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Apple and Adobe Roll With Nvidia and AMD – Not Intel October 21, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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Apple is the bellweather for standards in User Interface and graphics. That is why this is a sad story for Intel. Apple has voted to go with Nvidia over Intel for their graphics according to Fortune magazine. – the comments section of the Fortune article are worth reviewing – very entertaining.

This is a blow to Intel and their corporate reputation. Not only for users but to developers. If Intel loses the developer community then they are in trouble. For now the Intel Inside for graphics isn’t there. Specifically the Intel-powered machine failed to display some ceilings and walls in the Iron Man game, and sputtered during complex scenes in the movie; the AMD-powered machine handled both smoothly.

This is really bad news and it came from Adobe when it threw its weight behind Nvida’s point of view not Intel.

Here is a clip from the Fortune article: Really Bad News for Intel

When Apple (AAPL) unveiled new MacBook laptops last week, the specs turned a few heads. Unlike the other mainstream PC makers, Apple has chosen to stop using the standard-issue integrated graphics that come packaged with Intel (INTC) chips, and switch to a new setup from Nvidia, which Apple says can run about five times faster. Apple will continue to source the main laptop processors from Intel, but those Intel processors will now work in tandem with a respectable graphics chip, part of Nvidia’s GeForce 9400M chipset.

Could this endorsement from tech’s hottest company finally put graphics processors on the map? The folks at Nvidia certainly hope so. The day after Apple’s announcement, I caught up with Drew Henry, general manager of Nvidia’s media communications processor business unit, and he was practically gushing.

“I think this is the beginning of the era of visual computing,” he said. “I believe that Oct. 14, 2008 will be remembered as the moment when an inflection point happened.” He said other computer makers have already expressed more interest in the chipss. “You’ll see other designs over the next few weeks and months,” in time for the holiday season, he said, though Apple won the opportunity to release it first.

Apple just weighed in on one of the most intense battles brewing in technology. Nvidia and AMD’s ATI graphics unit have long vied for supremacy in their niche. Patrick Moorhead, AMD vice president of advanced marketing, recently showed me a demo to drive home this point; he displayed two computers, one with AMD graphics and one with Intel’s basic integrated graphics, running the popular Iron Man game and playing “The Simpsons Movie.”

Can AMD and Nvidia keep the business? Time will tell.

Rumors have been swirling for months about how dire it is inside Intel since their layoffs last year. I’ll be certainly be asking around next time I’m down there at Intel. I hope the old Intel vibe can come back – one of bold moves and innovation.

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