Via brings the C7 (PCGH-Retro, May 27)

Via brings the C7 – that happened on May 27th. Every day, PC Games Hardware dares to take a look back at the young but eventful history of the computer.

…2005: Anyone looking for an x86 processor basically has the choice between AMD and Intel. But there is still a small, inconspicuous third provider that actually comes from the chipset business and wants to get involved in other markets by acquiring S3 Graphics or Cyrix and Centaur: the Taiwanese company Via, which is still privately owned. However, it wisely stays out of the race for the performance crown. Via concentrates on the market for particularly economical and inexpensive hardware. And this is exactly the goal on May 27th, when Via launches a new processor from Centaur’s own forge: the C7 with Esther core. It sits on the old Intel mobile socket 479 and runs at up to 2.0 GHz, using a maximum of 20 watts – in economy mode it should even be content with 0.1 watts. This makes it ideal for particularly small, passively cooled systems, and that’s exactly where it’s mostly used: on Via’s own Epia boards, mostly produced in small form factors such as Micro-ATX or even Mini-ITX. Years before low-energy processors from AMD or Intel such as Brazos or Atom, Via more or less anticipated their development and unfortunately unsuccessfully tried to establish x86-compatible processors in the embedded or mobile market.

For most people looking for a gaming capable x86 processor, the C7 doesn’t make Via a viable alternative either. But even if it can be a bit slower than the current squad from AMD or Intel, you shouldn’t forget: There is a third provider – even if it’s small and inconspicuous.