The GF108 Fermi lineup was announced by nVidia at the 2010 IFA in the first week of September. We already covered their announcement in a previous piece along with the details of the architecture. I happen to be the first editor at AnandTech to get hold of the actual silicon in a system, and the full responsibility of putting it through the paces fell on me. Though I happen to be more of a HTPC person, I did manage to run a few of the gaming benchmarks developed by Jarred. I have been playing around with various beta driver releases from nVidia ever since I got hold of the engineering sample, but the results presented in this piece are all obtained with MXM driver version 260.66. Before we get to the gaming performance, let us take a look at some of the synthetic benchmarks related to the GPU in the Vision 3D.

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The GeForce 425M comes out with surprisingly better performance than the Mobility Radeon 5650. Though the effective memory bandwidth in the 425M (25.6 GBps) is lesser than that available in the 335M (34.1 GBps), the architectural improvements seem to have delivered very similar scores in our two synthetic benchmarks. But, do these improvements show benefits in actual gaming performance? We will see that in the next section.

Our coverage of the 400M series indicated that the number of shaders in almost all the members of the GF108 series is constant at 96. They all have a DDR3 memory interface running at 800 MHz. The processor clock is locked at 2x the graphics clock for all the models. While the default 425M graphics clock frequency is 560 MHz, we could easily overclock it to 650 MHz (435M default frequency) using the nTune program available as part of the nVidia system tools suite. The GPU is very overclocking friendly, and we were even able to ramp up the memory clocks to the rumoured GT 430 specifications without encountering any issues.

The GF108 brings the latest and greatest in PureVideo to the consumer. Based on VP4, it supports hardware accelerated decode of almost all video codecs except Real Media and the On2 codecs. We have already seen the DXVA status of a VP4 enabled device in the GeForce G210 in a previous article. The DXVA Checker report for the 425M is provided below, and there is nothing unexpected in it.


Generic Performance Metrics HTPC Performance : Gaming with the GT 425M


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  • ProDigit - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    Looks interesting at first, but I don't much like nvidia graphics cards, and the WD drive.
    WD drives are known to break right after their warranty expires when using them a lot.

    The only good about the nvidia card is that it could be set up to work with CUDA (CPU + GPU in parrallel); although cuda now also supports most ATI/AMD cards.

    The price of this setup is quite on the high end. If it wasn't for 3D vision, I'd say this computer would go for no more than $699. With 3D, I'd say $799 max.
    I personally don't care if it supports 3D or not, since I have no monitors that support this resolution. So for me it's only worth $599.
  • ProDigit - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    They should have gone with a Toshiba drive instead. Yes, WD has faster continuous write and read speeds, but Toshiba is much better in IO performance.
    An OS like Windows 7 would boot faster with Toshiba, than with WD, and would run significantly cooler too!
    WD is absolutely NOT the best drive they could have chosen! The cheapest perhaps yes.
  • ganeshts - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    Looks like the WD Scorpio Black is as good as the Momentus XT from Seagate (except for the Disk Capture benchmark):

    So, from a price-performance ratio, it makes sense to go with WD.

    I have also mentioned in my review that a mini-PCIE SSD for the boot drive would have been good :)
  • sprockkets - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    The best notebook drives were made by IBM, and now Hitachi. Whether that still is the case, who knows. Reply
  • Zok - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    CUDA is not supported on ATI/AMD cards. DirectCompute and OpenCL are, however, supported by both. Reply
  • LtGoonRush - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    Studies of both operating disk populations and drives sent in for data recovery show that no brand of drives is measurably more or less reliable than others, with the notable exception of the Seagate model ranges affected by their firmware bugs. It's also been conclusively proven that drive usage doesn't affect failure rates; lightly loaded and heavily loaded drives fail at the same rate. It's true that a failing drive will have its death hastened by heavy load, but you shouldn't be using a drive that's failing anyway, it should be replaced with the first SMART error it logs. The WD Scorpio Black drives in particular are the fastest notebook HDDs available, balancing high throughput with excellent seek times (Seagate drives have always had abysmal seek performance). It's also a little silly to complain about heat when we're talking about drives with sub-4W PEAK power draw. Reply
  • chrnochime - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    great job for correcting him without making it more obvious how wrong he is. I would've not sugarcoat it as much as you did though heh. Reply
  • lexluthermiester - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    Seriously? Not liking Nvidia, well that is just personal preference. You not having a TV/Monitor that supports what this system can put out is not the fault of the maker or the system itself, it your problem. But bashing WD? They make the finest hard drives in the world and there are certainly worse hard drive makers. Now I'm not going to be low class and name names, but really? And if you don't like this little system, then don't buy it, but don't bash something that certainly has usefulness to a certain audience of users and at a very fair price. Reply
  • Parhel - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    False. WD drives are not "known" for high failure rates. All drive manufacturers compare about evenly in most areas. WD is one of, if not the, best choice out there. Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, October 03, 2010 - link

    I was a WD fan in the 90's and after the 7200.7's came out and they ditch the wetsuits I became a die-hard Seagate fan because of the 7200.7's legendary reliability, low cost, 5-year warranty and 'decent' performance. These were all big selling points during an era where the Deathstar 75GXP rocked the storage industry with what some circles were calling a "definitive" failure rate within the warranty period.

    The Seagate drives just worked. However, recently I've had a lot of Seagate 7200.10 and 7200.11 drives giving me SMART errors, specifically reallocated sector counts. They also run hot compared to my new WD Blue 1TB drive and they're all mounted in the same cage. A few years ago I had a 1.5TB Seagate I had to flash to CC1G because of the firmware 'recall' which was definitely a quality control concern. I didn't loose data, but I know somebody who did, one day their drive was just blank. We flashed the firmware and his data was back, but the drive failed after a few months without warning, just spun up and clicked. Tried freezing it. No dice.

    Seems like WD is taking the quality/reliability crown, where as they've always had the performance crown...but performance wasn't as important to me as making sure the drive would work for 3-5 years without any issues.

    I'd consider a Hitachi in the future, but will probably continue to stick with Seagate and WD drives. Considering how many dead Samsung and Fujitsu drives I've pulled and replaced from friends' desktop and laptop's over the years, it's a no-brainier to stay the hell away from those. Toshiba I have mixed feelings about because over the past 20-years, I just didn't care much for their laptops. Hypocritically, I love Thinkpad's but when IBM had those 75GXP failures, I didn't change my mind about their laptops, and still think they make the best laptop's out there. Ironically things are different now, because Hitachi makes the hard drives and Lenovo makes the Thinkpad's. IBM has little to do with either now.

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