Intel to allow 2GB RAM with future Atom N470 netbooks

By Jos
Oct 27, 2009
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  1. If you've been in the market for a netbook at any given moment for the past year, you may have noticed how manufacturers are basically just putting different enclosures around the same hardware -- 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 processor, 160 or 250GB hard drives, and no more than 1GB of RAM. This is largely the result of restrictions set by Intel and Microsoft, and apparently with the arrival of Intel's Pine Trail platform early next year things won't be too different.

    Read the whole story
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    I'm already seeing Netbooks with Atom CPUs & ION chipset that have more than 1GB of memory.
  3. gadzooks64

    gadzooks64 Newcomer, in training

    The 11.6" Acer Netbook that I have can be configured with 2gb ram. The version I bought only came with 1gb but I upgraded it to 2gb. The performance difference was substantial. The deal I got made it cost effective to pay for the aftermarket upgrade. I call that a win/win.
  4. fref

    fref TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 153

    Nice to see they're loosening up the RAM limitation. Wasn't there a limit for the processor frequency too? I thought 1.6GHz was the maximum allowed for netbooks. With a 1.83GHz version coming soon, I guess they've loosened that up too.

    These machines are getting more and more interesting. Just wish they could find so room in there for a DVD drive. Hahaha! I know, I won't be holding my breath for that...
  5. Jos

    Jos TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 2,065   +63 Staff Member

    @gadzook64: Yeah most of them support up to 2GB of RAM, but you need to upgrade them manually since they tend to ship with 1GB or less.

    @Didou: Indeed, the Ion-equipped Lenovo S12 just launched with 2GB of RAM at $600. Maybe there are a couple more examples like this. However, from what I understand the reason most manufacturers comply with netbook guidelines is not because they HAVE to but because if they don't they'll lose Intel's preferential Atom CPU pricing. So, yeah, there will be a few netbooks that come with 2GB right out of the box but you'll probably have to pay a bit extra for both the memory upgrade (obviously) and the full Atom price.
  6. abautu

    abautu Newcomer, in training Posts: 19

    Now it's clear why i haven't seen any 2GB Atom netbooks.
  7. lupinnktp

    lupinnktp Newcomer, in training Posts: 44

    well, even as upgrading RAM for netbook is not a difficult task, it is not really something anyone could do, partly due to some netbook's non-modular builds (such as my AOA150). This loosening of limitation is a refreshing breath to the netbook market. perhaps this could somewhat prove Micheal Dell wrong. Netbook is the way to go in the world where mobility rules... the battery life is their best features, imho.
  8. jet6130

    jet6130 Newcomer, in training

    Good to hear about companies responding to customer wants. Should drive the cost of the "old" netbooks down, and give more power to the newer models....it's all about choices
  9. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,285   +232

    Ever since the netbook craze started, companies like Intel and Microsoft have been trying to delineate a max spec for them, so there are no blurred lines between the cheap netbooks and their more expensive laptops. For Intel, it helps to force wedges into the marketplace, keeping a nice healthy niche for the Atom platform, and then their standard mobile platform. Looks like they have backpedaled a bit from the tight restrictions, bowing to consumer demand (a very smart move in this case).
  10. thewoosterisroot

    thewoosterisroot TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 234

    That would be nice. My little hp mini does fine with 1 gig, but it wouldn't hurt to add a little more ram in there.
  11. mattfrompa

    mattfrompa TechSpot Maniac Posts: 481   +8

    I think Intel should just lift the 1 GB limit completely. 1 GB may work fairly well, but the Atom processor needs all the help it can get from the rest of the system. I personally don't see netbooks aging well, and the RAM limit does nothing but push them further behind.
     
  12. Timonius

    Timonius TechSpot Booster Posts: 575   +31

    I'm betting a nice light linux distro would run pretty sweet on these netbooks. Here's a chance for linux to shine and make these netbooks even cheaper (no OS costs factored in).
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,480   +292

    I would like to see a lot more Via Nano based netbooks.
  14. freedomthinker

    freedomthinker TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 140

    In my opinion this is good , this could really boost sales and productivity of netbooks . I was seriously waiting for this to happen and since the new OS Windows 7 is out this is good news !
  15. NightAngel79

    NightAngel79 Newcomer, in training Posts: 60

    For me to take netbooks seriously running 7 they have to lift ram limit. 1 gig may run xp pretty good but i think that 7 will require more ram to run smooth.
  16. waterytowers

    waterytowers Newcomer, in training Posts: 85

    I don't think they are bowing to consumer demand, if they wanted to do that they would have done that a long time ago. Intel wants to keep their new netbook market, and milk it for everything its worth by slowly upgrading their systems by adding new features that were previously only available for full fledged laptops.

    Microsoft wanted to be in the netbook market so it left WinXP, after all they were not selling any copies of vista except via the Microsoft tax for every computer sold. Vista would never be capable of running on a netbook and it was unanimous that Vista sucked. Now Vista2 has been released I think you will see the spec of netbooks raised so that Microsoft can run Win7, still not quite capable of running on a netbook, at least not the old lower spec netbooks.

    Doesn't anyone think it is a bit dubious that Intel slightly raises the bar for netbooks shortly after the release of Win7?

    By the way I am not complaining, it is about time that netbooks had a slightly bigger brother. I have wanted more pixels, more ram and a gigabit network port since netbooks first showed up. WVGA is too small for browsing the web, unless you only visit sites for mobile phones. and what is it about 10/100Mbit network ports still being put into any device that has a processor that can support gigabit speeds. The only answer can be that they have a really large stockpile of 10/100Mbit NICs in their warehouse. Maybe they could add 10 of these to a netbook and we could trunk them onto the network, then I would need a 10 port switch as well but maybe I could get gigabit speeds.
  17. jrronimo

    jrronimo Newcomer, in training

    @waterytowers: I don't think it's dubious at all -- I've got Win7 running on a Dell Mini 9 and it runs great as-is. If netbooks had been around for Vista more, then it might be more dubious, heh.

    I like netbooks a lot in terms of performance and cost, but I completely agree with the comment that they're all just the same hardware with different shells these days, and that's kind of annoying. I'm excited about Ion machines a bit and am getting kind of glad that I never jumped on the original EEE like I wanted to.
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,480   +292

    The screen resolution is what keeps me from getting a netbook. If you can put a 1920x1600 display in a 15" notebook surely they can put a 1440x920 in a 10".
  19. Zeromus

    Zeromus TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 231   +7

    No because, the pixel to inch ratio for a 1920 pixel screen on 15 inches is 128px/in where as on a 1440 is obviously higher at 144px/in. But i still agree that that doesn't mean such a moderate difference couldn't cripple the development process in creating high ratio screens.
  20. My Asus n10j-a2 has an Atom 270 with 2GB ram and 320GB hdd. What a joke.
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,480   +292

    1.8" iPod Nano screens are 320x240 or something like that. Perhaps my direct analogy was poorly choosen, but the point was the screens could be a lot better than 1024x600 or 572.
  22. thunder5632

    thunder5632 Newcomer, in training

    Wow, good to know ! Also waiting for the 2 G.B update :)
  23. akhpp835

    akhpp835 Newcomer, in training

    What is the max memory supported by the current N270? Is there a limitation on the max SSD hard drive size as well?
  24. JieMan

    JieMan Newcomer, in training Posts: 65

    The gray area of what makes a laptop and a nettop is getting bigger.
    Cant wait as these newer nettops might drop costs or eventually take the place of low end notebooks.
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