The CPU and Chipset Marketplace

When given the opportunity to sit down with the leaders of the Taiwanese motherboard market we're always able to get a good idea of who's really leading in terms of industry marketshare. We asked our contacts at all of the motherboard makers we met with what they were seeing in terms of CPU marketshare and chipset marketshare in 2005.

We talked to one motherboard manufacturer whose motherboard shipments were 60% AMD and 40% Intel. The rest of the motherboard manufacturers in Taiwan are still shipping more Intel than AMD but we're seeing a continued shift towards a 50/50 AMD/Intel split when it comes to motherboard shipments. By the end of Q2 all Socket-478 CPUs will have dried up, meaning that anyone looking for an Intel platform will be forced to move to 915 or 925X(E), which should obviously increase shipments of those two platforms but may also increase the number of AMD platforms sold.

ATI's chipset penetration is basically nothing amongst the Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers, despite ATI's efforts to brand the Radeon Xpress as an enthusiast solution. Part of the problem is ATI's previous history of chipsets and the other part of the problem is NVIDIA - the Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers are quite happy with nForce4 on the AMD side and they'd rather not produce any more Intel motherboards that won't sell, so ATI loses out.

VIA's best ally among the Taiwanese motherboard manufacturers is currently shipping around a 60/40 split when it comes to VIA vs. NVIDIA chipsets. The rest of Taiwan however appears to be more along the lines of 50/50 between VIA and NVIDIA. The manufacturers we talked too indicated that as soon as nForce4 was available on a more widespread basis that their AMD motherboard shipments would soon be much stronger in favor of NVIDIA.

VIA appears to be focusing on their Pentium 4 chipsets which we didn't hear or see much support for from the Taiwanese makers when we met with them at CES. Right now it seems like NVIDIA will be the chipset maker to watch out for in 2005, especially with the introduction of their upcoming Intel chipset.

NVIDIA's Intel chipset will support DDR2 and may actually bring some much needed excitement to the Intel platform. The entire Sound Storm division at NVIDIA has been shut down and thus NVIDIA's Intel solution will have HD Audio support, but we will not see the return of Dolby Digital Encoding support or NVIDIA's Sound Storm DSP.

Transmeta Demos 90nm Efficeon at 2.0GHz A Single BTX Motherboard


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  • quanta - Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - link

    Isn't DLP design rather unreliable? After all, it involves mechanically moving millions of microscopic mirrors to create brightness, and there is no easy way to oil these tiny joints when the chip gets old. Since each mirror is moving thousand of times a second, dead pixels can develop rather quickly. As a side effect of moving all these mirror, won't the chips get noisy as well? Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, January 12, 2005 - link

    Heh, as soon as I read the bit about mobo manufacturers confirming what most of us already know; that nVidia has abandoned SoundStorm and it will not be returning in anything like its original form (DD encoding) in the forseeable future.

    Just because the Inq reports on something doesn't make it gospel truth, much of what they post is rumours and they have been known to be wrong in the past ;) As for the nVidia chairman saying SS is returning in a surprising form, that could mean just about anything except what some people here are hoping for. A return of the original SS or an updated version of it would be totally unsurprising so he is effectively ruling that out.

    Could one of the SS zealots who believes it will make a return with PCIe please explain to me why it needs more bandwidth than what PCI can provide? Surely if the card is doing all the encoding, all that needs to be sent to it is the raw audio data which is minimal. Even the very highest quality 8-channel 32-bit 192khz sampling-rate uncompressed audio needs under 6MB/s of bandwidth which is easily handled by PCI, so I fail to understand why PCIe would make a difference. If there were sufficient consumer demand for a DD encoder, somebody would have already made one for PCI, so you're deluding yourself if you think the only reason they aren't available is that it needs the increased bandwidth offered by PCIe. Unless of course you have evidence which suggests otherwise and I'd be interested in reading it.

    Rather than waiting for the return of SS, I suggest you buy a few decent cables and hook up your soundcard to your amplifier the normal way. Provided the soundcard has decent DACs, you'll enjoy higher quality sound than anything SoundStorm's dolby-digital output could provide.
  • linuxOwnzIfUrLeet - Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - link


    It's at sam's club:

    It's made by infocus.

    The web shows "InFocus® ScreenPlay 4805" but I'm not sure the 4805 was the one. Their web is not the same stuff as what you have in the store.
  • bob661 - Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - link

    I was going to ask the same thing.

    SS is dead. Move on, nothing to see here.
  • OrSin - Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - link

    14# Where can I get a 76 DLP for 1400.
    Shit where can I get decent 76" HD of any kind of for $1400. I live in the USA. I really want to know. My 42in Toshiba HD is not cutting it and it cost me $1000.
  • xxeper - Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - link

    I love how you talk about how "bulky" the Windows Mobile [PocketPC, MPx] are while at the same time basically petting and licking the Windows Mobile smartphone [C500]. Did you even bother to pick up the BENq or iMat Jam phones? or were you too busy whispering sweet nothings to your P.O.S. Audiovox? Reply
  • Live - Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - link


    The X800 you are linking to costs 450$ when its supposed to sell for 250$. and only that brand is available.
  • Zebo - Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - link

    AMD was curiously quiet throughout the show,
    Speak Softly and carry a big stick.:)
  • RyanVM - Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - link

    #9, I read the exact same thing in Maximum PC three months ago. Reply
  • shinotenshi - Monday, January 10, 2005 - link

    The design team was disbanded, however many sources have already reported that the team was reconstitued. The design won't be finished by luck would have it, at the time the sony ps3 is done. As i said before, i don't this is a coincidence. the interest of sony(ps3,blu-ray) and nvidia(pushing pci-e, other markets, consumer, pci-e sound cards), are converging. If they can build a chip that can encode either DD++ or DTS+++ it would be an econnomic windfall. Reply

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