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Nvidia Ion Named "Best Enabling Technology"

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 11 comments

Nvidia announced today that its ION platform was named as the "Best Enabling Technology" during last week's CES '09 expo.

Nvidia cleverly sets the scene with the following description kicking off a recent pres release: "CES attendees stopped in their tracks to admire breathtaking HD video running on a 50-inch display, but the real shock came when they realized that those images came from a PC the size of a paperback book." Indeed, those who visited the trade show know exactly why LAPTOP Magazine named Nvidia's ION platform "Best Enabling Technology" at the show.

The Tech Report seemed just as ecstatic after sampling Nvidia's portable love, writing that the ION platform has the potential to endow compact, inexpensive Atom-based systems with "new levels of competency." Hot Hardware said that the ION platform is a "home run in the making," whereas Legit Reviews considered the ION as one of the most interesting PC designs seen in years. TechGage slapped the ION platform with its "Best of CES 2009" award.

So what exactly wowed all those tech-savvy enthusiasts? It was actually the intertwining relationship between Intel and Nvidia that did the trick. Like some sensual ying-yang symbol, both companies combined the Atom CPU with the GeForce 9400 GPU, offering premium PC power to notebook and small form factor PCs. The joint venture actually surfaced last month, perking the eyebrows of Epic Games' Mark Rein and EA Games' Lucy Bradshaw just to name a few.

“Until now, a high definition affordable PC was an oxymoron,” said Drew Henry, general manager of the MCP business unit at Nvidia. “The Ion Platform pairs the GeForce 9400 with a truly great Intel Atom CPU and lets consumers surf the Internet, play top games, edit photos, and watch videos all in high definition. This will really energize the PC market in 2009!”

Amazingly enough, consumers can enjoy not only full-spec 1080p high definition playback, but support for popular PC games such as Call of Duty 4, World of Warcraft, The Sims 2 and even the DRM-ridden Spore. According to Nvidia, the platform also supports Windows Vista Premium, the upcoming Windows 7 OS, and even faster photo and video editing with Adobe's Creative Suite 4. The company also said that netbooks utilizing the ION platform will see 10x faster graphics and video transcoding. All-in-one PCs will have the capability to display resolutions of 2560 x 1600, whereas CPU cost will be 80 percent cheaper when utilizing the ION platform in notebooks.

"Based on what we saw, the power held in the platform is a superb start for Nvidia," said Techgage's Greg King. "The Atom, paired with their GPU, is a potent little computer with almost limitless possibilities."

Nvidia that affordable PCs built around the ION platform should hit retail outlets sometime this summer.

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  • 0 Hide
    curnel_D , January 21, 2009 8:51 PM
    "Nvidia that affordable PCs built around the ION platform should hit retail outlets sometime this summer."

    Please proof read your articles.
  • 4 Hide
    eklipz330 , January 21, 2009 9:17 PM
    im gonna really laugh out loud when i find a thread on these forums of a person asking why it's running CoD at 5fps on this platform... really really loud
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , January 22, 2009 12:01 AM
    Are these available on current laptops? I've been waiting for a good gaming laptops for world of warcraft. I'm currently playing on an XPS but it just doesn't cut it in huge 25 man raids and long hours of farming instances for wow gold.

    The full HD thing is promising, too. Imagine bringing your 15" laptop somewhere and hooking it up to a Bravia. Sweet, sweet HD goodness.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , January 22, 2009 1:52 AM
    eklipz330im gonna really laugh out loud when i find a thread on these forums of a person asking why it's running CoD at 5fps on this platform... really really loud

    You can play CoD5 on it, but you definitely can't max it out.
  • 2 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , January 22, 2009 8:59 AM
    These would be brilliant for in car entertainment or as alternative to thin clients. I bet with that graphics chip, they could even do basic autocad stuff (like converting line drawings to a format that a cnc or similar system can read). Plenty of possibilities. IF the price matches what physically bigger mashines can provide.
    How big's the power supply for this thing ? With that small sized pcb, it must be bigger than the actual components it powers!
  • 0 Hide
    zodiacfml , January 22, 2009 10:07 AM
    probably the size of power adapters found in laptops.

    neiroatopelccThese would be brilliant for in car entertainment or as alternative to thin clients. I bet with that graphics chip, they could even do basic autocad stuff (like converting line drawings to a format that a cnc or similar system can read). Plenty of possibilities. IF the price matches what physically bigger mashines can provide.How big's the power supply for this thing ? With that small sized pcb, it must be bigger than the actual components it powers!

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 22, 2009 1:58 PM
    doesn't seem that it'll be an useful platform for torrent-reliant htpc users... BDrips are cpu dependent rather gpu dependent.
  • 0 Hide
    antilycus , January 22, 2009 3:30 PM
    Thats because NVIDIA has had their head on straight for awhile now. They screwed up with teh bug in Vista and their GPU's but their software and hardware development has always been top notch. ATI/AMD just takes NVIDIA's design aspects and throws more of everything at it, but cant for the propreitary stuff. Good job NVIDIA
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , January 22, 2009 9:24 PM
    Nvidia is really moving in the right direction here. As more apps begin to take advantage of GPGPU this platform will really start to shine. This year we should really start to see more and more apps taking advantage of these options. Should be self detecting as well without having to enable apps to take advantage of GPGPU acceleration.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 5, 2009 9:13 PM
    Torrent BDRips are almost always encoded in x.264. Thus giving them their approx. 10GB size. This chip has support for x.264 on the GPU. Therefore, it will play the rips fine. It may be another story if you try to play a 40GB raw BD file or an actual BD disk through an external drive or something.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , February 5, 2009 9:59 PM
    I'm somewhat annoyed Nvidia won't offer this to us enthusiasts. I know I would buy one, but I suppose with all of the customization, it would be a bit limiting to offer only a single option.