Nvidia preps Media Center PC bundles

Wants to sign up system builders

Nvidia is pitching system builders keen to move into the Media Center PC market with a series of bundles designed to make knocking out MCPCs more straightforward.

Each package comprises a GeForce 6800 or FX graphics chip, nForce 2 or 3 chipset, Nvidia TV tuner card, and the company's DVD playback software plus control utilities.

Today's launch follows Microsoft's decision to make its Windows XP Media Center Edition (MCE) operating system available to system builders in a bid to broaden the OS' appeal.

MCPCs have to date largely failed to live up to the promise of a machine that might reasonably fit alongside a living room's other consumer electronics kit. Top-end CPUs do note readily make for a slimline, quiet-running unit to sit within a hi-fi stack. No wonder MS has pushed the platform toward home media server roles, which suits the system builder channel - a community better known for its ability to customise PCs than its cutting-edge consumer electronics design skills.

Nvidia is touting bundles aimed at developers of both desktops and notebooks, but it's good news for AMD either way. Using an nForce chipset forces system builders to use an Athlon CPU. Last May, AMD said it was keen to pitch Athlon 64 at MCPC makers. ®

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