Speed difference Atom N270 vs N280/Other questions?

Not open for further replies.


Jul 18, 2005
I am thinking of buying an Acer Aspire One. I had hoped the 11.6 version would offer the N280 but seems they even chose a slower chip than the N270. I still hope Acer comes out with an N280 netbook soon. I've also heard ASUS is looking at a 11.6" netbook
My questions:

Is there really much of a speed difference between the 1.6 and 1.66Ghz versions? I know there's that .06Ghz but is it that noticeable? I know there are also now chips such as the Z520, Z530, Z540, and Z550. Unfortunately I know Acer chose the Z520 for their 11.6" model. It's only 1.33Mhz though which I can't see going to but with the Z540 and Z550 being 1.866 and 2Ghz respectively they have my attention.i don't know of any netbooks yet that are using them though. What kind of devices can we expect to see them in and at what cost? I know these were meant for MID's and I dont' know much about the MID's on the market but these seem to be used in some netbooks in.

How much difference does the Front Side Bus make though? I know the N280 is 667 Mhz vs 533 for the N270. The z series from the Z520 and above seem to be all 533Mhz.

What I'm asking is does the 667Mhz FSB plus the .06Ghz increase between the N280 and N270 make a big difference and would a Z540 at 2Ghz but only 533Mhz FSB really be faster than a N280 at 1.66Ghz but 533Mhz FSB?

Are there any more Intel Atom upgrades planned such as a faster chip such as a N290 at 1.8Ghz or even a Dual Core Atom? It seems I heard earlier about a Dual Core Atom but it seems to only be the desktop version (330).

If I'm correct all Intel Atom chips are 32 bit. Are there any 64 bit versions of any 64 bit versions planned?

I've also heard about the new CULV Core 2 Processors coming out later this year and that they will be more powerful than the Atom N and Z series but yet lower power than the regular Intel laptop CPU's. Maybe these will become popular in the 11.6 to 13 inch 'netbooks' if they are called that. Is there much information on them yet such as what the prices would be, the speed, etc?

I apologize for all the questions but just want to get some ideas where all of this is going. Part is I am a heavy user of KDE and use KDE 3.5 but want to start using KDE4 soon. On a N270 netbook it seems a little slow. I know part of it comes to graphics processing though and seems that all netbooks, even N280 netbooks, use the same graphics power. Are there any updates to faster GPU's in any upcoming netbooks?


Feb 9, 2009
1) N270 refers to the line which is the 533mhz line.

2) the FSB can make a PC a bit faster, and the extra 600mhz helps too.

3) there is a netbook which uses the Z550, it only has a 5" screen though and costs around $1000+.

4) CULV processors are already out but they are used in slimline PC's like the MSI X340 but it costs $1100.

5) I believe the next generation of EEE pc's have a GN40 GPU which is faster than the 950, and there is a iGPU overclocker for that chipset but it will drain the battery life.


Oct 13, 2004

Most or all desktop Atom chips are 64-bit, but the laptop chips are 32-bit.

I doubt you'd see much difference in performance from the FSB increase on a single-core chip, but you might on a dual-core; I believe they're often limited more by memory bandwidth than processing power.


Jul 17, 2009

Actually, it not extra 600mhz, but rather 60mhz. (1600 mhz vs 1660 mhz)


I think we have it backward N280 is faster, although only slightly, than N270.

Here is a quote from computermonger.com:

Select netbooks in the market now feature the Intel Atom N280 processor instead of its precursor, the Atom N270. I have compared the N280 vs N270, clocked at 1.66GHz and 1.60GHz respectively.

Besides a clock speed increase of only 0.06GHz, the N280 features a faster front side bus. It’s 667MHz, which is up from 533MHz in the N270.

Other specs are the same. Both benchmarked CPUs have a core based on “Diamondville” 45nm chip and have 512KB of L2 cache. The CPUs support Hyper-Threading, SpeedStep, and Execute Disable Bit technologies, as well as MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instructions. Their maximal thermal design power is 2.5W (1, 2).
Intel Atom 280

Intel Atom N280

Intel Atom N270

Intel Atom N270

For this test, I have used a 10.1-inch Acer Aspire One D150 netbook with the Atom N280 vs an 8.9″ Aspire One A150 with the N270. These Intel 945 (i945GME) chipset-based netbooks have 1GB of DDR2 memory at 667MHz, with a latency of 4-4-4-12, and Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator 950 integrated GPU. Both netbooks run Windows XP Home OS.

The D150 has a somewhat faster CPU, but the difference is marginal:

PC Mark 05 CPU Test (higher is better)
N280 – N270
1479 – 1444 PC Mark 05 CPU Points

SiSoft Sandra Processor Arithmetic & Multimedia (higher is better)
N280 – N270
4.06 – 3.89 (GIPS) Dhrystone ALU
3.46 – 3.33 (GFLOPS) Whetstone iSSE3
8.68 – 8.31 (MPixel/s) Int x8 iSSSE3
6.84 – 6.56 (MPixel/s) Float x4 iSSE2
1.27 – 1.22 (MPixel/s) Double x2 iSSE2

Hyper PI & wPrime (lower time is better)
N280 – N270
01m 31s – 01m 35s for 1M digits of PI calculated in Hyper PI
117.171 – 122.344 seconds for 32M in wPrime

As you can see, differences between the Intel Atom N280 and N270 are minor, which is expected since the CPUs are very similar. Even N280′s faster FSB doesn’t help much in benchmarks, as well as in real world use. I haven’t noticed any difference in responsiveness and speed when using the netbooks for web surfing, e-mail checking or watching Youtube videos.
Not open for further replies.