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Earlier this month we heard that Intel would be delaying the launch of its next-generation netbook platform until November due to a graphics driver issues. Nevertheless those looking forward to Intel's upcoming 32nm Cedar Trail Atoms can now have a first look at their expected performance thanks to some leaked slides posted by VR-Zone.
Cedar Trail-M includes two new CPUs, a 32nm-based Atom N2800 operating at 1.86GHz and the N2600 at 1.6GHz. The core architecture remains unchanged, so clock for clock CPU performance should be the same as previous Atom processors, only with higher clock speeds and lower power consumption due to the die shrink.
According to the slides, this gives the N2800 only a slight advantage over the dual-core Atom N570 while the Atom N2600 is slightly slower. Compared to the Pine Trail Atom N450/455 both Cedar Trail chips will perform considerably faster, but of course that is to be expected, as the older Atoms are single-core parts.
In terms of graphics performance the lone 3DMark06 benchmark shows that both new chips are superior to their predecessors, though the N2800 is by far the more impressive. VR-Zone says the higher score is mostly a factor of GPU clock speed, as the Atom N2600 and N2800 will reportedly have GPU clocks 2-3 times higher than Pine Trail.
Unfortunately, there are no side-to-side comparisons with AMD's Brazos platform but it doesn't seem like Intel will catch up on the graphics front -- not to mention the 28nm Krishna and Wichita APUs should push AMD further ahead in this segment sometime next year. Where Intel's Atom should deliver is in its improved battery life and better power consumption; two key features for anyone considering a netbook.
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