The G70 and the XPS M170 Debut

Today, Dell has introduced the next version of their high performance XPS notebook series. The new XPS M170 is similar to the previous model with a few key upgrades. In keeping with their exemplary track record, NVIDIA has announced the GeForce Go 7800 GTX in coordination with the first product launch containing their part. The $349 upgrade to the Go 6800 Ultra can be added to any XPS M170 purchase. Paired with the Pentium M 780, this machine will be an absolute mobile(?) monster.

The new Go 7800 GTX will be clocked at 400 MHz with 256MB of 1.1GHz GDDR3. The hardware is basically the same as the desktop version of the 7800 GTX with NVIDIA's power saving features enabled. This means 8 vertex pipelines and 24 pixel pipelines running with all the goodness of the G70's enhanced ability to handle math more effectively. The core clock is a little slower than the previous generation's 450MHz, but what it lacks in clock speed, it should more than make up for in terms of performance.

We were told that the enhancements to NVIDIA's mobile power management don't add any new features but simply enhance the granularity of their clock gating among other enhancements to efficiency. Graphics companies don't handle chip design the same way as a processor company. We won't see things like hand designed dynamic logic on a GPU - they are simply too complex to spend that much time going over at that detail. Process shrinks and architectural efficiency are also of the utmost importance to keeping GPUs fast and low power, and NVIDIA certainly has an advantage in the mobile space with the G70 design.

These notebooks are aimed squarely at the desktop replacement market, and NVIDIA's top end notebook solution doesn't make any apologies for this. The power budget given to the Go 7800 GTX is the same as the budget provided to the Go 6800 Ultra in the previous model. While the power efficiencies of this part are of interest, we will be more excited to learn what NVIDIA can do at even lower power levels considering the performance per watt possible on G70.

With the late launch of ATI's desktop parts, it will certainly be a while before we see any next generation mobile hardware from them either, but we expect the technological battle to be pretty fierce. Certainly, the availability of a mobile NVIDIA part with the lack of a competitive chip from ATI will cause OEMs and ODMs to lean towards NVIDIA for a while. While modular PCIe mobile graphics solutions are a reality, product cycles in the notebook market are still much longer than on the desktop. The initial advantage NVIDIA has here could translate to difficulty for ATI for quite some time.

For now, our Go 7800 GTX notebook has just arrived: we are off to run some performance tests and see if the new mobile part from NVIDIA is really worth the hype.



View All Comments

  • crittar - Friday, October 07, 2005 - link

    is it possible to underclock the graphics card while not plugged into the wall to improve battery life? Reply
  • ohnnyj - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    Battery Life = 5 minutes :). Reply
  • DestruyaUR - Friday, September 30, 2005 - link

    Actually, untethered my 6800 Ultra gives about two hours. If I dial things down I can get nearly four hours.

    The 7800GTX is actually far more efficient powerwise, so it would stand to reason that it'd give better battery life than the 6800 part, as well as run cooler.
  • shabby - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    Check out"> and click on the Tech Brief: PowerMizer 6.0 pdf and read page 5.
    Looks like nvidia forgot to mention this little tidbit to everybody, let alone make a big deal about it. So much for ati having the first 0.09 micron part out, nvidia is already shipping theirs quietly.
  • Pete - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    It's not 90nm, it's just 110nm. This has been confirmed with nVidia by another source. If nV were as 90nm they'd likely be PRing this up and down (as would any other company), and it turns out the reason they're not is because they're not. :) But we'll probably see 90nm GPUs in the GF7 family (beyond RSX). Reply
  • Anemone - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Put in a 2.26 P-M and you'll probably get in the vicinity of 7k or more on 3DM05. We should see some testing mighty soon, so if I'm totally off base apologies ahead of time.

    There is going to be a line forming to get these machines, so if you want one and don't want to wait till Feb to get one, best not tarry too long in signing up. The number of people in forums who were waiting specifically for this new GPU was large.

    If however you don't mind waiting I'm sure it will slow slightly after the Dec holidays..
  • timmiser - Thursday, September 29, 2005 - link

    Don't count on this being available in any other laptop other than the Dell XPS. Dell always does this with their mobility XPS platforms.

    When they had the 9800 Mobility and the last generation 6800 Ultra, even though it was never mentioned in all the pre-hype from ATI and Nvidia, they only ended up in the Dell XPS laptops.
  • timmiser - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Wow, $3100 buckazoids to get in the door on this baby. Now if we can just get one of those 40% coupon specials from Dell, I'll be there. That'll drop it down to a more realistic $1800.

  • SLCentral - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Any news about if this chip has Dual-Link DVI? And no, that is not Dual-DVI, it's Dual-Link, to power a Apple 30" LCD. The desktop 7800GTX models have it. Reply
  • ViperV990 - Wednesday, September 28, 2005 - link

    Wasn't there a nVidia PP presentation floating around that stated the Go 7800 would be at around 5500 or 6000 3DMark05? That seemed awefully low for a 24-pipe part. Reply

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