Introduction

It has been more than a year since NVIDIA released their GeForce 8800 GTX graphics chip for desktop computers - a chip that remains to this day the fastest gaming GPU (if we include the 8800 Ultra update). We've heard lots of talk during the past year or two about DirectX 10 and how it would enable improved performance and better graphics. However, only recently have we started to see games that actually utilize the technology, and we're still waiting for performance increases. Still, there is little doubt that DirectX 10 is the future, and NVIDIA is ready to embrace the technology on all levels with the introduction of the GeForce 8800M GTS and GTX.

Six months ago, NVIDIA released their first DirectX 10 multiple graphics chips, but a decidedly large gap remained between performance laptop and desktop hardware. In fact, there were quite a few areas where the last generation GeForce Go 7950 GTX outperformed the latest and greatest DX10 GeForce 8700M GT. Simply put, at the time it was necessary to remove too many features in order to reach the target power envelope. Where performance desktop GPUs had 96 or 128 Stream Processors (SPs), the mobile offerings topped out with one-third the number of SPs.


Earlier this month, NVIDIA launched their GeForce 8800 GT to nearly universal praise and high demand. Many of the elements that make the 8800 GT so attractive match up very well with the mobile market: smaller size, higher performance, and lower power requirements. Most of these benefits come from the new 65nm process technology, which is why we haven't seen high-performance DX10 mobile parts until now. The result is that nearly all of the features and performance currently available on the desktop will soon be coming to notebooks from a variety of manufacturers.

Unfortunately, we were unable to get an appropriately equipped laptop in time for this article. We expect availability starting in early 2008 - with pre-orders starting shortly - from most of the usual suspects for gaming notebooks. We should have one of the first 8800M GTX production notebooks in the near future, at which point we will be able to say something more about actual performance. However, there's still plenty of other information to cover, so we will begin with an overview of the market along with a look at the specifications of the upcoming GeForce 8800M products.

Why Do Laptops Matter?
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  • xantha - Monday, March 17, 2008 - link

    Just to add what was already mentioned in the article - gaming notebooks in Australia are more affordable than many may realise if you are using salary sacrifice. This is where the cost of the laptop is taken out of your pay prior to tax being calculated - effectively reducing the cost of the laptop by 40%.

    In addition you dont have to pay the GST portion so thats another 10%.

    So the $4000 laptop now becomes $3636 without the GST - of which you were going to be losing $1454 to the government even if you didn't buy anything. Making the laptop only $2184...god I love our tax laws sometimes :D
    Reply
  • Stas - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    More improvements for $4K laptops... Too bad I couldn't care less. Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - link

    Why don't you compare this head to head against a ATI mobility 2600XT? Instead you compare it only to other Nvidia mobile cards, and then tell us it's better than ATI. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - link

    Probably because I don't have one to compare it against? I don't even have the 8800M laptop right now - I tried to make it clear that those preliminary results are straight from NVIDIA; I'm waiting for a laptop still.

    That said, X2600 XT and 8600 GTS are relatively close in performance on the desktop, and there's no reason placing should change on laptops. Similarly, there's a huge gulf in performance between 8600 GTS / 2600 XT and the 8800 GT, which we should also see on the mobile side.
    Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - link

    Sorry Jared. I went and posted without fully reading the article.

    Reply
  • Inkjammer - Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - link

    The 15.4" laptop is the Alienware m15X that's been leaked from Alienware's newest ad campaign. The estimated date of release was supposed to be November 19th, but they didn't get up yesterday.

    Alienware announced a new 15.4 and 17" gaming laptop, one with the 8800m, the other an SLI Santa Rosa update for the m9750. Initial news of it broke out on www.notebookreview.com.
    Reply
  • her34 - Monday, November 19, 2007 - link

    quote:

    we were told the 8800M GTX sitting idle at the Windows desktop consumes 4.7W... While the idle power consumption isn't particularly high, the fact of the matter is that battery life is extremely important for many laptop users, and battery life will still suffer compared to IGP laptop offerings.



    what is the idle power consumption of igp like intel?
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, November 19, 2007 - link

    As it's part of the NB, it's not really possibly to pull out a separate power figure. Generally, the IGP Northbridge chips don't use much more power at idle than the regular non-IGP NB chips, so IGP at idle is almost "free" graphics. I'd guess that total IGP power use at idle is around 1W, maybe. Reply
  • Lonyo - Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - link

    Is there any news of new ATi mobile chips? I would assume with the move to 55nm they c ould get reasonable performance in a mobile package.

    Also, as asked earlier, how do you post a new comment instead of a reply?
    Reply
  • fus3d - Saturday, November 24, 2007 - link

    ATI probably will release a rv670 mobile equivalent. Reply

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