NVIDIA’s ION platform combines a low power Intel Atom CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GPU to provided decent graphics performance at a low price point and with low power consumption. But there’s low price, and then there’s low price. Because Intel normally bundles the Atom with its own integrated 945GSE chipset and GMA 950 graphics. But if you’re using the NVIDIA graphics solution you don’t need Intel’s chipset, which would save you some money if it weren’t for the fact that Intel is putting a higher price tag on the Atom CPU for customers who don’t want to purchase the whole kit and kaboodle.

In other words, OEMs that want to put together netbooks or nettops based on the NVIDIA ION platform not only have to pay for the NVIDIA graphics processor, but they have to pay higher prices for the Intel Atom processor, which drives up the price and could make ION based devices less competitive, even if they do offer better graphics performance than comparable systems.

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12 replies on “Intel to charge more for Atom processors used in NVIDIA ION platform”

  1. Easy fix: Buy the CPU+chipset combo at the lower price, and just throw out the gimpy old 945 chipsets you didn’t actually want. Bonus points if you pawn off the chipsets for additional money.

  2. BREAKING NEWS – burgers ordered without fries and a drink found to cost more than burgers bundled into value meals!

    this is neither unethical, nor undesirable. this is how companies SHOULD behave.

    1. Your analogy does not apply to this situation. The Laptop Mag article that this article links too states,

      “Until now we had heard only rumors that Intel was charging more for the Atom processor by itself than it does for the Atom CPU and its corresponding chipset.”

      So the correct analogy would be that it costs more to buy a burger by itself than to buy the ENTIRE combo (burger, fries, and drink).

      I do not see how this can be interpreted as anything but an anti competitive practice, aimed at keeping ION from getting off the ground.

    2. I can get a burger from McDonalds and Fries from Wendys and they don’t jack up the price. They are doing this specifically to hurt competition and why the just got a massive fine in the EU

  3. Intel is, of course, able to charge whatever they want for their devices. But really…with what just happened with the EU, why on earth would they want to do something so blatantly anti-competitive?

    People are *begging* for ION on netbooks. Intel has a stranglehold on the market now, but when alternatives with ION 2 start showing up…well, I wouldn’t want to have to explain that misstep to the shareholders, that’s for sure.

    At the same time…one wonders if Intel really has to do anything to win at all. Via is slow to market with their nano, AMD isn’t in the market at all, and of course alternatives don’t run windows desktop OSes. Intel wins, by default, and consumer choice is stifled for want of a real competitor.

    I hate to sound pessimistic…but look at what we currently have: netbook after netbook with the same specs, again and again. The biggest differentiators seem to be battery charge length and keyboard size and layout. It’s sad.

    1. While the behaviour is similar…Via and AMD can blaim only themselves that they didn’t came up with a product that can compete.

    2. Agreed, I hope some of the competition considers using even chipsets from other portable devices (media players, handheld games, etc) to compete against Intel. I know some of them use Ati gpu so if they can combine this with an arm processor they may actually compete against Intel. I’ve written off Via, they’re too slow in both innovation and marketting, and unless Nvidia comes out with a SOC or Amd/Ati then Intel will dictate the direction this market will go. Hopefully someone else will want to come into this game.

  4. Isn’t this type of behavior why the EU hit them with a 1.44 Billion dollar fine?

    1. Apparently…they were doing this even when Pentium 1 launched (that’s how they drove out other chipset makers out of the market back then; before thay had no presence at all in chipsets…)

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