Ah, the question everyone asks. Celeron M vs Atom N270 for netbook computers (VIA is ruled out here, as it is outperformed by both in most benchmark tests). A note before I continue writing this article, I don’t actually own a netbook with an N270 processor, so the comparisons are based on my friend Quack’s Acer Aspire One.
Day to Day Usage: In day to day usage, the Intel Atom outperforms the Celeron M in almost every field. Being that the Atom is hyperthreaded it outperforms the Celeron for handling multiple tasks at once as well as completely trumping it on battery consumption (Atom processors get a 30% increase in battery life, on average). Hands down the Intel Atom is the processor to get if you’re not going to use your netbook as your primary computer, but just as a lightweight travel companion.
Gaming: This is the benchmark that surprised me; they were done using Urban Terror, both netbooks utilizing the same configuration file (as described in my other post about Urban Terror on the Eee PC). While on the same map without any players, the Celeron got 30 FPS outdoors and 60 FPS in corridors, while the Atom got only 10 FPS outside and 30 inside, which is nowhere near playable in a real online game (especially considering FPS drops significantly with other players around).
I won’t be divulging further into comparisons, because these two criteria should suffice. So, if you’re planning on playing UrT or other games on your netbook you should probably buy one with a a Celeron M processor (Like the Eee PC 900 or 1000HD), but if you are only going to use it for surfing the web or chatting online then you should buy an Atom based netbook (Eee PC 900HA, Acer Aspire One).