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NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang lets everyone know his company is spending nearly a billion dollars each year ready to take on Intel's graphics offerings
Any notion that Intel and NVIDIA have common ground in the graphics industry can now be easily dismissed

NVIDIA's already candid CEO Jen-Hsun Huang had more than a few things to say during the company's financial analyst meeting today. An hour into the call Huang began to ad lib; clearly something was on his mind.

"We're going to open a can of whoop ass," he told analysts, who quickly broke out into laughter. 

For the past two weeks Intel and NVIDIA have been playing a game of cloak and dagger with technology press, complete with secret slide shows and secret slide show rebuttals. At the heart of this covert battle is the integrated graphics market, and some of the claims attached to it.

Intel senior vice president Pat Gelsinger fired the first volley at the Intel Developer Forum last week in Shanghai.  "First, graphics that we have all come to know and love today, I have news for you. It's coming to an end. Our multi-decade old 3D graphics rendering architecture that's based on a rasterization approach is no longer scalable and suitable for the demands of the future," he said.

Gelsinger's bold statement was an introduction to Intel's upcoming Larrabee graphics architecture, but it was enough to put NVIDIA on full alert.  Larrabee is Intel's first attempt at a discrete graphics processor in nearly a decade, with first samples expected to ship and stay competitive with NVIDIA and AMD graphic processors. 

Intel slide decks presented to media argue that spending money on CPUs and more CPU cores makes more sense than spending money on GPUs.  Intel presentations go on to detail that its integrated graphics will still satisfy consumers for years, adding that its upcoming Nehalem architecture will come in variants that integrate GMA 4500 (G45) graphics directly onto the CPU package.

NVIDIA's slide shows almost completely ignore Intel's Larrabee, and focus on IGP claims.  One of Intel's slide decks states GMA 3100 (G33) is more than enough to watch high definition videos. NVIDIA counters by citing my previous publication, AnandTech. "While the video capabilities of the [GMA 3100] will suffice for running Vista Aero, just about any office application, and a wide variety of non-3D based games, it is not up to the task of running the latest games, decoding 1080P HD content, or even providing decent video capabilities for a media station," AnandTech's Gary Key writes.

Huang argues that not only are Intel's integrated offerings "a joke," but that even if Intel manages increase graphics performance by ten times by 2010, that's barely up to par with current NVIDIA offerings.  He claims what passes for average graphics outside of the tech enthusiast crowd should be consider abysmal in the visual computing world.

Throughout the bulk of the conference call, Huang continued to lament Intel for poor graphics performance.  He hints at another Intel slide deck that claims Intel GMA 3100 is Windows Vista Premium compatible -- a claim which was debunked by Microsoft employees in a recent lawsuit

Intel fired back minutes later, sending emails to analysts detailing NVIDIA's poor track record when it comes to Vista crashes due to incomplete drivers.  Almost on cue, Huang responded once again.

"NVIDIA has to support several new titles every week," he said, alleging that Intel's graphics just have to support the basic office packages.  "You already have the right machine to run Excel. You bought it four years ago," he said.

The statement clearly struck a nerve with Huang, who paused for a second before adding "How much faster can you render the blue screen of death?"


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RE: BSOD
By Locutus465 on 4/10/2008 10:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
I never had BSOD issues with my 7800GT, but I certainly ran into my share of nVidia issues early in vista's life cycle. My system would alternate between allowing me to play either F.E.A.R or Oblivion but never both games in a single release for the first few driver release (fustrating). Finally it seems like seriouse compatiblity issues have begun to settle out (if not entirly), but htere are still speed issues. My next platform will be all AMD (9850be 4x, Radeon 3870, 2GB DDR2 and just waiting for MB).


RE: BSOD
By robinthakur on 4/11/2008 12:16:54 PM , Rating: 1
Aww you're the 1 guy who's buying AMD still, I'm honoured to meet you. Having switched from the Opteron/Nforce/ATI covenant to Q6000/Intel/Nvidia I have no regrets, and it was cheaper! I've run Vista since before it was released with my nvidia 7800GTX (admittedly I never used it to game much) and its not crashed once...Maybe i'm just lucky.


RE: BSOD
By murphyslabrat on 4/11/2008 1:12:32 PM , Rating: 2
I am glad your got your jollies today, but would you kindly shut up. NVIDIA or AMD/ATI, it really doesn't make a whopping lot of difference. You get an average difference of maybe as many as 10 frames in the same price bracket, and with shifting prices and drivers, this changes constantly.

Boo-hoo, so He bought an AMD card, we are entitled to our choice of purchases. Oh, and about the subject matter, that "semblance of proof" seems to support what he's saying.


RE: BSOD
By Locutus465 on 4/11/2008 2:09:12 PM , Rating: 1
A) Nvidia isn't cheaper these days for the same general performance braket

B). Stability matters more to me than absolut Performance, irroncally AMD/ATI is owning nVidia in the reliability category...

Thus I see all AMD giving the the best mix of reliability, affordability and performance. I've used vista since beta 2 and I've had a host of compatibility issues with nvidia drivers and even managed to completely kill several vista installations (all pre-release code). As noted, I've never managed an actual BSOD. At least not until fairly recently trying to install my x-fi card.


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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