Mobile GPU Q1/2004 Update - ATI M10, M11, and NVIDIA's NV36Mby Andrew Ku on January 28, 2004 2:30 PM EST
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NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5700 - NVIDIA answers backAs it was with Mobility Radeon 9600 (code named M10) and GeForce FX Go56X0 (code named NV31M), NVIDIA announced their next gen mobile GPU first. Dubbed GeForce FX Go5700, it is based on the NV36 GPU used in the desktop GeForce FX 5700 Ultra and non-Ultra cards. The architecture behind the Go5700 hasn't changed much compared to its desktop brothers, aside from optimization for power consumption and thermal emissions, which is why we won't dive into this again. For a refresher course, you should hit the pages of our NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra review.
Some key points to keep in mind: NV36M is produced on a 0.13 micron process, is a full DX9 part, and is capable of performing twice the number of floating point operations over NV31M and NV34M. This is a benefit for any post-NV35 architectures over the pre-NV35 designs. And, it is a very large factor that plays into the increase in performance that we have seen when we step up from NV30 to NV35 and from NV31 to NV36. While the 5700 Ultra is a reflection of the performance delta between NV30 and NV38 for the mid-range cards, the Go5700 will be the high-end derivative of the GeForce FX Go family for mobile products. Meanwhile, the Go56X0 (NV31M) will effectively be bumped down as a mid-range mobile solution and the Go5200 (NV34M) to the value.
Based on our conversations with NVIDIA near the Comdex 2003 launch of NV36M, the GeForce FX Go5700 should come with no increase in real estate over the GeForce FX Go56X0. According to the specs, the Go5700 should, in theory, operate a slightly lower voltage (1.1V) setting over the Go5650, but the difference in their specs is so small that we doubt there will be any battery life degrade or improvement. Power consumption should remain the same (8W) as the Go5650.
|GeForce FX Go5700||GeForce FX 5700 Ultra||GeForce FX Go5600/5650||GeForce FX 5600 Ultra (wire bond/flip chip)||GeForce FX Go5200|
|2D Core Clock||350MHz||300MHz||350MHz||350MHz/400MHz||300MHz|
|2D Memory Clock||300MHz||450MHz||350MHz||350MHz/400MHz||300MHz|
|3D Core Clock||450MHz||475MHz||350MHz||350MHz/400MHz||300MHz|
|3D Memory Clock||300MHz||450MHz||350MHz||350MHz/400MHz||300MHz|
Since it is based on post-NV35 architecture, the Go5700 operates at two different speeds, like its desktop counterpart. In 2D mode, the Go5700 operates at 350MHz core clock and 300MHz memory clock, whereas the desktop 5700 Ultra operates at 300MHz core and 450MHz (900MHz effective) memory clock. In 3D mode (gaming/graphic rendering), the Go5700 operates at 450MHz core clock, while the 5700 Ultra operates at 475MHz core clock. There is no change in memory clock while operating in between the two modes.
The highest clocks that we have seen on the Go5650 remains to be 325MHz core and 295MHz memory. The fact that NVIDIA wasn't able to get clocks up to their original announcement makes us a bit more cautious of what the final clocks will be for systems based on the Go5700. The 3D clocks for the Go5700 are actually designated for desktop replacement systems, which leads us to suspect that non-desktop replacement systems like thin and lights will have to function at lower 3D clocks or only one operating mode.
As for integrated memory package designs, NVIDIA tells us that they are not considering this at the moment because it brings no substantial improvement in performance. While this is true, integrated memory package designs are very much favored for thin and light notebooks, despite their price premium. The fact that you could have a 4-pound laptop power through the most intensive of games is no doubt very tempting.