NVIDIA’s GeForce 8M GPUs

NVIDIA Brings G80 to the Mobile Market

Riding on the coat-tails of Intel’s Santa Rosa launch is NVIDIA with a new mobile GPU series based on the G80 technology.  NVIDIA is actually releasing five separate parts for the mobile market ranging from performance parts to the value notebooks.  For the time being, they are leaving the enthusiast notebook GPUs to the 7-series and SLI technology.

Enthusiast

NVIDIA SLI

Performance

GeForce 8600M GT
GeForce 8600M GS

Mainstream

GeForce 8400M GT
GeForce 8400M GS
GeForce 8400M G

Value

GeForce 7190M + nForce 650M
GeForce 7150M + nForce 630M
GeForce 7000M + nForce 610M

Here’s the overall line up as NVIDIA sees it for their mobility GPUs.  The GeForce 8600 series targets the performance notebooks which might be similar to the Asus G2P notebook we recently reviewed

The feature set of the GeForce 8M series is very similar to what we have seen on the desktop series of GeForce 8 parts: DX10 unified architecture and PureVideo HD (updated video processor as with the G84 and G86).  As you would expect with a mobility GPU, there has been updates on the power efficiency and the ability to balance power consumption and performance for longer battery life.

 

8400M G

8400M GS

8400M GT

8600M GS

8600M GT

Stream processors

8

16

16

16

32

Core clock

400

400

450

600

475

Shader clock

800

800

900

1200

920

Memory clock

600

600

600

700

700

Maximum Memory

256MB

256MB

512MB

512MB

512MB

Memory Interface

64-bit

64-bit

128-bit

128-bit

128-bit

Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)

9.6

9.6

19.2

22.4

22,4

Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)

3.2

3.2

3.6

4.8

7.6

Here is the complete technical break down of the GeForce 8M series of chips including their number of stream processors, clock speeds, etc.  Ranging from 32 stream processors on the top of the line 8600M GT down to 8 stream processors on the 8400M G, the line up offers a pretty well spaced “stepping” platform for notebook vendors to choose the best part at the best price for them. 

Intel Santa Rosa Centrino Duo and NVIDIA GeForce 8M GPUs Launch - Mobile  1

This slide presented by NVIDIA compares the performance of the new 8600M GT to the previous performance part from NVIDIA, the mobility 7600.  Obviously the performance from the new G80 architecture is very impressive reaching up to 2x the performance of the original 7-series part.

Intel Santa Rosa Centrino Duo and NVIDIA GeForce 8M GPUs Launch - Mobile  2

The other nice improvement in the new GeForce 8M series is the inclusion of the new video processor that was introduced in the GeForce 8600 desktop cards last month.  You can see here that the CPU utilization (and then theoretically power consumption) is much better with the new G80-based cards.  This is particularly useful for any users that might be watching HD video on their notebooks and looking to extend battery life.

Overall, the new GeForce 8M series of GPUs from NVIDIA look very impressive and should complement the notebooks that decide to integrate it; regardless of Santa Rosa support or not.

Final Thoughts

Both of the announcements today, Intel’s new Santa Rosa Centrino Duo/Pro platform and NVIDIA’s GeForce 8M series of GPUs, improve the overall ecosystem of the mobility market by being able to increase performance and decrease power consumption in various areas.  With the main goal of mobile computing to provide as much working time as possible (or gaming, etc) on a single battery charge, these new technologies and products are edging us closer. 

We are looking forward to getting some Santa Rosa and GeForce 8M based notebooks in for testing in the very near future and reporting our results to you.

If you have any questions or comments on this review of the product itself, join in the discussion at this thread of our forums!

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