NVIDIA's GeForce 8-series goes mobile

NVIDIA announced its mobile DirectX 10 lineup consisting of the GeForce 8600M GT, 8600M GS, 8400M GT, 8400M GS, and 8400M G. This time around, NVIDIA has abandoned the “Go” prefix of previous generation mobile graphics processors in favor of the new “M” suffix. The new mobile lineup features unified shaders, PureVideo HD and PowerMizer power saving technology.

The new GeForce "M" lineup launched simultaneously with Intel's Santa Rosa Centrino platform.  Although NVIDIA claims it does not compete with Intel on this segment, the company is quick to note the features of its GPUs over the integrated Intel X3100 graphics found on new Santa Rosa notebooks.

"Coinciding with yesterday's official launch of Santa Rosa, we rolled out our GeForce 8 family of notebook GPUs," stated NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. "The new GeForce 8M-series notebook GPUs are the first to support DirectX 10 and 1080p decoding of full HD movies."

However, even with the promise that GeForce 8M-powered notebooks are on the way from Acer, ASUS, HP, Toshiba and Samsung, there are no shipping 8M products today.

At the top of NVIDIA’s GeForce 8M lineup is the 8600M GT. The GeForce 8600M GT is the only mobile DirectX 10 product to have 32 stream processors clocked at 950 MHz. NVIDIA clocks the GeForce 8600M GT clock at 475 MHz and pairs it with 1.4 GHz memory on a 128-bit memory interface. Notebook manufacturers are free to equip the GeForce 8600M GT with up to 512MB of video memory.

Slotting below the GeForce 8600M GT is the 8600M GS. The GeForce 8600M GS has half the stream processors as its GT counterpart. NVIDIA clocks the stream processors at 1.2 GHz to make up for having less shader power. The core clock is raised to 600 MHz as well. Memory remains the same – up to 512MB of 1.4 GHz memory on a 128-bit memory interface.

On the value-side of things is the GeForce 8400M lineup. The GeForce 8400M GT features the same 16 stream processors as the 8600M GS. However, the GeForce 8400M GT has lower 900 MHz shader, 450 MHz core and 1.2 GHz memory clocks. As with the GeForce 8600M GS, the 8400M GT can have up to 512MB of video memory on a 128-bit interface.

In the middle of the GeForce 8400M lineup is the 8400M GS with 16 stream processors. The 16 stream processors have a lower clock of 800 MHz. NVIDIA clocks the core at a slightly lower 400 MHz while memory clock is set at 600 MHz, as with the GT model. However, the GeForce 8400M GS can only have up to 256MB of video memory on a 64-bit interface.

At the very bottom of the new GeForce 8M lineup is the eight stream processors endowed GeForce 8400M G. This model is virtually identical to the GeForce 8400M GS except with half the shader power. Core clock remains at 400 MHz, as with the 800 MHz shader and 1.2 GHz memory clocks. Manufacturers are free to equip GeForce 8400M G with up to 256MB of video memory on its 64-bit memory interface.

Huang was not shy to talk about the company's upcoming Intel IGP chipset, MCP73.  Again, while NVIDIA CEO Huang reinforced the notion that the company is not competing with Intel, he confirmed the MCP73 will have mobile offerings.  Recent documentation claimed MCP73 for the desktop could launch as soon as June 2007.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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