Intel: Ion is too big and expensive for netbooks

By on December 23, 2009, 3:48 PM
Many companies respect Nvidia's Ion graphics chipset as a more powerful alternative to Intel's integrated solutions. The chipset has seen relative success in portable computers across the board this year, and that could continue with Nvidia preparing to launch the Ion 2 next quarter.

Given the increasing friction between Intel and Nvidia, it's interesting to hear what the Santa Clara-based chip-maker has to say about its competition. According Laptop Magazine, Intel netbook marketing director Anil Nanduri offered his two cents, and he's unimpressed by the Ion.

"To run multimedia you don't need a huge graphics chip. And that's what those third-party decoder solutions will show in the marketplace," Nanduri said. He continued by saying that there are more innovative ways to achieve multimedia capabilities while remaining power-conscious, noting, "netbooks are not meant for gaming."

While that last bit about gaming is true, HD video playback, as well as OpenCL support and more comes with a discrete GPU, and shouldn't be overlooked. Even sites like YouTube are adopting HD streaming options. That said, products like Broadcom's Crystal HD decoder chip can meet some of those demands.

"We believe (Ion) adds unnecessary additional cost and the other trade-offs make it less desirable. Our customers have the option to design netbooks how they want to but ultimately the market is going to decide." The future is never set in stone, but some PC manufacturers are already betting that you'll want an Ion 2 in your Pine Trail-based devices.

User Comments: 10

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poundsmack said:

if you say so intel....

ION (and especially ION2) are what it's all about. Intels offerings as is are good for extreme basic use, and embeded systems (like my QNX box).

pgbsamurai said:

Sorry but i don't really trust Intel's grasp on what graphics are needed in a machine as their efforts in that area have been sub-par for the past 15 years.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

bull...crap. Intel's gpus will always be worse than Nvidia's. This is just Intel trying to justify pushing out a clearly inferior product. Nanduri needs to realize how much more important a high quality gpu is today and will be in the future.

Steve Steve said:

You are right guys the Atom processors suck without Ion.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow, this is the very definition of sour grapes on Intel's part... First they can't compete in the graphics front (even to the point of recently ceasing work on their graphics platform they were working on)... Then they can't bully companies into using their chipset package, even by ridiculously undercutting the price so that it's cheaper to buy the whole set than just the Atom alone. Then it becomes apparent that their Atom package is pretty lackluster in the graphics playback arena (no big surprise there). And THEN the FTC jumps in with legal actions against their unfair business practices.

Their answer? "Ah, you don't need the Ion, it's overkill." That's it? Seriously? That's the best Intel can manage? heh

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Some of us like overkill, some of us like it a lot.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Intel - you guys should know that the Ion is the very reason that I returned my Netbook and put the cash back into my bank. Once I found that the Intel Atom CPU wasn't powerful enough to bring me basic media content on a Netbook I instantly knew that I had to wait for the technology to catch up. Now that Nvidia Ion's are starting to emerge I can finally have a product that I've wanted in the first place. You should be thanking Nvidia for fixing your shortsightedness! Sorry Intel - but if you really think that customer's don't want rich multimedia content, then why did we ever leave the 486 CPU and install our CD drives?

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The NVIDIA vs. Intel trash talk fight is gathering steam.

On one hand, I think that Intel is right. If you just want good video playback, Ion is an overkill (and there will be alternatives). If you want gaming, the Atom will hold you back.

That said, "netbooks are not meant for gaming" is a stupid notion. Netbooks are meant for whatever users want them to do. And many users would love to play games on them, if they could. Some would love to use GPGPU on them to do video conversions. Which is why there's a market for a better graphics card on netbooks.

Now if only VIA could bring its Nano and the new DX10.1 chipset to the market...

jgvmx said:

Intel: Ion is too good and expensive for the cheap crap we are selling.

Guest said:

The industry (Intel & MS) is trying to prevent netbooks from becoming too "powerful" since the discount the price on there hardware and lose money.

There are doing this be defining and dedicating max specs that are lower then they can be. The public however, want's the most powerful "netbook".

Seems like Nividia is not playing Intel/Ms game atm.

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