Final Words

NVIDIA expects designs based on the Ion platform to debut in the first half of 2009, but I’d be surprised if we didn’t see something in the first quarter. Not only can Ion make netbooks a lot better, but the design is small enough that it can be used elsewhere.

NVIDIA has been arguing that the GPU is more important than the CPU and with Ion is the chance to prove its case. Intel’s slowest CPU paired with a more expensive graphics solution than what Intel would rather you buy with Atom. My opinion has always been that you need a balanced approach, but the Ion platform should open up some interesting usage models: netbooks that can transcode and play HD video?

It's an interesting move, one that simply makes sense.  If the prices of SSDs would drop to where they could be an affordable alternative to a regular hard disk you could actually build a very quick and quite portable PC out of Ion.  One thing is for sure: NVIDIA just raised the bar for the minimum level of performance you can expect from PCs in 2009, regardless of price point.

Between NVIDIA’s most recent coup pushing Intel's chipsets out of Apple’s new notebook lineup, constant PR offensive against Larrabee and now the Ion platform that capitalizes on an Intel CPU at the expense of an Intel chipset, I wonder how many times you can poke a resting lion before it gets up.

Introducing NVIDIA’s Ion Platform


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  • plonk420 - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    if you need your DAC outside of an A/V amp solution, you can choose one of these:"> Reply
  • fishbits - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    "NVIDIA claims that a netbook running with the Ion platform should have the same battery life as one running on the conventional Atom + 945G setup."

    Gimme! Seriously hope they can have some units with this for sale in the next three months, but doubt I'll get that lucky. Make the RAM 2GB while you're at it. Yum!
  • therealnickdanger - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    But I just got the biggest e-rection ever. Nerdgasm alert! OK, so when can I buy one? Reply
  • teohhanhui - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    It definitely is cool. Wonder if they will actually make such machines... Reply
  • gwolfman - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    With CUDA support as well to top that off. I'm liking this idea already! Reply
  • murphyslabrat - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    Lol, I saw the picture of the mobo, and read "NVidia Ion", and I liked it then....Though, I was expecting something with Via.

    I am hating the Atom, though. There's currently a netbook out, from Asus, with a GeForce 9300, and it performs miserably in games.
  • Murloc - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    I can play gta san andreas on a pentium m 1,1ghz processor with integrated 3 years old intel graphics.

    This thing is cool, you can play games on your TV.

    For extreme gaming use the desktop.
  • CurseTheSky - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    Netbooks aren't meant to game on. They're meant to be small, light, and have great battery life. Similarly, you wouldn't bring a Prius to the drag strip and expect a 12 second run.

    Even the 14.1" ASUS with a P8600 and 9650M GT that I'm typing on is barely satisfactory for newer games. If you want to game, shell out the $1300+ for a "gaming" laptop, or build a desktop.
  • SirKronan - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Speaking of the Prius ... I have one that has a nice integrated LCD screen just begging for a car PC to be installed. I can't wait until these come out. I will integrate wi-fi, bluetooth, a PC based GPS unit, and a USB port right by my other dashboard buttons. Screw the bug, I'm going to make a REAL geekmobile.

    This is AMAZING. Imagine your HTPC build into your TV.
  • Jedi2155 - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Well...its a Mac integration...but a comptuer nonetheless. So it is possible but you just gotta do a lot of your own work :).">

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