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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  • sbuckler - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    How much memory has it got - from the drop off at high res I suspect 128mb, it might have been nice to mention that in the article.

    #16 - you can get a audigy 2 card for laptops now.
  • whooosh - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    how about comparing to other Geforce GO chipsets?
  • ZoZo - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    Why does does this review leave the impression that the Pentium M 2.13Ghz is weak?
    From benchmarks I've seen here and there, it's actually out there with the top lot in performance, sometimes beating the most powerful Pentium 4 EE!
  • mickyb - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    First could have put the previous M28 benchies with this article from November along with the original GeForce 6800 Go. Looks like this new nVidia card might be competitive. If I were nVidia, I would have been worried after the November article. Second, I would like to see the Star Wars and BattleField: Vietnam benchies. It looks to be the one that shows ATI dominating.

    This will look messed up with prop fonts.

    Game ATI M28 6800Go 6800GoUltra
    Doom3 47.6 51.4 83.2
    HL-2 88.4 77.8 101.9
    UT2004 48 45.8 57.5
    Halo 52.9 46.8 55.6
    Wolf 74.1 76.5 N/A
    FarCry 87.4 65.3 88.5
    Sims2 41 39 N/A
    Battle:Viet 152 127 N/A
    StarWars 63 33 N/A

  • DerekWilson - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    deathwalker --

    We haven't had any comparable gaming laptops in our labs.

    Also, the review is of the GeForce Go 6800 Ultra, not of the Dell Inspirion XPS Gen 2.


    I'm sure the notebook was using the higher speed HD, but that generally doesn't make a difference in the gaming experience except in load times.

    The Pentium M should be more resilient to DDR2 than the P4. The low latency cache is what counts.
  • deathwalker - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    Oh ya..if forgot to mention in my previous post..Tom's Hardware has just posted a reiview on this system also...they did it right. Compared it to other high end gaming laptops.
  • deathwalker - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    Dissapointing review...if i want a Gaming Laptop I want a review to compare it to other Gaming Latop's. Comparing it to desktops sure doesnt answer any questions of mine!! I think you missed the boat.
  • bobsmith1492 - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    Wow, that's an amazing sounding machine; pics???

    Since when did they make DDR2 for the P-M? I would think its high latency would rather offset the M's best strength - low latency; although, it does retain its cache I suppose.

    So is the mobile 6800 ultra a 12 or 16 pipe card? By the looks of it it must be 16, or else that extra 50MHz is doing a lot of work.
  • kmmatney - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    Tom's Hardware showed the system running Forceware 75.80. You can get 75.90 from here:

    I can't find 75.80 anywhere...
  • kmmatney - Thursday, February 24, 2005 - link

    #18, I doubt they much choice - they had to use whatever drivers came with the laptop 9and those would obviously be optimized for the new moobile GPU). It would be interesting to see if the drivers help out desktop cpu's, though.

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