June 17, 2009 at 3:57 pm
Whilst we are still yet to see official specifications of Intel’s next-generation Atom ‘Pineview’ processor and it’s platform dubbed ‘Pine Trail’, it has not stopped Nvidia from claiming that its ION platform will outperform Intel’s platform.
Nvidia ION pairs its 9400M GPU with an Intel Atom processor. As Intel’s Pineview processor moves its graphics to the processor, some analysts have commented that this could be bad news for Nvidia. However Dave Ragones, Nvidia product manager, disagrees.
Pineview “won’t be able to do 1080p [high-def] video. We can,” Ragones said to Computerworld. He also claimed that ION will outperform Intel’s next-generation Pine Trail platform by a factor of five to 10 times, as ION does today.
I’m not sure whether the performance gap for Pine Trail/Pineview will be as big as in the current Atom chips. If the rumoured Pineview specs are anything to go on, then the 1.66GHZ N450 Atom processor will come with GMA500 graphics, which is a (small) improvement over GMA950, found on many netbooks today.
Ragones claims that Ion will outperform particularly in high-definition video and games. He also feels that consumers will be willing to pay the price premium for ION-based devices. “We think there is a significant chunk of customers who want to play video and mainstream games, or take a video and rip it for their Zune,” Ragones said. “Ion turns a netbook into a notebook. Intel, with Pineview, restricts that experience.”
He also confirmed that ION will be able to used with little modification when combined with Pineview, mainly as it uses the same two-chip architecture. So we should see some very slender and (hopefully) fanless netbook designs. He believes the power of ION-based products will even end up outshining new mini-notebooks based on Intel’s CULV platform.