There was a lot of talk and rumors that nVidia will launch its OEM parts, GeForce G210 and GT220 "in early Q4 2009". However, the company decided to do a "zero-PR" launch of the parts.
nVidia shipped the parts to its OEM vendors such as ASUS, Acer, Dell, HP and others without any press release, any statement, any comment from the partner side? completely untypical of nVidia. In fact, we only learned that nVidia shipped the parts after we learned from an OEM vendor that they received their order.
In fact, the reason for low-key launch could be numerous, and range from crappy 40nm yields that stroke down both nVidia and AMD/ATI and the fact that nVidia had to bow down to OEM demands and ship a DirectX 10.1 compliant part. nVidia always debated that DirectX 10.1 support is worthless and finally, it had to bow down to OEM demands.
When nVidia launched the mobile 40nm parts supporting GDDR5 memory and more importantly, DirectX 10.1 support, we asked key nVidia vendors when to they plan to launch the desktop parts and the answer was September/October, e.g. end of Q3 or beginning of Q4.
Now, neither of the desktop parts feature GDDR5 memory, but use ultra-cheap DDR2-800 or low-clocked GDDR3 memory instead. The two desktop parts are GeForce G210 and GT220.
GeForce G210 comes with 16 shaders, 64-bit single-channel memory controller connecting to 512MB of DDR2-800 memory. All in all, one unexciting OEM part that has a little bit more graphics power than nVidia ION e.g. GeForce 9400 chipset. Power consumption is set at 30.5W and less than 10W in idle mode.
GeForce GT220 comes with 48 shaders, 128-bit dual-channel memory controller with 1GB of GDDR3 memory. This clearly makes a hole between 16 and 48 shaders, just the right position for the GT200-based ION2 chipset. Power-wise, nVidia is hiding the GT220 specs, but according to our sources, you’re looking at 50W TDP in full load and roughly 15W in idle.
But this silent launch means something else, much worse for the partnership relations between nVidia and its eco-system. We can openly state that nVidia screwed its AIB [Add-in-Board] partners such as Asus, BFG, EVGA, Gainward, Palit and many more. If you buy a back-to-school system, regardless of that being a laptop or a desktop, you can buy a nVidia product with probably less-than-satisfactory performance and DirectX 10.1 support, or a GeForce 8-series based part (GeForce 9-series, GTS 250). All in all, nVidia is making quite a mess of its line-up and time will tell can ATI actually catch up on recent product strategy SNAFUs.