Additional Notebook Solutions

The new GeForce 8M hardware isn't the only mobile product being launched today by an NVIDIA. They are also releasing some new integrated graphics chipsets as well as business and workstation solutions. Following is a table of all of the products being launched today.

NVIDIA Notebook Products Launching Today
Segment Consumer Business Workstation
Performance GeForce 8600M GT
GeForce 8600M GS
Quadro NVS 320M Quadro FX 1600M
Mainstream GeForce 8400M GT
GeForce 8400M GS
GeForce 8400M G
Quadro NVS 140M
Quadro NVS 135M
Quadro NVS 130M
Quadro FX 570M
Quadro FX 360M
Value GeForce 7190M + nForce 650M
GeForce 7150M + nForce 630M
GeForce 7000M + nForce 610M

We won't dwell much on the business and workstation products. The business solutions are based off the same GeForce 8M GPUs, with the primary difference being an effort to ensure better reliability, stability, and compatibility. For IT departments, that usually means that the manufacturers spend extra time testing and qualifying the hardware and drivers before releasing them to the public. The new chipset solutions deserve a bit more attention.

What Is a Motherboard GPU (mGPU)?

NVIDIA calls the new chipsets "Motherboard GPUs" and defines that as the following:
  • Combines a true GPU with motherboard core logic
  • Support for DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 2.0 or higher
  • At least one digital connector (DVI/HDMI) with HDCP support
  • Multi-display support
  • A dedicated video processing engine for HD video

Put another way, it sounds like NVIDIA's latest IGP solutions now come with better performance and a few new features. These new IGP chipsets don't support DirectX 10, but they do support Shader Model 3.0 and they apparently also include the new VP2 hardware to handle H.264 decoding. They are supposed to be up to 40% faster than the last generation IGPs while consuming less power in order to increase battery life.

Better performance sounds nice in theory, but 40% faster than "really slow" still ends up being really slow, sort of like any number multiplied by zero ends up being zero. For gaming, we seriously doubt any of the new IGP solutions will offer acceptable performance -- even some of the midrange GPUs struggle after all -- but the inclusion of video processing engine and HDCP support is still a plus.

Another slide in the presentation states that these new mGPUs offer the "longest battery life for Turion class UMA notebooks." Unfortunately, we take that to mean that for the time being these new chipsets are for AMD platforms and not for Core 2 Duo, although that wasn't entirely clear.

Closing Thoughts

There's plenty of marketing hype in any new product launch, but while these latest NVIDIA products may not rid the world of hunger or ensure the continued survival of mankind, they do appear to offer some interesting benefits. Notebooks are undoubtedly becoming more and more popular, but anyone who has an interest in gaming has likely discovered that getting a laptop capable of keeping up with even a $1000 desktop in the latest games becomes a very expensive proposition. This latest product launch is just one more step towards improving mobile graphics performance.

The smaller size and added engineering costs are sure to keep entrance fees for the mobile market higher than what you would expect to pay for equivalent performance on the desktop, but at the very least we should now have a few more options when it comes time to purchase a new notebook. Now all we need is more applications that can truly benefit from this next generation hardware, and thankfully we should get at least several DirectX 10 games by the end of this year.

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  • 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.
  • iwodo - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    I like mGPU for several reasons. Not only for laptop but also for desktop or other application.
    It allows you to run Vista with Aero. This is good enough for for most people who only want fast Interface.
    VP2 would bring Full HD H.264 Decoding to the mass.
    Combing with low power usage this is very good things like AppleTV.

    Are mGPU only available on Laptop but not desktop? It would make a very cost effective PC for the mass.
  • Ajax9000 - Wednesday, May 9, 2007 - link

    Any news on whether we will finally see DL-DVI support on all but the high-end / 17"+ laptops?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, May 9, 2007 - link

    When I get one of the 8000 notebooks I'll be able to verify if that's supported. I think it's an option but it's up to the notebook manufacturers to support it.
  • overzealot - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link


    GI: Are you planning on adopting DX10 for Quake Wars? Carmack: Not for Quake Wars, for sure. Quake Wars is definitely not DX10.

    Any other wrongly listed games?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    Given Carmack's support of OpenGL, he might be using DX10 type fragments shaders in that manner. Obviously, the slide is provided by NVIDIA, so whether it's accurate or not is up to them. Supreme Commander is listed, and yet that's "DX10 via forthcoming patch" which is a bit obscure.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, May 10, 2007 - link

    The slide has now been updated with a more current list of upcoming DX10 games.
  • RamIt - Wednesday, May 9, 2007 - link

    "We do have an early Santa Rosa notebook in-house for testing that's equipped with a GeForce Go 8600M GS, but unfortunately we've run into some difficulties during testing and won't be able to bring you actual performance results for a bit longer"

    Heavy sigh.

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