Originally Posted by another_steve
While I certainly have no first hand knowledge of Apple's plans, I can point out that your reasoning is flawed. Specifically regarding the AppleTV. While I might agree with you in that the Atom may be ill suited for HD content, you should note that the nVidia 9400m has built in full HD decoding capabilities. Likewise, the processor wouldn't even be used for that task.
Further, you might want to look at how nVidia is marketing the Atom. It shoots a few holes in your theory.http://www.nvidia.com/object/sff_ion.html
Yes, you are correct. I'm NOW at the office... What we received to "tinker" with were Intel 330's (Dual Core, 64bit), on INTEL boards with GMA (can't say which) graphics and 2gb DDR2 800 Ram.
this is OT BUT: Vista Ult 64bit on above: Decent but after 6 months it would be POOR at best.
OS X 10.5.5 on above - Decent for basic stuff, front row, 1080 HD content OVER Internet is NO GO (we are using Cable 16/4 to test), 480/720 is fine and works well.
Ubuntu Linux 64b - VERY GOOD. Optimized for Atom CPU though.
Ubuntu 32b - BOXEEE setup - EXCELLENT, again we used atom optimization.
Apple could use the nVidia chipset with this CPU which would add 4gb ram or more... It's ability to process IN SYNC only is the drawback right now when playing HD content. Via's nano cpu actually plays it better but only on a linux distro optimized for the ULV CPU's (latest kernel has this setup - Thanks ASUS!). If they (apple) optimize the Darwin core for these then YES with the nVidia setup they could EASILY make a killer AppleTV.
HD Thoroughput is actually great on the 330 however the N270 and 230 cpu's it's been OK at best. You'll never max out the SATA I speed on either but there's a lot less drop off on the 330 which is WHY I'm saying NO WAY on HD... However nVidia's 9400 series is faster on the bus than Intel's chipsets, So in your case and as it was written and somehow ignored by me late last night, YES this would work well.
Good enough of a backpeddle? The 330 chip would be what Apple would use in a netbook/AppleTV system. I can't see them settling for a 30-40 xbench score AT BEST and calling that "High End - Apple Worthy" products.
Can't test Via's C7 Nano on OS X but on Linux it is FASTER at 2.0ghz, 800mhz Bus compared to ANY of the Atom's. However it being paired with VIA's Low-Power chipsets is it's downfall. It's 64bit, fast, very low power, lower than Intel's and carries an 800mhz bus compared to Intel's 533... One big point, CAN process out of sync through the pipe.
EDIT: 230/330 are NOT designed for mobile devices. 4watts/8watts usage (looks good to me for mobile's) however it's the way Intel rights the Use Contracts... They also can't be used on Mobile's with larger monitors the way the contracts are currently written. Also Boxee was used to test our units along with Blu-Ray DVD. N270 is the only mobile version allowed (of course this WILL change).