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


View All Comments

  • MAsterCATZ - Thursday, June 11, 2009 - link

    If only it had an Fibre Optic for sound

    I would be all over it :S

    Even COAX ... I never was to keen on running a cable per speaker to the Decoder

    Add Raid Function and would be nice Torrent / Media Centre

    I wounder if the GPU can Turn off whilst no in use ?

    Any one know whats its power save features are like
    ( Drools over possible new WIN 7 Media Pc .. )
  • MAsterCATZ - Thursday, June 11, 2009 - link


    How did I miss those Connectors :P

    ok Now that Box is looking Mighty fine

    and will order regardlss of price
    ( if it has blue tooth and wireless intergrated :P )
    but I guess i can USB Dongle them in

    ( any Idea if those sata ports support Raid ? )
  • chamcham - Sunday, December 28, 2008 - link

    Resolution is one area where netbooks can stand to improve. The abysmal 1024x600 is often too small to fully read menu dialogs,
    with the buttons below the screen and unreachable.

    In fact, I'd argue that higher resolution is more important to netbooks than gaming performance. Finally, maybe we can have 1280x1024 on an 8.9" screen
  • OBLAMA2009 - Sunday, December 21, 2008 - link

    sounds cool but wait til the product actually comes out. it will be so buggy that it will be too annoying to use Reply
  • Fanfoot - Friday, December 19, 2008 - link

    Very interesting. I'll take Nvidia's claims about battery performance (which is CRITICAL in a netbook) with a grain of salt until somebody actually rolls one of these suckers out in a netbook, but seems very encouraging.

    Like other I think this would be a very nice HTPC solution. I don't need a DVR, thanks, I've already got one of those, I just need a media tank that can double as a Hulu/ media player. So a little quiet low power box with HD playback capabilities, support for a SATA 2.5" drive, and an HDMI port would do the job. Pair it up with a USB driven wireless keyboard/mouse and you've got a great solution!
  • ianken - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    ...with a 9400 and an atom CPU.

    Also, I have gotten an Eee PC to do 1080i decode and rendering in Media Center on Windows 7 with the 945G. You just need the right drivers, because 945G does support rudimentary MPEG2 decode acceleration. It berly does it, but it does work.
  • ty1er - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    omg, I have been holding out on building a HTPC. The good alway seems to out weight the bad. The cost is one thing, and having a big htpc under my tv is another. I just can't let go of my xbox running xbmc, i love it. But a version of this small powerful device will probably make its way into my living room to replace my xbox. Woot, very exciting! Reply
  • realneil - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Intel needs a poke every now and then to keep them focused. The business that they're in thrives on innovation and if others are using their parts to come up with something better than they have, they'll take notice and get leaner and meaner. Considering their resources, they should be doing all of this innovating and not trying to (maybe) control the pace of new ideas.
    NVIDEA's little gadget looks like a winner,...I wish I had one to play around with, no matter how it looks.
  • DukeNukemCZ - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    OBR from
    its review before NDA, it was hide again but i have save it.

    Review for download (several html files in RAR):">

    ITS in Czech launguage so use translator or something
  • Visual - Thursday, December 18, 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."

    This is actually disappointing. The intel chipset is power-hungry and my netbook gets too warm very fast. I applaud the nVidia engineers for managing to fit all the extra performance into the same power envelope, but it would've been much better if it could work with less power when not using features like video encoder/decored and 3d graphics beyond aero level.

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