The Test

Unfortunately, we are somewhat limited in our ability to compare this solution to comparable notebook or desktop systems.

We don't have an Alviso based desktop solution (and we haven't seen many Alviso based notebooks yet either). This means we won't be able to compare cards running on the same platform with the Go 6800 Ultra. We also haven't gotten our hands on a Mobility Radeon X800 systems with Alviso in them.

So, what we are going to look at today is the highest end notebook we've yet seen (in terms of graphics speed) compared against the high end desktop configuration we used when testing SLI graphics. This will serve to give us a good picture of where ultra high end notebook performance falls with respect to ultra high end desktop performance. As the core clock on the GeForce Go 6800 Ultra is higher than most desktop GeForce 6800 Ultras (400 to 425 depending on the vendor), it's very possible we could see some interesting numbers come out of this. Of course, the notebook's Pentium M 2.13GHz processor will limit the performance of the system compared to our Athlon 64 4000+ desktop. We aren't likely to see the Go 6800 Ultra paired with anything but a Pentium M due to the TDP requirements of vendors. Mobile Pentium 4 and Mobile Athlon 64 parts are still too hot to be able to economically run a Go 6800 Ultra as well.

The test setup for the Dell Inspirion XPS we tested was as follows:

Intel Pentium M 2.13GHz
Intel Alviso based motherboard
1GB DDR2 533 4-4-4-12
NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800 Ultra (clocked at 450/1100)
Windows XP Service Pack 2 with DirectX 9.0c
NVIDIA ForceWare 75 series Drivers

Our desktop nForce 4 system was configured thusly:

AMD Athlon 64 4000+
ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe (nForce4 SLI) Motherboard
1GB OCZ DDR400 3-3-3-10
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra PCI Express (clocked at 400/1100)
NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT PCI Express (clocked at 350/1000)
Windows XP Service Pack 2 with DirectX 9.0c
NVIDIA ForceWare 69.33 Drivers

The only unknown factor here is the performance difference beween the 69.xx and 75.xx ForceWare revisions. The Dell is the only notebook we've tested with a 75 series driver.

Index Doom 3 Performance


View All Comments

  • jays83gsl - Tuesday, March 7, 2006 - link

    I'm the owner of this laptop (thanks to Dell's Holiday contest :D ) and can definately attest to the speed of this laptop.

    There were a couple people asking about battery life, though. In this, the Dell seems to fail.
    Now, I've never owned a laptop before, so I can't really compare, but the battery is VERY quick to run out. Even just running windows media and surfing the web wirelessly, it sucks through the battery in less than two hours (down to 5%). Without wireless enabled, it lasts about an hour more (give or take).

    It plays all the games I have (NFS U2, GTA SA, couple others) at GREAT framerates, with all the goodies turned on, resolution turned WAY up (19something x something).

    The big hit, though, as seen in the tests, comes with anti aliasing. The games become almost unplayable with AA on at higher resolutions, and a bit dissapointing at lower resolutions (still playable, though).

    The other thing I saw questioned was the heat. During intense, long term gaming (NFS U2 being the test dog here), the lower area (keyboard, mouse pad, wrist resting areas) are damn near cold. Room temp at worst.
    Up near the screen, things get REAL hot, as well as around the GPU and processor fans. It seems the keyboard vents are almost useless at drawing out heat, as I can hardly ever feel air coming out of them.

    If you guys want anymore information on the laptop, I'll have it for a while. I also have a much weaker desktop that I can compare to if need be, though it only has an Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 (horrible card by todays standards).

  • firemachine69 - Monday, February 28, 2005 - link

    Whoa... But yes, there's so many variables, it's nothing more really then saying "this laptop is fast".

    Now what bothers me is those heat numbers... There's just noooo way Nvidia got it so low... Think about it... It's like what? 120W+ for a desktop 6800 Ultra? They'd have to lower the fab, or gotten really lucky with a batch... Me thinks Nvidia used some type of reference formula, such as "for every "xx" hours of gaming, "xx" hours will be in low power mode.

    Now we only need batteries to catch up. :D
  • coldpower27 - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    Would there be a need for a third version of the Geforce 6800 GO Series?

    I mean, that would make them have 3 different models all with the same Quad/VS Configuration of NV41M's 12x1/6 style.

    This generation it seems like Nvidia wants to maintain a maximum of 2 models per configuration style.
  • Anemone - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    The Pent M doesn't have much of a heat problem, nor as much of a performance delta compared to the AMD solutions in the mobile arena. I think Dell going with that chip instead of the P4 was a good idea.

    Interesting read:

  • BOLt - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    Maybe NVIDIA will finally gain some ground in the notebook sector... Hopefully we'll see AMD in the DTR field soon, because these big-time manufacturers like Dell are having heat problems, and voila, AMD runs cooler, faster, better.

    On with the revolution!
  • DestruyaUR - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    Also, why the hell didn't they simultaneously launch a GT version for those who can live with 10-15 less FPS and less cost? Reply
  • DestruyaUR - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    As for the people saying that battery life will be impacted during DVD watching because of the PureVideo - I submit the following: software decoding - beggars can't be choosers at 35,000 feet. Reply
  • Anemone - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    Now when they put Yonah into this machine, it'll be time to own one :) Thanks much was great to see the review. I for one am about ready for a DTR notebook pc - and so this was a good article to see. Right direction for Nvidia too.

    Side note: Quite a few articles show the P-M coming out quite well in gaming as you ramp the clockspeed up. Might be nice to see one of these machines with 1-2gb of good low latency DDR2 but hard to say if that would change things much.

    Yonah, with SSE improvements and a clockspeed boost should be the machine to get. 6800 GO ultra is quite the beast and the right kinds of improvements. Now if they drop that to 65nm and bring a bit more speed and lower power useage and it will be a monster :)

  • Howard - Saturday, February 26, 2005 - link

    Inspirion, eh? Reply
  • trikster2 - Friday, February 25, 2005 - link

    34/35/36 I think this may have been already posted but here you go again:

    If toms can be believed, the 6800 ultra is two to three times faster than your antique model-T 9800....

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now