, even if their launch has been delayed by graphics driver issues. The company can at least be encouraged by the first benchmarks for the new platform, which have just been revealed by VR-Zone.

The slide above shows the comparison between the new Atom N2600 and N2800 CPUs and Intel's previous generations of Atoms (though, curiously, not AMD's low-power processors). While it relies on an old benchmark in 3DMark 06, you can see that both new chips are superior to their predecessors in graphics, though the N2800 is by far the more impressive. While that's encouraging, the graphics drivers issue should temper any enthusiasm about these results.

CPU-based benchmarks show the N2800 to still be superior, though by a lesser margin. Oddly, though, the N2600 does not appear to best the already-available N570, so Intel may emphasize its low-power attributes rather than its performance. VR-Zone speculates that the chip giant may do that for the Cedar Trail platform in general, since it may not be able to compete with AMD Bobcat APUs on performance. We'd need another slide with side-by-side comparisons with the Bobcat chips to know that for sure.

It's unclear how much of a future Cedar Trail and netbooks will have regardless of benchmarks, considering the rise of tablets and the overall slimming of laptops. But if you're still a netbook believer, you'll be comforted to know the N2800 can handle graphics much better the Atoms of old -- as long as Intel gets those driver issues resolved.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Intel

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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