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Nvidia Fires Back at Intel's Anti-Ion Sentiments

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Inktfish
    Nice that Nvidia fights back to Intel :)
    Reply
  • bustapr
    Whoa!this is looking cooler than rap battles.
    Reply
  • jonpaul37
    David, meet Goliath... Goliath, David...

    (anticipates what is going to ensue)

    I'd like to give a holla out to Andrew Daum!
    Reply
  • roofus
    I dont know why I find it so amusing to see Nvidia essentially smarting off to Intel. Cant decide if it is brave or stupid.
    Reply
  • hurbt
    zzZZZ... about as entertaining as a political debate...

    -intel- "our processor works way better!"
    -Nvidia- "Nuh uh!"
    -intel- "don't use their processor, or you won't get the full Windows experience!"
    -Nvidia- "you mean all the bugs? they fixed those... "
    Reply
  • Hatecrime69
    hurbtzzZZZ... about as entertaining as a political debate... -intel- "our processor works way better!"-Nvidia- "Nuh uh!"-intel- "don't use their processor, or you won't get the full Windows experience!"-Nvidia- "you mean all the bugs? they fixed those... "
    I'd re-word that as:

    Intel: our chipset is just as good and better than nvidia's..it can do everything nvidia's can, with lower power!
    nvidia: Um...yeah...that's bs and you know it
    Reply
  • hellwig
    I feel worse about any OEMs out there who would actually listen to Intel praise their own product, rather than make a decision for themselves. People don't care about Atom vs. Nano vs Whatever, they want functionality and affordability.

    If your battery time drops form 6 hours to 5, but you can watch movies on your netbook or use a nettop as HDPC, why wouldn't you want an Ion? Intel has no solution whatsoever for the multimedia field. Their best desktop GPU can't even support blue-ray decoding, like their integrated Pineview core is going to be that much of an improvement.
    Reply
  • falchard
    roofusI dont know why I find it so amusing to see Nvidia essentially smarting off to Intel. Cant decide if it is brave or stupid.
    AMD thinks its very smart.
    Reply
  • curnel_D
    Lol, I love it when large companies are smartass towards otheres. That last page with the via article is hillarious.
    Reply
  • goonting
    i just love this development...time to get more choices at lower prices..yeah...
    Reply