Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Intel Releases Anti-Nvidia Ion Documents

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

Those who have been keeping a close eye on the Ion (geddit, eye-on the… oh nevermind), will know that there’s been a small feud brewing between Nvidia and Intel.

Intel is vehemently intent on keeping its Atom processor paired within its own chipset technologies. While there’s no argument that the Atom is very good at what it does -- being miserly on power requirements -- there are many of the opinion that the chipset and GPU that the Atom sits on could be better. Nvidia is one of such opinion, and is pushing its Ion platform as the solution.

We’ve been hearing for months now that Intel isn’t welcoming of the help, placing certain restrictions on OEMs and even Nvidia regarding the use of the Atom processor. Websites bit-tech and Fudzilla now claim to have seen a document from Intel, titled the Nvidia Ion Competitive Position Guide, that aims to dissuade OEMs from selecting the Ion platform.

Intel’s first jab against the Ion is that it’s based off of older Nvidia technologies, calling it “a SKU of the existing MCP79M/MCP7A chipset family (branded in part as GeForce 9400M, GeForce 9400, GeForce 9300, GeForce 9100M G or GeForce 8200M G.” While this is true, one complaint about nearly all the Atom systems available today use the 945GSE chipset.

Intel also said that Nvidia is “attempting to re-use an integrated graphics chipset designed for the notebook and desktop system price points into the netbook and nettop system price points. This in turn leads to higher costs as well as high power consumption.” The document compares the Atom’s current TDP of 8 W against Ion’s 15.5 W.

Of course, those who want the added multimedia capabilities afforded by the Nvidia chipset might be willing to pay a little bit more and live with a reduced battery life. Intel doesn’t believe that market is significant, as it adds, “neither gaming nor video transcoding are relevant to netbook and nettop users,” later concluding, “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.”

Intel does point out that the Nvidia’s “window” to push the Ion is limited too, as the Atom will be gaining an on-die IGP when Pineview hits late 2009.

Display 34 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
  • 2 Hide
    bosjee , February 24, 2009 8:36 PM
    All I want is a tiny nettop that can do 1080p. It looks like only Ion can do that now. I will definitely wait for Pineview if it can do that too.
  • 7 Hide
    A Stoner , February 24, 2009 8:57 PM
    I want better graphics, I want the ability to have access to new technology or old technology in new forms. If ION can make up for the shortcomings of my wife's dell mini 9, then I would like to have one.

    I want the ability to have a better screen resolution than 1280x600. I want the small form factor for travel. Between 6 and 10 inches seems about right. I want to have integrated GPS, ability to play BluRay quality video, and great wifi access. If it can play a nice 3d game or two, that would be icing. Intel is dropping the ball here, and most of that dropped ball is nothing more than Intel preventing the full use of it's Atom processor by vendors.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , February 24, 2009 9:02 PM
    Not that Intel is anti-competitive or a stereotypical evil corporation or anything like that...
  • 6 Hide
    danimal_the_animal , February 24, 2009 9:02 PM
    "The document compares the Atom’s current TDP of 8 W against Ion’s 15.5 W."
    is intel STUPID!!!! how are they going to compare nvidia's chip set against the atom CPU....try comparing chip set to chip set....duh...

    the atom will be 8 watts no matter what!!!

    the atom plus Intel's chip set draws 33-35 watts

    the Ion chip set of 15.5 plus the atom's 8 watts = 23.5
  • 0 Hide
    SAL-e , February 24, 2009 9:22 PM
    bosjee,

    Can you please explain why you need 1080p on tiny nettop? My calculation shows that if you screen is 10" the 1080p will result in about 216dpi. That is great if you planning to do image processing, but it is really over-kill for video watching. Good video quality is achieved at 72dpi and the excellent would be at 150dpi. Please, I am looking for understanding, not to disrespect you. May be I am missing something here?
  • 0 Hide
    geoffs , February 24, 2009 9:26 PM
    Sounds like Intel is worried, they should be. Before Intel became a dominant chipset maker, they would have welcomed and co-marketed the Ion. Anything that makes their CPUs look better used to be a benefit, now it's all about how much of the all the markets they can control.

    Quote:
    The document compares the Atom’s current TDP of 8 W against Ion’s 15.5 W
    I don't know where Intel is getting the 8W number (perhaps the Poulsbo chipset), but it's certainly not the almost universally used 945GC/GSE. See the comparison of Intel's reference Atom board to Nvidia's Ion from which the below quote is taken.

    Quote:
    The second impact of the older design is that total power consumption is high. According to Intel, the 945GC’s TDP is 22.2 W, and the Atom 230 + 945GC + ICH7 platform has a TDP of 29.5 W. The GeForce 9400M claims a TDP of only 12 W. The Atom itself consumes 4 W, putting the Ion at 16 W total—just above half the TDP of the Intel platform.
  • 3 Hide
    geoffs , February 24, 2009 9:28 PM
    Quote:
    Can you please explain why you need 1080p on tiny nettop?
    For output to an HDTV. The Ion would form the basis of an excellent HTPC.
  • 2 Hide
    KevTheRev , February 24, 2009 9:28 PM
    No market for it? I'm thinking a new Mac Mini or maybe on AppleTV? Intel does realize the Apple switched to Nvidia chipsets for the macbooks right?
  • -3 Hide
    SAL-e , February 24, 2009 9:40 PM
    geoffsFor output to an HDTV. The Ion would form the basis of an excellent HTPC.

    Sorry, that was not my question to bojee. I understand the ION platform and I think Intel is shooting themselves in foot by fighting the Nvidia.
    I agree that ION could be cool HTPC, but tiny nettop is useful on you kitchen top and excellent video quality could be achieve at 720p or less. There is issue if you have a 1080p source and you want to transcode it on the fly, but nettops was never attended for that.
  • 4 Hide
    norbs , February 24, 2009 9:43 PM
    Can't wait for nvidia to start making it's own processors. It would be great; more innovation and lower prices (not to mention a big F.U. to Intel). BTW i am not and amd, nvidia, ati, Apple, Microsoft etc etc fanboy, so don't start...

    I am however a competition/innovation fanboy so go ahead and flame away at that.
  • 2 Hide
    danimal_the_animal , February 24, 2009 9:53 PM
    they may as well join forces.....

    nvidia will potentially increase their atom sales anyhow so i don't see Intel loosing money there.

    BUT if Intel refuses to join forces....nvidia will most likely join with via.....then Intel will have lots of trouble selling their chip sets AND the CPU because folks will choose nvidia over Intel EVERY TIME!


    you give the Intel the chance to more profit and they say "ALL OR NOTHING!"

    well i guess they will get nothing.

    with an efficient little PC like this Intel will have lots trouble selling its socket 775 and I7 cpu's cause the only people who will be buying it are enthusiasts, gamers, and video editors.

    The average Joe just does basic computing!
  • -4 Hide
    Blessedman , February 24, 2009 10:40 PM
    Intel should just end this and buy Nvidia. It would be a sad day, but god get over this junk!
  • -2 Hide
    zodiacfml , February 24, 2009 11:23 PM
    still think intel has a point, they're telling OEM's to wait for pineview platform wherein it integrates a memory controller, IGP, and could be using a 32nm process.
  • 3 Hide
    FrozenGpu , February 24, 2009 11:27 PM
    SAL-ebosjee,Can you please explain why you need 1080p on tiny nettop? My calculation shows that if you screen is 10" the 1080p will result in about 216dpi. That is great if you planning to do image processing, but it is really over-kill for video watching. Good video quality is achieved at 72dpi and the excellent would be at 150dpi. Please, I am looking for understanding, not to disrespect you. May be I am missing something here?


    Um you should know sal that nettop's also include the mini-pcs like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883220004

    That is a nettop. What you are thinking of is called a netbook, two different things that run on a similar platform...So I guess you did miss something, it's ok happens to the best of us. :) 
  • 4 Hide
    dyingcat , February 24, 2009 11:57 PM
    SAL-ebosjee,Can you please explain why you need 1080p on tiny nettop? My calculation shows that if you screen is 10" the 1080p will result in about 216dpi. That is great if you planning to do image processing, but it is really over-kill for video watching. Good video quality is achieved at 72dpi and the excellent would be at 150dpi. Please, I am looking for understanding, not to disrespect you. May be I am missing something here?


    Although 1080p on a 8" screen will be useless, I suppose just being able to play the movie is a good thing by itself. I've always hated converting movies to lower res, just so I can watch it on my smaller devices. If ION allows me to skip the converting and use the same files I use on my desktop, then I suppose it's worth it.
  • 2 Hide
    kato128 , February 25, 2009 12:11 AM
    I don't see what the fuss is about. Intel should just sell the atom chips to nvidia and let them sort out the ion netbooks etc. That way they're making all the profit from their own solution (which according to them is better) and they'd make money from nvidia even if ion flops.
  • 2 Hide
    danimal_the_animal , February 25, 2009 12:52 AM
    kato128I don't see what the fuss is about. Intel should just sell the atom chips to nvidia and let them sort out the ion netbooks etc. That way they're making all the profit from their own solution (which according to them is better) and they'd make money from nvidia even if ion flops.


    the problem is that intel wants to sell their chipsets WITH the cpu....they dont want nvidia cutting into their chipset profit.

    intel cannot see the light that by joining forces with nvidia they can actually make more money than they are currently making now, because of more interested parties.

    nvidia did a good job showing the Ion off....just look at the results....EVERYONE wants one including ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    FrozenGpu , February 25, 2009 3:09 AM
    dyingcatAlthough 1080p on a 8" screen will be useless, I suppose just being able to play the movie is a good thing by itself. I've always hated converting movies to lower res, just so I can watch it on my smaller devices. If ION allows me to skip the converting and use the same files I use on my desktop, then I suppose it's worth it.


    Stop replying to SAL-e, he was talking about a ntebook, where as the prvious commenter was referring to a nettop.

    And to SAL-e maybe I should calrify this further the guy "Bjosee" or w/e probably wants to pair up a nettop system b/c of it's extremly small form factor w/ a 42" Lcd or Plasma or w/e doesn't really matter.
  • 4 Hide
    phil0083 , February 25, 2009 6:10 AM
    Holy crap, I'm switching to AMD if Intel's going to be a douchebag like this from here on out...
  • 0 Hide
    ohim , February 25, 2009 6:20 AM
    BlessedmanIntel should just end this and buy Nvidia. It would be a sad day, but god get over this junk!

    Are you one of the guys who like monopoly to a market segment ? This is the reason why i`m an AMD fan and not Intel, even thow intel holds the crown in high end computing, the prices of CPUs are hold low because the existance of AMD and other competitors and all those Intel fans should thank that AMD exists ... now Intel goes for Nvidia when they offer something better. I will never pay for something produced by Intel, i don`t wanna be a part of that greed. Take away AMD and nvidia from computing and you`ll end up with a high priced monopoly from Intel and till now they suck hard on graphics part. Guess it`s gone to their heads that hey can do anything since core 2 duo.
Display more comments