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NVIDIA is ready to deliver on last week's promise

When we think of notebook computers which use Intel Pentium Dual Core, Core 2 Solo, or Core 2 Duo processors, the systems are usually paired with an Intel Northbridge and Southbridge. Intel hopes to carry on this tradition with its Centrino 2 platform which is slated to launch during the summer.

NVIDIA, however, has plans of its own when it comes to mobile platforms for Intel-based notebooks. NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang recently called Intel out on its integrated desktop/mobile graphics performance. Huang even went so far as to say that NVIDIA would "open a can of whoop ass" when it comes to its upcoming products.

It appears that NVIDIA's first few cans of "whoop ass" are just now leaving the factory and they are labeled MCP79. MCP79 is a new single-chip integrated chipset for "small form factor" notebooks according to NVIDIA. Each variant of MCP79 incorporates a DX10-capable GeForce graphics controller supporting Shader Model 4.0, NVIDIA's VP3 video processor, and support for Hybrid Power/Hybrid SLI/Hybrid Performance.

In addition, MCP79 features a single-channel TMDS interface for HDMI 1.2, support for a 1066 MHz FSB, 800 MHz DDR2, 1333 MHz DDR3 memory support, 3 Gbps SATA/eSATA, NVIDIA DriveCache (similar to Intel Turbo Memory), an NVIDIA GbE controller, High Definition Audio, TPM 1.2, and up to 20 PCIe 2.0 lanes.

NVIDIA has plans for six members of the MCP79 family. On the low-end, the MCP79ML lacks such features as RAID 0/1, PCIe x16, DisplayCache, and DriveCache. The MCP79GLM will feature a Quadro-based graphics controller instead of GeForce and the MCP79-SLI will support NVIDIA SLI as its name implies. Other members of the family include the MCP79MH, MCP79MX, and MCP79MVL.

NVIDIA's MCP79 family will be going toe-to-toe with Intel's Centrino 2 platform (Montevina) in June. Montevina Northbridges will include the integrated GM45/GM47 and the discrete PM45. The integrated Northbridges will incorporate Intel's new X4500 HD graphics processor (DX10, HDMI, DisplayPort) which NVIDIA doesn't think too highly of at this point in time. Like NVIDIA's MCP79, Centrino 2 chipset will support DDR2/DDR3 memory and support FSB's up to 1066MHz.

Since the Centrino platform won't be a single-chip solution like NVIDIA's offering, the GM45/GM47 and PM45 will be paired with either the ICH9M or ICH9-M Enhanced Southbridge.

It's shaping up to be an interesting summer with NVIDIA and Intel battling it out in the notebook platform sector. If flash manufacturers could expedite their downward trend for solid-state drives, the outlook would be even better for consumers.

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Intel wins either way...
By therealnickdanger on 4/23/2008 3:52:39 PM , Rating: 1
At least until NVIDIA offers its own CPUs.

Intel offers amazing chipsets - just horrible graphics. I don't see why they don't try to work WITH NVIDIA to integrate their GPUs into the Centrino platform. I guess I KNOW why, but I would just love it if they would collaborate.

RE: Intel wins either way...
By herrdoktor330 on 4/23/2008 10:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
You know, that's what I was thinking. I mean, the chipsets sound wonderful. But what kind of CPU is going to go on them? Unless they plan on putting the new VIA Isaiah in them, which may or may not work out well.

I mean, the whole arguement seems kind of daft at this point: "Yea... we're going to open a can on you, son! Right after we make this baller chipset for your product to run on..."

I dunno... maybe I didn't read the article right?

RE: Intel wins either way...
By omnicronx on 4/23/2008 11:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
AMD and Nvidia once made a good team, nforce2 boards were solid.

RE: Intel wins either way...
By herrdoktor330 on 4/24/2008 7:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, I know. My girl's computer is my old nforce2/AthlonXP combo. It's not the roster of the walk, like it used to be. But by goodness, it runs WoW with a GF6200 and 512 of RAM.

It's a shame that it's never really going to be that way again. Unless nVidia buys AMD...

RE: Intel wins either way...
By psychobriggsy on 4/24/2008 9:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
VIA and nVidia were going to team up for CPU + Chipset needs for mobile devices if I recall correctly, recently.

This chipset may turn up being coupled to VIA's Isiiiiiaaahaahiiaiah CPUs once they're both available. A two chip "subnotebook performance" solution will be better in many ways that Intel's three chip offerings (no, Atom + Paulsbo is not a performance solution, even in the subnotebook category). Also 3W idle to 15" load is a better match for Isiahahaha's power consumption.

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