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Intel puts pressure on Taiwan mobo companies about RD600 chipset and NVIDIA's C19 nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition faces uncertain future

The future of Intel Core 2 based chipsets is uncertain right now as the industry is shaken up by various new business projects, such as the merger between AMD and ATI.

The word in Taiwan, where I live and run my site, is that the high-anticipated ATI RD600 Conroe chipset is only going to be provided by one motherboard manufacturer, DFI. According to my sources, Intel has been putting pressure on Taiwan motherboard companies not to produce RD600 based motherboards. DFI stood up to the Intel giant and mentioned to us that they’ll be the only company providing an RD600 board, the DFI Lanparty RD600. This seems like a real disappointment for ATI as RD600 was set to be a bigger seller for the Canadian company with FSB speeds set to reach 480MHz and above – much higher than 975X and the C19 nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipset. DFI’s Lanparty RD600 motherboard will be on shop shelves sometimes next month but we’re not sure on an exact date yet.

We’ve also been hearing reports about the upcoming nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition chipset for Core 2 processors. This chipset is based on the now aging NVIDIA C19 chipset which some Taiwan motherboard manufactures are not impressed with. In fact, NVIDIA recently issued an announcement to motherboard companies saying that the C19 chipset will be phased out very soon and replaced by the newer and more refined C55 chipset in October. The C19 chipset maxes out at around 350MHz FSB which is one of the main reasons the Taiwanese folk were not impressed with the chipset, especially the companies interested in producing highly overclockable boards – and that’s most companies these days. With Intel’s P965 chipset, while not as fast as 975X, we’ve seen reports of the FSB hitting the 500MHz FSB mark. There are no official testing numbers on C55 FSB overclocking but being a refined chipset using newer technology, it is expected to beat the older C19 easily.

New Conroe motherboards using either the RD600 or nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition were expected this month (as first reported here on TweakTown) but users wanting to move away from Intel chipset solutions will need to wait another few weeks for these boards to be ready, possibly longer as BIOS’s are tweaked.

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Well done DFI
By Chronicfathead on 9/5/2006 4:39:42 PM , Rating: 3
Well done to DFI for having the b*lls to stand up the the intel monster. Even Apple and Microsoft work together, so why should intel feel the need to limit it's options, are they not confident in their chipsets? The Conroe chips are looking like the enthusiasts choice at the moment and I for one will be investing in the ATI chipset on a DFI board, if I make the jump to Conroe. I have owned both AMD and Intel chips, but their tactics always make me think twice about which way to jump.

RE: Well done DFI
By vanka on 9/6/2006 1:34:05 AM , Rating: 2
Even Apple and Microsoft work together

That's because Apple does not provide any real competition to Microsoft; Apple's marketshare is a tiny fraction of Microsoft's. In fact Jobs had to beg Microsoft to keep developing Office for the Apple platform; Microsoft could care less about the Apple Office market, but Apple desperately needs Office for Apple. Microsoft obliges because they face no serious competition from Apple.

Intel and AMD/ATI on the other hand have about the same marketshare with AMD/ATI providing some serious and dangerous competition for Intel. For Intel to let a direct competitor get another toehold into yet another aspect of their business, would be just plain stupid. Does it suck that Intel is muscling out a good chip? Yeah, it does; but to not do anything could spell disaster down the road. If ATI didn't realize that something like this would happen once they merged/were acquired/whatever by AMD, the guys on their board of directors should really have their heads examined.

RE: Well done DFI
By Hare on 9/7/2006 5:30:48 PM , Rating: 2
In fact Jobs had to beg Microsoft to keep developing Office for the Apple platform; Microsoft could care less about the Apple Office market, but Apple desperately needs Office for Apple.
Do you have ANY idea what you are talking about? Mac Office is a big source of revenue. If MS dropped the mac office it would take maybe 2 seconds before people would switch to an open source alternative (and Apple would fill the void with their own apps. You see there are pages and keynote so the only thing missing is a spreadsheet). MS doesn't want to see this switch because it would also affect the PC sales as open source gets a stronger foot hold. Slightly offtopic, but I just had to reply...

RE: Well done DFI
By vanka on 9/7/2006 8:19:47 PM , Rating: 2
I have a good idea of what I'm talking about. Office is a very profitable product for Microsoft (be it the Mac or Windows version) making about an 80% profit on every copy sold. So Office Mac does generate a good size revenue stream; but compared to how much MS makes from Office Windows and their other divisions, Office Mac's revenue is not that big. In the future, a case could probably be made that the cost associated with developing and maintaining two versions of Office does not justify the profits that are generated. This is especially true now that there is cheaper or free (true, with less functionality) competition in iWork, OpenOffice, etc.

When you stop and think about it, iWork and OpenOffice are sufficient for most home and business users. Ok, iWork doesn't have a spreadsheet but I'm sure Apple's working on one. So who absolutely needs Office Mac? The professionals who convinced their boss to spring for a Mac but need 100% Office Windows compatibility, or such professionals who bring their work home. Since MS makes a Mac version of Office, no problem. Were Office Mac not available, Apple would lose out on those sales. Apple realizes this and when their pact with Microsoft expired about a year or so ago (this was basically a commitment by MS to develope Office and Internet Explorer for Macs) Apple was scared that MS wouldn't renew that pact. But to Apple's great relief, MS committed themselves to at least five more years of Office Mac. I, personally, see a shrinking market for Office Mac, even if Apple's marketshare grows, because of the other alternatives available. Just imagine buying a Mac online and being offered Office Mac for $300-400 while iWork is $80; or buying a Mac at *shrudder* CompUSA and later finding out from a friend that you can download a free office suite. Which would you choose? So I see it as very likely that MS will abandon the Mac; not anytime soon but eventually.

RE: Well done DFI
By Hare on 9/8/2006 6:34:38 AM , Rating: 2
Mac is no different than your windows PC so your argument works both ways. Both operating systems have open source application suites that can replace office. Mac office is not as big a business as windows office but clearly Mac office is very profitable.

MS also realizes that open source is a huge threat to their business model. That's exactly why they are trying to innovate like mad. The new interface is purely because of the competition from the OS apps. MS now tries to integrate their office more tightly to other applications and services (group/teamware). They are hard at work trying to give their customers more reasons to buy another office version. This is true for both versions, Mac and PC. I don't see either disappearing too soon unless Apple releases their own business orientated 100% compatible office-suite, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon. My 2 cents...

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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