NVIDIA GeForce4 4200 Go: Bringing mobile gaming to new heightsby Matthew Witheiler on November 14, 2002 9:00 AM EST
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Things have been quiet on the NVIDIA side as of late. If we look back, one can see that the GeForce4 Ti 4200 AGP 8x and the GeForce4 MX 460 AGP 8x parts (NV28 and NV18 respectively) were the last NVIDIA products to be released. Launching one month ago these two chips were fairly un-revolutionary on the whole, offering NV25 and NV17 performance in an AGP 8x certified package. In fact, one has to go back over 10 months to recall NVIDIA's last major consumer desktop product; the NV25 based GeForce4 Ti 4600. A glance at NVIDIA's roadmap from earlier this year quickly suggests that this was not the plan. The company's roadmap proved to be quite aggressive, in fact too aggressive for even NVIDIA to keep up with. As a result, today we are left NV30-less.
While NVIDIA was attempting to balance their production woes with their launch cycle, ATI was taking advantage of the situation at hand. ATI aggressively pressed ahead with new core designs. The past three months have found a number of ATI products come to market based on the RV250 and R300 core, including the Radeon 9700 Pro, the Radeon 9000 Pro, and the Mobility Radeon 9000. Users and analysts alike began to wonder how NVIDIA would attempt to curb ATI's progress.
On the desktop side, we have yet to see NVIDIA's plan of attack. The company's response to the R300 core, the NV30, has yet to make a public appearance. The RV250 competitor, the NV18, has been gaining a bit of momentum but its lack of DX8 shaders has been dissuading customers. While it is up in the air how NVIDIA will respond to ATI's threat on the desktop side, today we see how the company plans to but a damper on ATI's mobile graphics processor party.
Today NVIDIA responds to the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000, a chip launched at the end of August that has already found its way into twenty shipping notebook machines. NVIDIA's answer is the NV28M based GeForce4 4200 Go, a mobile version of the NV28 core. The GeForce4 4200 Go does more than just include the full feature set of the desktop NV28 core used in the GeForce4 Ti 4200 AGP 8x; it also incorporates the power saving technology that is so important for notebook machines. Follow us as we take a look at the first revolutionary product from NVIDIA in just about nine months and see if the GeForce4 4200 Go has what it takes to bring mobile gaming to the next level.