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Nvidia Fires Back at Intel's Anti-Ion Sentiments

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 4 comments

Earlier this week, Intel sent out a document that it hoped to dissuade system builders from pairing Nvidia’s Ion platform with the Atom processor. Today, Nvidia fired back with arguments of why Ion is the best solution for the Atom.

Intel’s document, titled Nvidia Ion Competitive Position Guide, instructed its recipients, “Don’t buy the hype around Nvidia Ion--it offers no advantages that an Intel platform cannot provide relevant to the Netbook and Nettop market segments.”

Nvidia’s response to the above Intel statement is that the Ion gives a “faster, more feature rich, better experience.” Nvidia’s document, titled simply Nvidia Response to Intel Claims on Ion, offers a rebuttal on every point Intel makes against the platform.

Three of the 13 pages of Nvidia’s response is dedicated to quotes from Microsoft, software and game developers, and technical publications in response to Intel’s claim about the support behind the Ion platform. Particularly, Nvidia points to Microsoft’s certification of the platform being able to give the “premium Windows experience” from Windows Vista Home Premium. Current Intel Atom systems are much better suited towards running Windows XP.

Nvidia makes no direct argument against Intel’s claim that the Ion is just a retooled MCP79M/MCP7A, but instead points out that computer makers including Apple, Dell, HP, among others are currently using Nvidia’s chipsets. Nvidia also points out that its MCP79M/MCP7A-based Ion is a “modern 2 chip solution” compared against Intel’s “4-year-old 3 chip design.”

Nvidia also takes exception to Intel’s comparison on power requirements. Intel compared the Atom’s current TDP of 8W against Ion’s 15.5W, but Nvidia blasts back, “Peak power is a very poor measurement” and presents its own figures stating that the MCP79-ION typical power is only 9.5W compared to 9W for 945GSE+ICH7. Nvidia then presented Mobile Mark 2007 Battery Life numbers, putting the Ion system at 2 hours 31 minutes compared to Intel’s 945GSE’s 2 hours 40 minutes.

The document in closing argues that Pineview, the Atom with on-die IGP, will only force consumers to use Intel graphics, while the the second-generation Ion will improve performance and expand CPU support. Perhaps to prove a point, Nvidia placed a massive VIA Nano logo that takes up as much space as the four Intel CPU logos next to it.

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  • 1 Hide
    wild9 , 26 February 2009 02:57
    Forgive me if I'm wrong but if Intel's claims are frivolous doesn't that in lay the foundation for legal redress?

    If Intel doesn't want nVidia to use it's products then perhaps nVidia could get together with someone else, say AMD?
  • 1 Hide
    v12v12 , 26 February 2009 11:50
    At this point in time, knowing what we ALL KNOW about Wintel... They are assumed guilty till proven innocent. So I'll be siding with Nvid till Intel proves their case. We need AMD to do well, and we certainly need ATI to do well, so that WinTel doesn't turn into an out of control Hydra-monster of computing!
  • 1 Hide
    smalltime0 , 26 February 2009 13:07
    I think nvidias finest hour may be soon with their continued support of the new VIA platform
  • Display all 4 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    wild9 , 26 February 2009 19:42
    Wild9Forgive me if I'm wrong but if Intel's claims are frivolous doesn't that in lay the foundation for legal redress?If Intel doesn't want nVidia to use it's products then perhaps nVidia could get together with someone else, say AMD?

    Thanks THG..

    AMD Campaigning Yukon as Intel Atom Alternative

    23rd February, 2009.

    AMD is campaigning to PC makers to consider using its Yukon platform before turning straight to Intel’s Atom when designing a low-cost, power efficient system.

    AMD representatives explained to Digitimes that systems built using the Yukon platform won’t be bound to any hardware or form factor restrictions -- which have been reported to be part of Intel’s Atom program. OEMs are free to make Yukon systems, including notebooks, with any panel size, expansion slots or memory capacities.,news-30379.html