Published in Motherboards

Intel starts anti-Ion propaganda

by on23 February 2009

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Exclusive: Intel goes after Nvidia

Intel has just released a document titled Nvidia Ion Competitive Position Guide, and, of course, it didn't really want to help Nvidia sell its Ion chipset. This is a typical “if you sell Ion based products there might be some consequences” kind of document. Intel was, of course, attacking Nvidia's Ion with everything it had.

Some of Intel's key arguments against Ion is that Ion is not a newly designed chipset, but rather derived from Nvidia's MCP79M/NCP7A chipset family. The document also claims that some reviewers got different SKUs and some got MCP7A-U desktop versions, while some got the mobile version, MCP79MX SKU. The fact that Ion is derived from existing chipset is completely true, but Intel’s 945GSE chipset is almost 4 years old.

Furthermore, Intel says that Nvidia's Ion is expected to consume more power and add unnecessary cost to system Bill of Material (BOM) and we believe Intel ought to be right about that. What Intel fails to mention, however, is that Ion can do 1080P HD and it can also take care of some basic gaming, and you can forget that with the 945GSE and the new GN40 chipset. On the other hand, we heard that GN40 should be able to cope with 720p HD but not 1080p.

The last argument against Ion was that new netbook and nettop platforms with CPU and graphics on the same die are expected in Q4 2009, so the window of opportunity for Ion is very short. Intel’s new Atom with IGP on die, codenamed Pineview, will still have inferior graphics, at least compared to Ion. 

Intel also quoted many magazines, including Fudzilla, about Nvidia's chipset problems, the fact that Ion machines will cost 50 to $100 more than a typical Atom, Power related issues with Ion, lousy gaming experience and lack of availability and designs.

Intel is definitely concerned about Ion, as MCP79M and the rest of the Ion platform are better than Intel's 945GSE and probably even than GN40, at least until Pineview CPU+GPU Atom comes in Q4 09. 

We would also like to point out the fact that Intel had no right to use a Fudzilla article to further its own goals. We are not in the business of taking sides. Intel or not, any company should be careful when using a sole artice for such a purpose, as a single article simply can't paint the full picture, and the legal system also demands you have permission to quote in such a document.

Intel should have used proper channels, contacted us and asked for permission, as taking tidbits out of context will do them more harm than good. We are looking into the matter as we speak.
Last modified on 23 February 2009
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