intel atom logo Intels new desktop Atom processors are here

It's hard to get excited about new Atom processors, but Intel's latest additions to its Atom family of processors, the D2500 and D2700 is a big step forward for the company, as we're finally getting a platform that's almost competitive. Not only are we looking at a vastly superior graphics core than past offerings, but we're also finally getting features like HDMI output and HD video playback, something the Atom platform has lacked so far.

It's hard to get excited about new Atom processors, but Intel's latest additions to its Atom family of processors, the D2500 and D2700 is a big step forward for the company, as we're finally getting a platform that's almost competitive. Not only are we looking at a vastly superior graphics core than past offerings, but we're also finally getting features like HDMI output and HD video playback, something the Atom platform has lacked so far.

The netbook Atom's are still nowhere to be seen, but we can't imagine Intel is going to wait too long until it launches them, as we're getting awfully close to the holiday season which is usually a time when companies want to have their new products in the market. So for now we'll have to make do with Intel's new desktop parts, the 1.86GHz D2500 and the 2.13GHz D2700. The D2700 isn't Intel's first Atom over 2GHz, as that honour went to a very expensive Z-series Atom CPU called the Z560 (although the Z550 was close at an even 2GHz), but it is Intel's first D-series Atom processor to break the 2GHz barrier.

Despite not offering DX10 drivers at launch, we expect the new Atom processor to offer several benefits over the current models. For starters the TDP is down by 3W compared to the previous dual core D-series Atom processors and both models are fully 64-bit compatible. The new Atom's are still missing support for Virtualization though, which might not be a major issue for most of us, but it's a strange omission. On the upside we're finally seeing support for faster memory, albeit DDR3 1066MHz can hardly be called lightning fast.

However, in our mind, the best feature is the price point, the Atom D2500 is priced at US$42 in quantities of 1,000 units, with the D2700 coming in at US$52, which should be compared to US$63 for the Atom D525. Both of the CPUs will rely on the fairly basic NM10 chipset, but we'd expect the old ICH9 to work as well, which might see the new Atom processor appear in some vertical solution as well as in low-end desktop systems. No word on new motherboards from Intel yet, but we're sure they'll crop up on Intel's website shortly.