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Either Charlie Demerjian is drinking some seriously spiked Kool-Aid, or The Inquirer reporter really is privy to what could turn out to be the hottest story this summer. According to the latest rumor (and this one's unconfirmed), two high profile Nvidia add-in board (AIB) partners are jumping ship. And by high profile, Demerjian's talking about XFX and Evga, two of only three Nvidia partners (BFG being the other) to offer a generous lifetime warranty on their videocards.
As if the rumor wasn't already unfathomable, it gets even more shocking. According to the story, which, again, hasn't been confirmed by any other source, not only have XFX and Evga already defected (The Inq claims "paperwork has been signed"), but they're not heading for the hills of ATI. Huh? That's right; the rumor says XFX and Evga aren't following Gainward's lead (yet another defection rumor), so if it turns out to be true, then where could they be going?
If Nvidia and ATI (and by association, AMD) are out of the picture, than that just leaves Intel. Not only does Intel have the financial muscle to pull off a coup of this caliber, but it's not out of the realm of possibility that it might also have the desire (think Larrabee). Moreover, Intel could also have the motive to stick it to Nvidia, as the two have been struggling to come to an agreement over licensing SLI for Nehalem (look for a Maximum PC update on this soon).
For Nvidia's part, the company has been struggling to maintain damage control over a batch of faulty notebook GPUs failing at an "abnormal rate," the fallout of which has resulted in a tumbling stock price, and the company finds itself doing battle with a suddenly competent ATI.
Still, no company is without its share of turmoil, and without any confirmation from XFX, Evga, Nvidia, or any other news outlets, the unconfirmed rumor is best viewed as just that. Makes you wonder though, doesn't it?