April 11th 2008
By Mike Flaminio
DailyTech is covering a very public pissing match between nVidia and Intel over the future of computer graphics.
It began a couple weeks when Intel introduced the Larrabee graphics architecture with Intel senior vice president saying, "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."
nVidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang's response today was caustic and pulled no punches. "We're going to open a can of whoop ass," he said, later adding that Intel's current integrated solutions are a "joke" and still laughable if improved 10 times.
The pot and the kettle
Of course, users of the fairer platform have bones to pick with both nVidia and Intel.
nVidia's driver support on the Mac, and Windows too for that matter, leaves much to be desired. The company promised and failed to delivered 8800 GT drivers for v1.0 Mac Pro owners, forcing Apple to months later pick up the ball.
"nVidia didn't come through, so we're having to do it. Should be ready in about a month," said Steve Jobs in an email to irritated Mac Pro owner.
Further, although nVidia GPUs available for the Mac are technically faster, it's generally the case that ATI products deliver better performance, highlighting again nVidia's poor driver support.
Regarding Intel, Mac heads have the same complaint 'doze and Linux users have--integrated graphics simply blow. Yes, it's true that today's GMA 3100 is much, much better than GMA 950, which it replaced, but there's no doubt Apple could do better.
Still, Intel's talking about something entirely different with Larrabee, a discrete solution. Nevertheless, Intel's discrete GPU track record is extremely poor and their current integrated offerings don't engender much confidence either.
What's the point of this Intel vs nVidia pissing match? Will we actually get better hardware with the support to make it real?
Truth be told, there isn't much reason to have faith in either...
What's your take?
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