While at the Xbit Labs website, we noticed this rather curious report
about potential problems with nVidia's upcoming nForce chipset. The text points to this bulletin board thread
initiated by an individual who claims to have spoken with an nVidia engineer, and been told that the nForce MCP has been experiencing extremely poor yields, and that certain features will be disabled before final production units ship.
I just got a email from one of our engineers who's attending the platform conference.
nForce 220 will not be shipping as we sampled it. They have removed the 4 channel sound and put software sound in instead. He's trying to confirm what else has been removed.
nForce 420 is being redesigned. The sampling and production stuff we have is from a very limited batch of wafers. He doesn't have anything on what will still be included or what will be removed. The only thing that he could tell me is the yields were low on the stuff we had seen.
nVidia has, of course, denied any difficulties. That shouldn't come as much of a surprise, though, as denying any kind of rumor is almost a reflex for most executives.
However, we'd like to remind our readers to attempt to avoid knee-jerk reactions, and wait a bit before jumping to conclusions. The post made in the initial thread is really rather vague, and is really no more than one individual claiming something's wrong. We're not accusing the poster of being a liar -- his information may very well be valid, or it may not. Perhaps he simply misunderstood (maybe the nVidia engineer to whom he spoke meant that nVidia would ship SOME MCPs without sound, a sort of 'nForce Light', or something of that nature), we're not in a position to prove or disprove anything. But we do recommend that, before you believe something like this, you attempt to gather a bit more information, and wait until the rumor has been substantiated by at least a few reliable sources.
When nVidia first announced the nForce, we essentially said, in not so many words, 'Looks great on paper, but we'll believe it when we see it.'. While you shouldn't automatically assume nVidia can do anything it wants, by the same token, you shoudn't assume it can't, either. When someone says nVidia can't
do it, you should say 'Maybe, but I won't believe they botched it until I have more proof.'. And as one of our readers so aptly pointed out, it's rarely a good idea to get too flustered over wild rumors emanating from Investing bulletin boards.
Be careful not to bury something before it's dead.
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