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Geek4414
22-11-2009, 02:19 PM
Dear Experts, what are your opinions of the Atom Z550 (2GHz) processor vs ULV 1.33 Core2Duo?

I'm trying to compare the practical speed difference between the Sony VAIO TZ37 (with 1.33GHz C2D ULV) and the Sony VAIO X-series with Z550 2GHz CPU.

The X-series has a few compromises such as the lack of a DVD drive. Would the increased apparent clock speed and the SSD drive bring a more usable experience?

$2999.95 (VPC-X117LG/B, Atom Z550/2.0GHz, 128GB SSD)

The main attraction of the X-series is its light weight and thinness, FAR FAR lighter than a Macbook Air.

My current TZ37 is pretty good as it has everything I need including a DVDRW drive, even though I hardly use the drive but it's there when I need it.
But it is a little on the slow side at times, especially with its PATA hard drive.

I wonder with SSD and slightly faster clock speed, would the X-series be a good move or a retro-grade?

I am not interested in a netbook as the Atom N series is far far too slow. The ASUS UL30A seems like an interesting option as well, but it's got a slower CPU (1.3GHz) than the TZ37 and lack a DVDRW. How do the CULVs compare to the ULVs?

nmercer
23-11-2009, 11:29 PM
Did you try the X? You say you don't want a netbook, but the X is a netbook after all even if it is beautiful and thin and lightweight.

I think your other machine would be faster than the Atom even with a SSD drive.

Personally I couldn't stomach $3k for the machine, its beautil but not worth that much

My 2c

Chilling_Silence
24-11-2009, 07:08 AM
To be honest in my experience, raw speed on an ultra-mobile device is rarely the issue. I sit with the CPU meter visible as I work, and it sits constantly at 3-5%. On a 1.6Ghz Atom it sits around 7%.

Unless you're gaming, there's very little you'll likely gain from a CPU upgrade, but on the other hand a nice sexy SSD may provide a slight boost in performance. I guess the question is "What do you use it for mostly"?

Geek4414
24-11-2009, 10:03 AM
The laptop is used for everything really, including Photoshop. But I do have a much faster desktop for that when I'm at home. It's really for when I am on the road.

I've found the TZ37 very good once it's booted up and running, but booting it (with Vista Biz) can be painful at times. It also goes into a trance from time to time when I open certain apps or windows. I guess it could be Vista's fault and not the raw speed of the laptop.

Personally, I found Vista a total pig whenever I need something across the network. It appears to need to digest everything in a remote folder before you can even look at the folder listing! If I accessed a remote folder say from Outlook or Windows Mail before, the next time I open a dialog (such as insert picture or attachment), it will just go into a trance for 30 seconds or more while Vista tries to access that folder.

Vista also mysteriously reboot my laptop from time to time overnight even if it was in sleep mode. Waking up from sleep is not always pretty either, sometimes I would end up having to reboot it completely after waking it from sleep. That is not usually a problem at home, but using it on the road is a pain and waiting for a failed resume and then a reboot is REALLY painful when I need it quickly.

The battery life of the TZ37 has been fantastic, I haven't really timed it but I've never ever ran out of juice when I used it on battery for hours on end, even when I am using wifi on the road. I don't even bother bringing my power adapter with me any more if I am only away for a weekend.

The X-series has lesser battery life (as it has a tiny skinny battery) and the lack of a DVDRW could be a pain.

The reasons I am not interested in a traditional netbook are

1. Smaller screen size & lower resolution (TZ37 & X-Series - 1366x768)
2. Under powered N-series Atom processors, but I wonder what the
2GHz Z-series Atom is like.
3. Lack of DVDRW when needed
4. Lack of WiFi-n and Gigabit LAN

The Asus UL30A has the new 1.3GHz CULV, not sure how that compares. With the lack of a DVDRW, it's probably in the realm of a netbook as well. However it does have WiFi-n and Gigabit LAN.

Given the cost of the X-series with 128GB SSD is sky high, I can't justify the retro-grade step. The wish list would be ...

- The size & weight of the the X-series (780g)
- Some sort of Core2 CPU instead of Atom
- Closer to 10 to 12 hours battery life
- HDMI output
- eSATA
- Mobile broadband (I think its included in some overseas version)
- Can live with a very skinny external DVDRW or BluRay drive
- Dual SD & MS card readers as in the TZ37
- Expand beyond 2GB (both TZ37 & X-series max out @ 2GB!!)
- Multi-touch touchpad (included in the Xs already)
- SSD drive (available in the high end models of both TZs and Xs)
- Ultimately under $2000
- InstantOn OS like Hyperspace or SplashTop or Chrome??

The weight of a MacBook Air feels like an anchor compare to either the TZs & Xs. Now, Mac Fanboys, don't flame me. I do like and use Macs as well, I am just stating the face. If Apple comes up with the same form factor (at a reasonable price) I would seriously consider getting one, as I would be able to dual boot OSX and Windows.

There are a few issues with Apple products that stop me buying them ...

1. There are no varieties, if you have one, it's the same as EVERYONE else.

2. Their draconian attitude, thou shalt do what I like you to do. i.e.
iPhone has bluetooth but they blocked file transfer so you have to buy
things from AppStores

3. Everything centers around iTunes, I hate iTunes

I've read a few articles about the lack of variety and their 'controlling' attitude, can't quite put my finger on the article, but here are a couple of samples ...

http://www.betanews.com/article/Report-iPod-a-Failure-in-South-Korea/1123790431

http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/ipod-not-so-popular-in-south-korea-20050815/

Anyway, that's enough, don't want to turn this into a flame thread.

Geek4414
24-11-2009, 02:27 PM
Oops, bad typo ...

Now, Mac Fanboys, don't flame me. I do like and use Macs as well, I am just stating the face.

I mean I was just stating the "fact"

nmercer
24-11-2009, 05:53 PM
To be honest in my experience, raw speed on an ultra-mobile device is rarely the issue. I sit with the CPU meter visible as I work, and it sits constantly at 3-5%. On a 1.6Ghz Atom it sits around 7%.

Unless you're gaming, there's very little you'll likely gain from a CPU upgrade, but on the other hand a nice sexy SSD may provide a slight boost in performance. I guess the question is "What do you use it for mostly"?

see to me CPU does matter on a netbook

maybe you don't have open a few web pages open with flash ad banners, or try to watch some videos on Youtube on a netbook

Personally I find that is where Atom struggles, nVidia ION chipset helps here a bit, but I'm not sure the X even has ION video?

nmercer
24-11-2009, 05:56 PM
The laptop is used for everything really, including Photoshop. But I do have a much faster desktop for that when I'm at home. It's really for when I am on the road.

I've found the TZ37 very good once it's booted up and running, but booting it (with Vista Biz) can be painful at times. It also goes into a trance from time to time when I open certain apps or windows. I guess it could be Vista's fault and not the raw speed of the laptop.

Personally, I found Vista a total pig whenever I need something across the network. It appears to need to digest everything in a remote folder before you can even look at the folder listing! If I accessed a remote folder say from Outlook or Windows Mail before, the next time I open a dialog (such as insert picture or attachment), it will just go into a trance for 30 seconds or more while Vista tries to access that folder.

Vista also mysteriously reboot my laptop from time to time overnight even if it was in sleep mode. Waking up from sleep is not always pretty either, sometimes I would end up having to reboot it completely after waking it from sleep. That is not usually a problem at home, but using it on the road is a pain and waiting for a failed resume and then a reboot is REALLY painful when I need it quickly.

The battery life of the TZ37 has been fantastic, I haven't really timed it but I've never ever ran out of juice when I used it on battery for hours on end, even when I am using wifi on the road. I don't even bother bringing my power adapter with me any more if I am only away for a weekend.

The X-series has lesser battery life (as it has a tiny skinny battery) and the lack of a DVDRW could be a pain.

The reasons I am not interested in a traditional netbook are

1. Smaller screen size & lower resolution (TZ37 & X-Series - 1366x768)
2. Under powered N-series Atom processors, but I wonder what the
2GHz Z-series Atom is like.
3. Lack of DVDRW when needed
4. Lack of WiFi-n and Gigabit LAN

The Asus UL30A has the new 1.3GHz CULV, not sure how that compares. With the lack of a DVDRW, it's probably in the realm of a netbook as well. However it does have WiFi-n and Gigabit LAN.

Given the cost of the X-series with 128GB SSD is sky high, I can't justify the retro-grade step. The wish list would be ...

- The size & weight of the the X-series (780g)
- Some sort of Core2 CPU instead of Atom
- Closer to 10 to 12 hours battery life
- HDMI output
- eSATA
- Mobile broadband (I think its included in some overseas version)
- Can live with a very skinny external DVDRW or BluRay drive
- Dual SD & MS card readers as in the TZ37
- Expand beyond 2GB (both TZ37 & X-series max out @ 2GB!!)
- Multi-touch touchpad (included in the Xs already)
- SSD drive (available in the high end models of both TZs and Xs)
- Ultimately under $2000
- InstantOn OS like Hyperspace or SplashTop or Chrome??

The weight of a MacBook Air feels like an anchor compare to either the TZs & Xs. Now, Mac Fanboys, don't flame me. I do like and use Macs as well, I am just stating the face. If Apple comes up with the same form factor (at a reasonable price) I would seriously consider getting one, as I would be able to dual boot OSX and Windows.

There are a few issues with Apple products that stop me buying them ...

1. There are no varieties, if you have one, it's the same as EVERYONE else.

2. Their draconian attitude, thou shalt do what I like you to do. i.e.
iPhone has bluetooth but they blocked file transfer so you have to buy
things from AppStores

3. Everything centers around iTunes, I hate iTunes

I've read a few articles about the lack of variety and their 'controlling' attitude, can't quite put my finger on the article, but here are a couple of samples ...

http://www.betanews.com/article/Report-iPod-a-Failure-in-South-Korea/1123790431

http://www.geek.com/articles/apple/ipod-not-so-popular-in-south-korea-20050815/

Anyway, that's enough, don't want to turn this into a flame thread.

The Atom Z is bugger all difference to the N in my opinion and experience

If you think a N is underpowered I bet you will come to same conclusion for the Z as well even if it is 2GHz

If CPU matters go with the proper Intel chip, ULV or C2D but not Atom

just IMHO

Geek4414
24-11-2009, 07:46 PM
The Atom Z is bugger all difference to the N in my opinion and experience

If you think a N is underpowered I bet you will come to same conclusion for the Z as well even if it is 2GHz

If CPU matters go with the proper Intel chip, ULV or C2D but not Atom

just IMHO

Thank nmercer for your reply. I just stumbled upon this ...

http://gadgetmix.com/index/culv-or-intel-atom-processor-a-comparison/

"I find the current netbook lineup monotonous as most of them netbooks currently have similar specs: N270/N280 processor, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard disk and so on. In worst cases, some manufactures had the atrocity to equip some of their netbooks with the Z-series Atom CPU, which is even slower than the former! At first blush, you will simply adore the god-like battery life that one can get by using these Z-series CPUs, but soon you come to realize that these CPUs are unbelievably slow."

So it sounds like the Z series Atom is no go, it's a definite retro-grade for me.
:-( Never mind, the Xs are just so sexily thin!

Some info about CULVs ...

Intel CEO: big future for 'CULV' laptops
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10219437-64.html

CULV or Intel Atom processor: A Comparison
http://gadgetmix.com/index/culv-or-intel-atom-processor-a-comparison/

Intel Atom N330 dual core vs Core2Duo SU9400/SU7300
http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=424936

Geek4414
25-11-2009, 05:07 PM
This may be useful ...

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

I copied the data from the list and paired the Atom against the ULVs ...

http://bayimg.com/image/bafidaaca.jpg

The 1.33GHz U7700 came out almost double the speed of the 2GHz Atom Z550, 690 vs 381!
The 1.6GHz Atom 330 is almost the same as the U770 620 vs 690

Geek4414
25-11-2009, 05:29 PM
Just stumbled across a bunch of articles about ULV, Atom & CULV ...

http://news.cnet.com/business-tech/?keyword=ULV