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Nvidia Turning Friends Into Enemies

Nvidia is acting weird lately. Apart from keeping the bar high in the GPU sector, Nvidia seems to be wanting to take over something else, the CPU sector. I'm a bit confused as if they want to do so using CUDA and GPU-powered applications to entirely eradicate the need for a powerful CPU and build crappy replacements of their own, or just trying to beat Intel at their own game, plain and simple, by producing super high end chips.

I might be totally wrong, but in the case that this "can of whoop ass" turns out to be a flop, this may very well be the end of Nvidia as we know it.

For a couple of years now, it seems that Nvidia has been trying to turn friends into enemies. At first, it seemed that the computing industry was more or less neutral (don't take my word for it though, I was still a kid back then). The nForce 4 chipset was available in both AMD socket 939 and 775. The AMD version of the board became a classic, and still being used today by olde-schoole 939 Opty enthousiasts. Same thing with the nForce 5: the 590 and 570 were both available for AMD and Intel processors, and AMD users even had a larger choice of budget boards, 560, 550, etc, which if you ask me is a pretty good sign that the relationship between AMD and Nvidia was going good.

Stuff started to go bad when AMD bought ATI in the summer of 2006, barely a few months after Nvidia released their new AM2 platform, the nForce 5. You just can't support a competitor, and as a result, all the other chipsets from Nvidia for ATI where a gigantic flop. I'd be surprised to know how many people on the forums knew prior to this article the the 780a even existed. Asus being the only producer of 6 and 7 series AMD boards, the public just never caught on.

This led to Intel becoming Nvidia's primary partner. And now, Nvidia wants to kick it's old friend in the nuts by developing an alternative to the CPU, and Intel responds with Larabee, a direct competitor to Nvidia products.

As a result, AMD-ATI are producing unified systems and getting a smaller yet comfortable portion of the market, while Intel is still offering ATI-capable chipsets (why? I have no clue) and planning to take a bite out of the GPU sector, and Nvidia still offers boards for both AMD and Intel, but plans to exterminate both. THE LOVE TRIANGLE FROM HELL!

The links are bound to break, the question real question is who will survive when they do. I don't think that Intel can be dethroned that easily: they dominate the CPU market, and that isn't going to change from one day to another. Nvidia on the other hand, HAS to be sure the GPGPU concept will work, because if Intel doesn't want to do business anymore, they're stuck all alone in an already very crowded market. Nvidia has already made the plunge in the ARM market for handhelds, and the next up for the tackle is x86(_64). Good luck Nvidia, but don't be missing your shot.


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