Why are 1.86GHz-Atom powered netbooks so scarce?

March 10, 2009 at 9:05 pm

It would be fair to say that the majority of netbooks on the market today are powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU. To a certain degree this leads to similar performance across a number of netbooks with differentiation coming from HDD, RAM as well as design.

We have wondered why we do not see more 1.86GHz Atom CPUs being using by manufacturers. Obvously, we knew that this is likely to be due to price. However, what we did not know is that a 1.86GHz actually costs three times that of a 1.6GHz equivalent! Currently the Intel Atom N270 (1.6GHz) sells for $44 and is one of the more popular CPUs among netbook manufacturers. However the Intel Atom Z540 (1.86GHz) sells for a staggering $135. As can be seen from this Intel price sheet, this gives OEMs/ODMs less incentive to use the more powerful CPU. Especially given that netbooks are meant to provide good value for money.


76 Responses to “Why are 1.86GHz-Atom powered netbooks so scarce?”

  1. Tony said:
    May 12th, 2009 10:01 AM

    Still not smart to ignore the 1.86. Probably 99% of netbooks use 1.6, 1.86 would be such a standout and people would gladly pay more for it.

  2. Igor said:
    May 12th, 2009 3:24 PM

    What is the power consumption of a Z540? Next to the price manufacturers may not want to ship this chip because it requires more energy to run it.