It’s no secret that netbooks lack the power of larger laptops with more powerful CPUS and graphics processors. NVIDIA is hoping to change that with its ION platform designed for netbooks and nettop computers. The NVIDIA ION platform combines a low power Intel Atom CPU with an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics chip to offer significantly better performance when playing HD video and rendering graphics in some games. And NVIDIA has announced that around 40 different devices built around the platform could be available by the end of the year. But according to Fudzilla, none of them will be products from netbook pioneers Asus or MSI.

Asus already offers a few mini-laptops with Intel Atom CPUs and discrete graphics cards, such as the Asus N10 series. But Asus doesn’t consider these laptops to be netbooks and doesn’t associate them with the Eee PC brand.

Fudzilla speculates that Asus and MSI would rather stay on Intel’s good side than release ION powered machines. Intel officials have made no secret of the fact that they’d rather see Intel Atom based computer ship with Intel’s integrated graphics solution than an NVIDIA chip. There’s two reasons for this. First, Intel makes a bit more money by selling the whole chipset. And second, Intel kind of wants Atom-based computers to balk at heavy duty tasks like playing video games and HD video so that consumers feel the need to purchase higher end laptops with more expensive processors better suited to those tasks.

One interesting thing is that ASRock is already showing off a tiny desktop computer that uses the NVIDIA ION platform. ASRock was spun off as a subsidiary of Asus a few years back to sell cheap motherboards and other products.

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14 replies on “Rumor: Asus, MSI reject NVIDIA ION platform”

  1. With the GN40 chipset about to be integrated into with the Atom…one wonders how much longer this dance will go on, anyway. At the same time, Intel has their agreement with TSMC, which is memory serves is to allow more “boutique” SOC atom formulations, so who knows how that will mutate…

    I’ll be honest, I care more for ION on my HTPC, and with ION 2 it sounds like I can get a nice dual core Nano or maybe something from AMD. I’ll live. But I do think the netbook market needs some standout options just to survive the weight of its own sheer sameness…people should be able to do whatever the hell they want with these things, and the companies that foster that will be helped on their bottom lines.

    We’ll get some good announcements out of Computex, that’s for sure.

  2. I jumped on the netbook bandwagon pretty early and got an EEEPC 900 (Celeron Mobile Proc, 4gb/16gb SSD, 8.9″ Screen) The only thing that I wish I could do with it was actually run WoW decent enough for some basic grinding/farming. I don’t care about quality in this case, I just wanna be able to do it. As of right now, at many points in the game I am getting .5-2fps. ION could solve this. No one in their right mind would be hard core gaming on a netbook, but casual gaming (MMO’s in particular) shouldn’t be a problem. When I really wanna play with a group, I’ll get on my gaming desktop. When I wanna “Fish” while watching TV, it shouldn’t be so painful. I am doing my best to hold out for a graphic’s chipset better than the Intel POS in every device out there right now.

  3. Makes sense on all sides, well it makes political arm twisting sense. Asus and MSi do not need their legs being cut off, and Intel certainly will never be ‘pleased’ when someone doesn’t buy their stuff.

    However, I guarantee that if ION platforms take off everyone will jump on board. Yet, it will really take an ION based device taking off for people to associate that ‘badge’ with what they want.

    So the question is will an ION device emerge that becomes the hot new item? And can one emerge if Intel is fighting tooth and nail against it and don’t forget their buddies over at Microsoft who love throwing their weight around too. Because sure as ‘shellac’ MS will pitch-a-fit if an XP device doesn’t do what THEY SAY it can do.

    Expect more companies to fall by saying “ION? No, we won’t be using that [nervous laughter] shush are you trying to get us in trouble? They’re watching…they’re aways watching.”

  4. Good for them. Stay on Intel’s good side. Ion is too much of a powerhog for NetBook use anyway. Next!

    1. How is it a hog?

      From what I heard, those ION reference system that were sent out a few months ago used twice as much power at idle (and twice as much power under load) than a typical netbook using the 954GME chipset. BUT….but those is a reference systems sent out WITHOUT power management features.

      In fact ION might be less of a hit then you think because using your netbook now for anything graphical is putting it under full load. But if you had an ION the same tasks the ION would be under less load, so the difference is 954GME chipset at full load against ION at quarter load in the real world.

      1. There’s the reference system, which *could* have been fitted with power management features, if nvidia thought it would have made it look good.
        Then there’s the Asus N10J. OK, its not ion, but its a 9300M, which when activated decreases batterylife a lot.
        Then there’s the Z5xx Atom series, which are the new benchmark, while the Ion is based around the Nx30, which makes me think it’s meant for the desktop, not netbooks.
        Oh and the fact that the first Ion systems are desktops and afaik that noone announced an Ion NetBook yet.

  5. ION is over hyped anyway. It only shows improvement in certain situations. I can play Hulu on my NC10 without ION just fine. Sure Intel doesn’t want more powerful netbooks. But if they find they are losing too many customers they will put out a more powerful integrated solution.
    I would rather have more power savings than graphics performance.

  6. This position is very dangerous for ASUS. They may get squeezed between netbooks with ION from other makers on the high end, and by ARM based netbooks on the low end.

    If the price of ION based netbooks fall enough to make them as cheap as intel based ones ASUS loses out. If the performance of ARM based netbooks is sufficient to rival Atom/intel based ones ASUS lose out also.

  7. If I’m correct, current netbooks can barely play streaming video files without chunking and looking terrible, so why would I buy a netbook for travel, specifically for internet use, and not be able to actually use it for that?

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: No ION netbook, no netbook sale.

  8. For my next netbook I want a 9″ Ion. Guess it won’t be an Asus! It’s too bad, I like my 900HA.

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