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Creative sticks with Nvidia for Christmas (probably longer)

'Best silicon for the consumer market'

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In August this year Creative Technology conducted an internal review of the graphics chips players, examining roadmaps, benchmarking the products etc. The outcome, revealed in London yesterday, is that the PC peripherals player is sticking with Nvidia, certainly until Christmas.

For "Nvidia has the best silicon for the consumer market today," according to John Moseley, Creative UK marketing manager. And no his company is not publishing the review, he says.

Moseley was speaking yesterday at a product briefing held in central London for UK computer hacks. His Nvidia announcement means that Creative's PR agency will no longer have to field calls by the dozen concerning the firm's graphics card strategy. For the time being.

The hacks' questions were of course prompted by Creative's relatively new status as the owner of 3DLabs.

3DLabs is a specialist in graphics chips for workstations - by default. It couldn't stand the heat in the consumer kitchen and fled. But it is returning to the consumer space this year with the P10. The design effort exhausted the company, surviving today thanks to white knight Creative, already a major shareholder, and owner of the company since May this year.

The P10 was supposed to start shipping in Q3, but that deadline ended yesterday. So there's little surprise here that Creative is sticking with tried-and-tested Nvidia. Next question: so when will Creative move to 3DLabs for consumer boards? The company likes its new sub's roadmaps, and Moseley points out that a couple of years is a long time in graphics chips.

But move, assuredly, Creative will. It does not like being one of 100 or more retail board outlets for Nvidia graphics chips; it does not like the fact that Nvidia's major OEMs take precedence, in its opinion, over the major retail board makers. By introducing Creative-branded 3DLabs boards into the retail line-up (sometime next year is a reasonable inference) it will at very least command more attention from Nvidia.

Oh, some readers have pointed out that Creative is not quite 100 per cent Nvidia today, pointing to the Creative 3D Blaster 5 RX9700 Pro. This ATI board is on sale only in Asia. ®

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