All you need to know about VIA's C7

ScHpAnKy

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Please post what you know, let's try and get a sticky with as much information as possible



Where's my C7 Motherboards!?
According to Epiacenter (links below quote), VIA should have production Nano-ITX form-factor boards launching very soon, some VIA forum members of unknown reliability have hinted that this is true. Some of the models are listed on Epiacenter.com:

  • EPIA CX700M-1 (C7 NanoBGA2 & CX700M)
  • Nano-ITX Form Factor
  • DDRII400/533
  • HDTV/GigaLAN
  • COM x 4/Digital IO
  • Multi-functional interface for flexible IO integration


    EPIA CX700M-2 (C7 NanoBGA2 & CX700M)
  • Mini-ITX Form Factor
  • DDRII400/533
  • LVDS/DVI integrated
  • WMV9 HW decoder
  • HDMI optional interface
  • HD Audio / HDTV / GigaLAN
  • CE-type back IO


    EPIA CN750-1 (C7 NanoBGA2 & CN750|VT8251)
  • Mini-ITX Form Factor
  • DDRII400/533
  • H.264 / WMV9 HW decoder
  • HDMI optional interface
  • PCI Express / Consumer IO
  • LVDS / DVI / GigaLAN

http://www.epiacenter.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=67
http://www.epiacenter.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=674

VIA C7-M Architecture at a glance

TDP of 20W @ 2.0Ghz
16 pipeline stages
"Efficiency enhanced" 128KB full-speed exclusive L2 cache with 32-way associativity
MMX, SSE, SSE2 & SSE3
90nm SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator)
NX Execute Protection

Fun facts:
Twinhead is in development with a C7-M Variant laptop (No Model identified yet)
Promedion already has a C7-M 2.0Ghz Notebook on sale *GS560* (Only in Europe as of right now:( )

VIA states that all current 478 VIA-chipset offerings will be able to run the current and future C7 processors
the chip is just a smidgen over 2cm x 2cm! TINY little guy!


Links of interest:
 

DeadlyAura

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A bit more information on the C7, C7-M and supporting motherboards.

http://www.mini-itx.com/news/23739071/

The C7 processor is 21mm square, 14mm smaller than the C3.

VIA expects these processors to eventually reach 2GHz at 20W at full load. (0.1W idle).
Clock speeds are expected to reach up to 2Ghz, with power consumption varying between 0.1W at idle and 20 Watts peak on a 2Ghz chip, with bus speeds up to 800Mhz possible. The C7's tiny 30 mm square die includes technology to reduce processor speed when computing loads are light: at 1GHz, consumption is a maximum of 3 Watts, and at 1.6GHz it is 12 Watts. This bodes well for low temperatures - though the fastest variants may still require some active cooling.

VIA has big plans for this tiny, cool running, electric bill friendly processor.

Although we eventually expect to see the C7 on a Mini-ITX board, VIA's target market is far wider: they would like to see the C7 in thin and light notebooks, mini PCs, green clients, home media centers and PVRs, and high density server and server appliances. Mass production is expected to begin at the end of Q2 2005, with 1.5GHz and 1.8GHz C7 notebooks reaching the shelves in India and elsewhere within a couple of months.

VIA has done something revolutionary. They have created a low power processor capable of running with the big boys. The drawbacks? Virtually none. Unless you like high electric bills.

The New VIA processors are built to run cool and on low power. At idle, the 2GHz C7 runs at 0.1W and 20W under full load. This is stunningly low compared to the Athlon 64 3500 which runs at 13.4W at idle and over 47.5 under load.

Not only does this low power consumption mean a lower electricity bill, it also means less or no fans. The cool running processor is built to run cool enough to not need fans. This also means less power comsumption by your PC and lower wattage power supplies.

Laptops will also benefit from this technology. It will allow them to be small and more versitle, have a longer battery life, and run amazingly cool. Just as a laptop should be.

For general information about VIA processors and mainboards:
More CPU info: http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/
Epia platform info: http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/mainboards/


Generally, you don't buy Via CPUs on their own. However, the Via C3 chips will work in Socket 370 mobos with proper BIOS support.


The following links are links to sites that sell VIA products:
http://idotpc.com/
http://www.monarchcomputer.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv
http://www.mini-box.com/site/index.html
http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/store/

C7 Motherboard

Features of VIA VN800

Key Features

» Full support for VIA C7-M processors as well as support for the latest Intel® Pentium® M processors
» Supports 800/533/400MHz Front Side Bus Settings
» Supports up to 4GB DDR2 or DDR Memory
» V-Link 533 MB/s high bandwidth North/South Bridge interconnect
» Full Featured Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) compliant with AGP 8X/4X
» Integrated UniChrome Pro Graphics
» Optimized Unified Memory Architecture (UMA)
» 200MHz Graphics Engine Clock with separated 128-bit data paths
» 128-bit 2D and 3D Graphics Engine
» Chromotion CE Video Display Engine
- MPEG-2 Decoder
- Video Deblocking
- Adaptive De-Interlace
- Full HDTV support up to 1080p
» Two 8-bit Video Capture Ports
» Three 12-bit Digital Video Ports for connection to TV out, Video Capture In, and external TMDS transmitter
» Full Software support including Microsoft DirectX 7.0, 8.0, 9.0 and Open GL support
» Support for VIA Vinyl Gold 8-channel Audio controller & integrated VIA Vinyle 6-channel Audio
» Serial ATA support for up to 4 devices
» Integrated V-RAID with RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, and JBOD (SATA) support
» Parallel ATA133/100/66 support for up to 4 devices
» Support for up to 8 USB 2.0/USB 1.1 ports
» Support for VIA Velocity Gigabit Ethernet companion controller & Integrated 10/100 Fast Ethernet
» Advanced System Power Management Support including ACPI/On Now



Thanks to everybody who's information I used to compile this short list. I hope this help some people out and I'm sorry if it's a bit messy. If it is, tell me and I clean it up a bit :D

 

Emission

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A tiiiiiiny hint is that, Eden processor info is in a C7 Thread :rolleyes: , So ehh, please clean that up to C7 only, and if you can find anything to contribute about C7 info, it would be greatly appreciated :)
 

morningreis

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I got some questions...

1 Why are the pins on that thing so fat?
2 How do these C7s compare to their AMD/Intel counterparts?
 

Emission

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^
1) Its a high-defenition close-up of the processor. In reality its small.
2) Yet to be revealed. Its not yet known that anyone benched one of these. I myself havent found any reviews.
 

mavalpha

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Those aren't pins, they're balls of solder. This isn't a drop-in processor, IIRC, it's for mostly integrated motherboards.
 

mavalpha

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It isn't a direct performance comparison against P-M, but rather a performance-per-watt. If anyone here actually feels like digging up numbers on P-M, we can extrapolate using this chart. I would, but I'm tired and lazy.
 

DeadlyAura

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I took the Eden stuff out of the post. I didn't realize that it was C7 only. I know I have C3 stuff in there but I think its important and should stay, if not let me know and I'll talke it out. I didn't realize before that it was C7 only, I thought it was all VIA products.

 
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DeadlyAura said:
The New VIA processors are built to run cool and on low power. At idle, the 2GHz C7 runs at 0.1W and 20W under full load. This is stunningly low compared to the Athlon 64 3500 which runs at 112W at idle and over 150 under load.
That's way off, the 3500+ draws far less power than that. According to X-bit labs they draw around 13.4 watts at idle and 47.5 watts at load. Link
 

mavalpha

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For 90nm parts, 3500+ and below have an official TDP of 67W. Everything above that is officially rated at 89W. Of course, that excludes the FX55 and FX57's 104W and FX60's 110W, but they are in a league all their own.
 

(cf)Eclipse

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Flak Monkey said:
That's way off, the 3500+ draws far less power than that. According to X-bit labs they draw around 13.4 watts at idle and 47.5 watts at load. Link
and even AMD's specs, which we know to be way high, put the 3500+ at 67w MAX TDP. wherever that quote came from, i wouldn't trust anything from it.
 

DeadlyAura

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Flak Monkey said:
That's way off, the 3500+ draws far less power than that. According to X-bit labs they draw around 13.4 watts at idle and 47.5 watts at load. Link

Thats interesting. The site I found (I don't remember where) said otherwise. I'll change it for now but I'll look into it more later.

 

Jason711

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i knew of the boards.. would be neat to see a few of those c7's on a single die tho..
 

Emission

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With the small heat output, they could probably sitck 4 in a die :cool:
 

Jason711

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indeed... i really think things would get pretty interesting then. with the proper apps, of course. ;)
 

ScHpAnKy

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Emission said:
With the small heat output, they could probably sitck 4 in a die :cool:

Based on the TDP, yes, you could, but I don't think they will with these current chips, here's why I think it won't happen:

1.) VIA is all about total power consumption, 4x20W = 80W, that's a bit warmer than VIA would probably like considering the majority of their products are under 25W
2.) At this point, I very much doubt VIA has the ability to conceptualize and produce that type of CPU, look how long it took AMD and Intel, then consider how many resources are available to them :eek:
 
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are there any integrated mobo's for sale with the C7 processor in them, and if there are/arent, what form factor would they be in? Mini-ITX, micro ATX?, what kind of memory does the processor support? is the supporting chipset have northbridge and southbridge? thanks.
 

DeadlyAura

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ScHpAnKy said:
Based on the TDP, yes, you could, but I don't think they will with these current chips, here's why I think it won't happen:

1.) VIA is all about total power consumption, 4x20W = 80W, that's a bit warmer than VIA would probably like considering the majority of their products are under 25W
2.) At this point, I very much doubt VIA has the ability to conceptualize and produce that type of CPU, look how long it took AMD and Intel, then consider how many resources are available to them :eek:

Maybe eventually a dual core on a dual mother board. That would be nuts. Total of 80W at full power is absolutely amazing for dual processors with dual cores. If they could produce the technology to do that, I would definately buy it. That would be amazing. Plus, the heat would stay down and still not need cooling because it would be distributed between two processors.

 

ScHpAnKy

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Agromahdi123 said:
are there any integrated mobo's for sale with the C7 processor in them, and if there are/arent, what form factor would they be in? Mini-ITX, micro ATX?, what kind of memory does the processor support? is the supporting chipset have northbridge and southbridge? thanks.

So far the only C7 in production is the C7-M, which is only found in notebooks at the moment. The actual C7 seems to not be in production yet, but sources say it should be soon. I don't get what the second part of your question asks... the higher-performance boards they have with the eden-n's have a northbridge and a southbridge, so it would be a logical progression that the C7 boards do, as well.
 

Borgschulze

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ScHpAnKy said:
So far I've only been able to find laptops with the C7-M

Where can I get a C7-M laptop in Canada? I want a Laptop for school, so I can learn Linux a bit more.. you know, after I finish my work, I could pull out the laptop and get used to Linux a bit more.
 

MD_Willington

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You can't compare the C7 to a regular Athlon 64, they are not targeted at the same market segment, if you want to compare it to an AMD processor, you need to find some AMD Geode or AMD Alchemy data...

Geode LX/GX
http://www.amd.com/us-en/ConnectivitySolutions/ProductInformation/0,,50_2330_9863,00.html

NX, Socket A low power (ECS actually has this available in a SiS741 mainboard)
http://www.amd.com/us-en/ConnectivitySolutions/ProductInformation/0,,50_2330_9863_10837,00.html

I admit the wattage levels are not the same, but they are still low.

NX1750 @1.4GHz TDP of 25W


MD
 
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That thing is so sweet! I have the perfect use for that mobo/cpu. I have been looking at mini-itx and nano-itx but they did not seem powerful enough but this one is perfect. The only problem is where can I get one! I looked in all of the sites and I did not even see mention of where to buy one. Has anyone found where to buy one? Please post a link if you have.
 

prophetx2

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mmm I'm looking into one of these to do some development on. Will these things be good enough to fold on linux and run X? I do a bit of coding and would love to have something that can run at 1900x1200 just for coding, i'll be compiling off another pc...
 

ScHpAnKy

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prophetx2 said:
mmm I'm looking into one of these to do some development on. Will these things be good enough to fold on linux and run X? I do a bit of coding and would love to have something that can run at 1900x1200 just for coding, i'll be compiling off another pc...

You bet, but as stated before, the actual processing speed is rather anemic, and when it comes to folding performance you'll be looking at something about the speed of a P2-450
 

defaultluser

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The C7's tiny 30 mm square die includes technology to reduce processor speed when computing loads are light: at 1GHz, consumption is a maximum of 3 Watts, and at 1.6GHz it is 12 Watts.

That's nothing, really. The Athlon 64 0.09 micron core can perform the same feat, provided you take the opportunity to undervolt the processor:



This is my own Winchester 3200+, purchased way back in November 2004. It runs at 1.0v at 1.5 GHz STABLE, completed the SuperPI 32M test plus several hours of Prime simultaneously, all while being cooled on a Zalman 7000 AlCu with the fan turned off.

Given that processor power usage is proportional to f * v^2, you can extrapolate the maximum power usage of this configuration from a normal Winchester 3200+.

First, I submit a Winchester 3200+ measured at 30w (measured at voltage regulator), full-load. The extrapolated power usage (2.0 GHz, 1.4v -> 1.5 GHz, 1.0v) would be:

30w * 1.5 / 2.0 * 1.0^2 / 1.4^2 = 11.5w MAX POWER

In other words, quite competitive with the C7 at 1.6 GHz, and I have no doubt how much better the A64 would perform. You can play the voltage game at 2.0 GHz as well to get competitive numbers. My Winchester also runs completely stable at stock 2.0 GHz with 1.2v, and those numbers come quite close to the C7 offering:

30w * 1.2^2 / 1.4^2 = 22w MAX POWER

Who would have though the Athlon 64 could go so low? There are thousands of Turion MT owners who already know about this, enjoying their "cherry-picked" Athlon 64 desktop cores which run at 1.2v stock. things will only get better: the Turion X2s (just "cherry-picked" desktop X2s), due out in may, will operate at 1.075v to be competitive with Yonah. It's hardly a surprise that the "rest" of the desktop chips perform similarly.

Hell, I didn't get any special chip. From what I've seen, quite a few 90nm A64 chips can hit these low voltages without breaking a sweat. You can do the same thing with Pentium Ms, if Intel is your bag.

I just don't find Via all that tantalizing anymore. Between ridiculous delays and pathetic performance, Via has fallen behind. Now both Intel and AMD can produce more complex chips with larger caches that can have competitive power usage, thus derailing Via's "simple is better" approach for all but the absolute lowest-power applications.
 

Murali

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Well yes, while you can downclock a AMD cpu to easily meet/beat a VIA solution, find me a AMD or Intel solution that meets the SIZE requirements of the mini-ITX or smaller.

Frankly, thats VIA's only thing, the massively shrunk motherboard.... If they were offering a full ATX solution with such a crappy CPU, then the argument can be made...

And in most situations that I have seen, VIA's CPU+mobo is more expensive than AMD CPU + mobo.

VIA has one niche: Ultra compact.
 

widefault

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Murali said:
Well yes, while you can downclock a AMD cpu to easily meet/beat a VIA solution, find me a AMD or Intel solution that meets the SIZE requirements of the mini-ITX or smaller.


Here's one of many.

Current price on that board is around the same as VIA's NanoITX, and it's pretty much the same size. There's also a socketed version if someone needs a better CPU. That version can run up to a 2GHz Dothan Pentium-M. Expensive combo, but about the best performance you can get in that small a space.

MiniITX? Here's a few to choose from.

And that's from one manufacturer, there are many more doing MiniITX with CPUs other than VIA. Prices are the only bad part. Pentium-M-based boards usually run about double the VIA board, but to me the performance gain is worth it.
 
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