Print 10 comment(s) - last by psychobriggsy.. on Jul 7 at 7:33 AM

Single-chip UMPC solution

VIA has announced a new single-chip chipset designed for UMPC systems. The new VX700 chipset is compatible with VIA’s C7-M processors. The single-chip VX700 manages to pack all north and south bridge features into a single 35x35mm chip package that makes it ideal for space conscious UMPC designs.

It features the UniChrome Pro II IGP graphics core with the Chromation Video Engine. The Chromation Video Engine features hardware acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and WMV9 video formats. An integrated LVDS/DVI transmitter provides flexible display configurations with LCD’s, CRT and HDTV displays. DDR and DDR2 memory is supported by the VX700. SATA II, PATA, USB 2.0 and PCI connectivity is supported too. Support for high definition audio is also integrated.

Availability of the VX700 chipset is expected towards the end of Q3’06.

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By ksherman on 7/6/2006 10:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
I kinda like what VIA is doing in the Ultra Compact market... I know this is designed for UMPCs, but still, VIA is making pretty good strides to miniatureize PCs.

My question, how does the C7 compare? How well does a VIA equipped system actually run?

RE: Sweet
By cubby1223 on 7/6/2006 10:30:35 PM , Rating: 2
Question is not "How well does it perform?" - the ultimate question is, "Where the heck are all these announced products that never make it to retail, or atleast take sooooo long from announcement to retail?" You can't benchmark what doesn't exist.

RE: Sweet
By hwhacker on 7/6/2006 10:58:38 PM , Rating: 3
True enough, VIA's products can sometimes take an eternity to actually be available...So long that anything exciting they announce is obsolete by the time they get it out the door.

That being said, NB/SB/IGP (that's good enough for mpeg4 video) on a single chip sounds pretty cool for an UMPC...Perhaps they'll become cheaper and more practical...If this appears anytime soon.

RE: Sweet
By stmok on 7/6/2006 11:36:27 PM , Rating: 2

You clearly haven't been to sites like, where they have ALREADY benchmarked the C7 CPU for months now.

C7 based EPIA (Mini-ITX) mobos have been out for about 2 months now. I know you can get them here in Australia, parts of Asia, Europe, and they should be available in the USA, if you bothered to look hard enough.

RE: Sweet
By PT2006 on 7/7/2006 2:45:12 AM , Rating: 2
You clearly haven't been to sites like, where they have ALREADY benchmarked the C7 CPU for months now.
You do realize epiacenter is OWNED by VIA right? Check the WHOIS records, they aren't even timid about it.

RE: Sweet
By stmok on 7/6/2006 11:46:43 PM , Rating: 3
My question, how does the C7 compare? How well does a VIA equipped system actually run?

A C7 is like a PIII-class solution, but with lower thermal signature. Clock-for-clock, it can't compete on the FPU front, but on the Integer performance the 1.5Ghz C7, is like a PIII 700Mhz to 800Mhz. It can't compete with Pentium-M or AMD's Geode (K7-based) in a clock-fo-clock match-up.

Overall performance is about 10% faster than the equivalently clocked C3 "Nehemiah".

Compared to the C3, the 1Ghz model of C7 (which is like a PIII 500Mhz/600Mhz) is fanless. Actually, C7s can run up to 1.2Ghz fanless.

These CPUs are good for folks who use PCs as general purpose solutions. (non-gamer, occasionally use for word processing, email, web surfing, etc). Linux enthusiasts use them for embedded solutions or low power 24/7 servers, thin clients, etc. They are also nice for a dense cluster platform. (A cluster without needing an airconditioned room).

They make great little boxes for those who need something like a home file server (running Linux) sitting quietly in the corner.

The only thing that really irritates me about them, is VIA's poor driver support for Linux. (I'm not too fond of their Unichrome IGP solutions either).

I use my C3 EPIA solution as a firewall. Its been up for over a year now. (24/7...Unless there's a blackout) :)

RE: Sweet
By PT2006 on 7/7/2006 2:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
uh, you work for one of VIA's australian marketing companies... dont you? I swear to god I saw the exact same argument in a PCN like a year ago.

RE: Sweet
By feraltoad on 7/7/2006 3:11:05 AM , Rating: 2
I liked his comments. I don't think comparing a product to a 500-600mhz PIII in power is a glowing recommendation. Every product needs a niche and I think he accurately described the one for this product.

By ceteras on 7/7/2006 5:37:28 AM , Rating: 2
I own a laptop powered by a Via Nehemiah 1GHz cpu, 256MB DDR and 30GB HDD.
It can play divx files, and runs winXP pretty smooth.
The good fact is that it is very thin and light, and has a good battery life despite it's age.
It works like a pentiumIII 600MHz, but it's a different computing experience.

Nice little systems
By psychobriggsy on 7/7/2006 7:33:30 AM , Rating: 2
Although the price never seems to drop ... I got an EPIA800 system nearly 4 years ago, and the sale price new is still the same - newer boards just get more expensive.

The more modern systems are good at pairing a low-power CPU with some poor aspects (FP in particular) with a low-power GPU that has accelleration for common tasks (MPEG2, etc) rather than doing all the work on the CPU.

The only problem with VIA these days are the interminable delays between announcements and actual shipping products.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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