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ATI development in motherboard market - NVIDIA's say

ATI development in motherboard market - NVIDIA's say news post from TweakTown's online news computing and technology content pages

By: Steve Dougherty from Nov 8, 2004 @ 1:16 CST

Controversially, a member of NVIDIA has passed on sourced information from Anandtech tied with their own views on ATI's upcoming A64 PCIe motherboard chipsets. As you can see below in numbered form, NVIDIA mention several pointers relative to their direct competitor's current position in the motherboard market for which they feel provides a better understanding behind the development of the new chipsets from ATI.

We're sure that you follow with interest ATI's launch of its first PCI Express chipsets for the AMD64 platform today. To help you better understand the development, we would like to point out the following:

ATI's chipset are targetted at the lower to mid range. Mostly for OEMs.
1) They don't have the features required for an enthusiast class motherboard. They do have one major OEM design win, HP, that is using the integrated version as a low-cost PCI Express SKU.
2) It is very unlikely that you will see ASUS, MSI, or GB come out with "enthusiast" motherboards featuring these chipsets.
3) ATI chipsets will really compete against the integrated solutions from VIA and SIS.
4) There's really no point in comparing them against nForce4, as they don't have any of the compelling features.
5) OEM/System Integrator piece of the total AMD pie is less than 30%. For AMD64 PCI-Express, the piece of the pie is even smaller.
6) 70% of AMD's business is heavily focused on the channel and distribution markets. These markets require advanced features, fast performance, and cutting-edge technologies which is NVIDIA's forte. NVIDIA already has about 50% marketshare in this space, and nForce4 is greatly positioned to extend NVIDIA's marketshare even further.

Here's what Anandtech had to say:
"On the AMD side things are much simpler; just about every single motherboard manufacturer has a nForce4 solution for AMD as their high end Athlon 64 platform. In fact, NVIDIA is quickly turning into the Intel of AMD chipset manufacturers, which is something we've been asking for ever since the introduction of the Athlon.

Although there is a lot of support for ATI's upcoming chipsets (you'll read about them here next week), almost all the manufacturers were saying that their ATI products will be Intel-only. The worry is that with such a strong competitor in the Athlon 64 realm that their ATI products won't sell; there's also a lack of confidence about ATI's ability to supply their South Bridges. Whether or not the fears are well founded, none of the motherboard manufacturers expressed much interest in an ATI Athlon 64 chipset just yet. We'll see what happens next week, there may just be a few changed minds.

VIA is still quite present on the Athlon 64 motherboard roadmaps, however the chipsets are only being used as entry-level or mid-range solutions, the high-end appears to be completely dominated by the nForce4. What's even more interesting is that this is without even talking about the nForce4 SLI chipset; the motherboard manufacturers appear to be quite happy with NVIDIA's latest chipset in any incarnation possible.