Introduction

Back when we first took a look at the NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800 we mentioned that NVIDIA was able to run their part at much higher 450/600 clock speeds (the part we tested was running at 300/300). It was much easier for OEMs to drop graphics solutions into existing designs DTR designs using the Pentium 4 and GDDR1 RAM for the video card. Using the hot Pentium 4, much of the Thermal Design Power (TDP), the limit on how much power can be dissipated as heat, is taken up by things other than the graphics core. DDR1 also runs hotter than DDR3, and thus memory clocks are also limited by the thermal restrictions.

Today, Dell is introducing their Inspirion XPS Gen 2. The DTR notebook features a 2 or 2.13GHz Pentium M and a GeForce Go 6800 Ultra with 450/550 core/memory clocks. Rather than just ship their Go 6800 at the high core speed, NVIDIA has given it the Ultra moniker to differentiate the product.

The "new" GeForce Go 6800 Ultra graphics card is exactly the same as the original Go 6800, except that we are finally seeing it at the high clock speeds NVIDIA originally promised we would see. For an explanation of the differences between NVIDIA's mobile and desktop products, please see our initial review.

Aside from simply exchanging the Pentium 4 setup for a Pentium M, Dell has also invested more time in improving its thermal solution. The result is a thinner (it's still not thin), lighter (still feels like a brick) efficiently cooled desktop-in-a-notebook. NVIDIA informed us that the TDP for the chassis is 65W. This is not something we will see anywhere but the DTR segment. Most of the large TDP is taken up by the graphics solution, as Dothan based Pentium M processors and DDR2 system memory run at comfortable temperatures. The new Inspirion XPS Gen 2 is also Alviso based.

This is a fairly significant design win for NVIDIA as Dell's previous XPS graphics solution was ATI's Mobility Radeon 9800.

The Test
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  • abakshi - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    A comparison is not quite possible given all the variables involved, so though the Go 6800U may be fast, we can't really say much about it versus ATI's current X800 mobile offerings until there's a test with identical specs -- the best case being a modular setup to accept either option. Reply
  • sleepeeg3 - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    Regardless of specs, that thing would still cost nearly twice as much as my top of the line SFF and you'd sacrifice on hard drive space/speeds. There's just no point to a gaming laptop *shrug*. At least those specs are finally starting getting me to look at them! Now if only the price would come down about a grand... Reply
  • timmiser - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    Exactly #35. I know the Ultra will be faster but I'd like to see exactly how much faster in a graph in order to make a decision if I think I should go out and buy a new DTR. Reply
  • Optimummind - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    timmiser, I think you need to see graphs and numbers to know that this Geforce Go 6800 Ultra will totally put the 9800 Pro Mobility on its knees. :) Reply
  • timmiser - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    I have to agree with #22, I am an owner of a Dell XPS system with mobiliy 9800. Until now, the 9800 (Really X800 based) is the fastest available mobile solution and it would have been nice to see some comparisons with the 9800. (Didn't AT do some benches on the 9800??)

    I still have no idea how my system compares with this new graphic option.

    -Tim
    Reply
  • mickyb - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    #30 There are not too many variables to say it is fast. This test shows that it IS fast, especially for a DTR laptop.

    I think what you are trying to express is that there is not enough information to determine it is the fastest. It does not matter if the new drivers make the other cards go faster.
    Reply
  • ElFenix - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    #26
    what part of "Creative Audigy 2NX External USB [add $100 or $3/month1] Product details" do you not understand?

    or maybe you could go here:
    http://www.soundblaster.com/products/audigy2NX/
    and see that yes, this really is an external unit.
    Reply
  • L3p3rM355i4h - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    #26, if you've seen the review that anandtech did on desktop use of the dothan core, you would know that it is actually pretty weak when it comes to gaming. It still uses the exectution core of the PIII, etc. Pairing it with DDR2 seems to break the bandwidth issue.

    Packing that much performance in to a >10lbs package is simply amazing. That machine pwns my A64. when I win the lottery I just might have to pick one up...
    Reply
  • Da DvD - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    I'm sorry to say, but IMO this test is simply invalid. There are too many variables to draw any conclusion but that this thing is quite fast.

    I guess the newer nVidia drivers support the new render mode in Far Cry patch 1.3 much better than the old drivers did. That would explain the Go being faster here.
    Reply
  • Hikari - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    #28 256MB video card.

    http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productde...

    And lowest base memory for the notebook itself is 512.

    Reply

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