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.