Additional Features

The DirectX 10 unified architecture is common to all of NVIDIA's GeForce 8 series hardware. All of the midrange solutions incorporate the new PureVideo HD video processing engine. The mobile offerings do have one other technology that's not present on desktop hardware: PowerMizer. Similar to Intel's SpeedStep technology, PowerMizer allows an NVIDIA mobile graphics chips to reduce clock speeds and voltages in order to conserve battery life and reduce heat output.


It wasn't clear from NVIDIA's presentation whether or not the latest GeForce 8M hardware makes any significant changes to the PowerMizer technology. However, here's a quick overview of the PowerMizer 7.0 technology. Again NVIDIA claims a twofold increase relative to last generation hardware (G72M vs. NB8M and G73M vs. NB8P), only this time the increase is in performance per watt efficiency. We would be very unimpressed if the new hardware wasn't at least better than the previous generation hardware, but we will hold off on saying more until we have had a bit more time to test NVIDIA's latest mobile GPUs.

PowerMizer 7.0
  • Starts with upfront power efficient architecture design
  • GPU-level and system-level power savings
GPU-level savings
  • Activity based switching between performance modes
  • Adaptive Clocking dynamically tunes power to match demand
  • Dynamic Clock Gating intelligently shuts down unused circuitry
  • Enhanced Analog Circuitry power savings - PLLs, TMDS, PCIE (ASPM and ASLM)
  • New low-power memory modes of operation -- dynamic drive and termination switching
System-level savings
  • CPU power savings -- maximum CPU offload for graphics and video applications
  • Power panel savings -- SmartDimmer 2.0 dynamically modulate backlight-lamp power
NVIDIA also likes to tout their MXM modular graphics subsystem as a feature of their mobile solutions. While the idea does make some sense, the reality is that notebooks typically require a lot more engineering and design effort than your typical desktop solution, so most notebook manufacturers still end up developing their own proprietary solutions. With size and weight being primary considerations on many laptops, it's difficult to come up with a solution that will please everyone. It would be nice if we could one day get the equivalent of the PCI-E X16 graphics slot in notebooks, with the ability to easily upgrade your graphics adapter. So far, we have seen a few halfhearted attempts in this area, but there's definitely no standard to which all manufacturers adhere.

GeForce 8M Series Overview Additional Notebook Solutions
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  • Scipio Africanus - Sunday, June 24, 2007 - link

    Not to nitpick, but the introduction comment about nvidia dominating ati at the midlevel is not right. The 7600 and X1600 Mobility were competitive with each other. The mobile version of the 7600 had only 8 pipelines, instead of the desktop version's 12. Consequently, depending on the game, one was faster than the other or vice versa. This was extensively benchmarked on notebookreview forums. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 31, 2007 - link

    All I know is I have an Mobile X1700 and a Go 7700. The latter spanks the heck out of the former. (That would be the ASUS A8Js vs. the ASUS G2P.) Reply
  • ChrisLilley - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    I think the workstation column is wrong. For series 7, the workstation lineup is 350M (low end), 1500M (midrasnge) and 2500M, 3500M (high end, 3500m is an overclocked 2500M) as follows:

    NVIDIA_G71.DEV_0298.1 = "NNVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS"
    NVIDIA_G71.DEV_0299.1 = "NNVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GTX"
    NVIDIA_G71.DEV_029A.1 = "NNVIDIA Quadro FX 2500M"
    NVIDIA_G71.DEV_029B.1 = "NNVIDIA Quadro FX 1500M"
    NVIDIA_G72.DEV_01D8.1 = "NNVIDIA GeForce Go 7400"
    NVIDIA_G72.DEV_01DA.1 = "NNVIDIA Quadro NVS 110M"
    NVIDIA_G72.DEV_01DC.1 = "NNVIDIA Quadro FX 350M"

    The known released GPU IDs for 8xxxM are as follows

    NVIDIA_G84.DEV_0407.1 = "NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT"
    NVIDIA_G84.DEV_0409.1 = "NVIDIA GeForce 8800M GS"
    NVIDIA_G84.DEV_040D.1 = "NVIDIA Quadro FX 1600M"
    NVIDIA_G86.DEV_0425.1 = "NNVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS"
    NVIDIA_G86.DEV_0427.1 = "NNVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS"
    NVIDIA_G86.DEV_0428.1 = "NNVIDIA GeForce 8400M G"
    NVIDIA_G86.DEV_0429.1 = "NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M"
    NVIDIA_G86.DEV_042B.1 = "NVIDIA Quadro NVS 135M"
    NVIDIA_G86.DEV_042D.1 = "NVIDIA Quadro FX 360M"

    That makes the 1600M a replacement for the 1500m, based on 8600GS and midrange ('performance'). The 5700 should be under 'mainstream'. The enthusiast or perhaps 'heavy cad' cards - the replacements for the 2500M and 3500M - are, just like the enthusiast gaming cards, not released and likely waiting for a die shrink.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    I'm going by the classification NVIDIA gave the various cards on one of the slides. Note that existing products are not included in the tables, only the new stuff, so outside of the mGPU parts (business) all of the cards are presumably DX10 capable. I would expect that the "enthusiast" 1600M is no faster than the other 8M parts listed, but there were no details on clock speeds or features of the workstation chips. I'm not sure any of the workstation parts listed are even shipping yet; most likely they are only being announced right now pending actual use in notebooks. I can check with NVIDIA for more details on those parts, though.... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_42274.html">More details on mobile Quadro cards are available here. Basically, they are all DX10 parts, and the 1600M will probably be similar to the 8600M GT. Possibly it will be tuned such that the performance offered in workstation apps will be worthy of inclusion in the "enthusiast" range, although I'd say "workstation enthusiast" is a bit of an oxymoron. :) Reply
  • ChrisLilley - Saturday, May 12, 2007 - link

    Thanks for the link. And yes, its the same for mobile workstation cards as for mobile gaming cards: the top performing ones ('enthusiast' or 'serious cad user' or just lets say 'expensive' :) ) have not been announced yet as the hole in the model numbers shows. They will likely need a die shrink to get the heat down for mobile use. So the 7xxx series still hold top place for mobile.

    Plus of course the workstation models will be released a little after the gaming ones, due to the need for ISV certification.
    Reply
  • Myrandex - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    I believe Duke Nuken Forever should have been on that list :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    Oh, it will be DX10, but that's a "most anticipated game for 2010". LOL

    (I actually have no idea when it's coming out or if it will be DX10.)
    Reply
  • bearxor - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    Any inkling or hints from nVidia that Apple might have picked a 8 series chip for the inevitable MBP refresh next month? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    No idea, although since Mac doesn't use DirectX for graphics and may not really matter much. Those who want to use a MacBook Pro and run Boot Camp could potentially benefit if they run Windows Vista, but for now I wouldn't count on Apple using the new NVIDIA parts. I could of course be wrong, as I don't really stay up-to-date on Apple plans. Reply

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