Athlon II 170u? Webcam?


Storage Freak
Jan 14, 2002
44 degrees, 43 minutes latitude; 91 degrees, 28 mi
Can somebody help me understand the role of this chip. I have not one, but two relatives who purchased cheap computers (Compaq and HP I think) that use this chip. Is this not a huge step back from the Athlon II X2s of last year? Is this chip to the desktop what the Atom is to the netbook? Is the whole point to get a PC built without a CPU fan nor a powersupply that uses more energy than my mouse?

Any chance I can get a decent webcam (720p) to Skype in a PC run by this single core thing (both PCs have 2 GB of RAM)?


Fatwah on Western Digital
Jan 17, 2002
I am omnipresent
Since it's an AMD, it should have decent onboard video processing and I'd imagine that 720p will be fine.

The Athlon 170u is indeed an ultra low power chip that's meant to be used in the same sorts of applications as the Atom. Unfortunately, that's not going to stop companies like Compaq and Acer from making systems that use them in an effort to eke out some meager profit on sub-$300 desktop machines, and that probably has more to do with its real place in the market than presumptive competition with the Atom.

The Microsoft LifeCam Cinema is quite nice if you were interested in a webcam recommendation.
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Wotty wot wot.
Nov 8, 2006
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
A quick google shows the Athlon II 170u to be equivalent to the old "Athlon 64 3800+" cpu, but runs in under 20W TDP.

Not fantastic, but should be better than any atom providing single threaded applications.

And yes, that chart has a Atom 330 above it, but remember the Atom 330 is dual core with HT (so 4 threads).

As for the webcam, you should be fine as long as the CPU doesn't need to do realtime codec conversion. (I would think 480p might be the upper limit if some sort of codec conversion is needed).

PS. My Asus netbook (Atom N270) does 480p without breaking a sweat, but that's the webcam's upper res limit.