Print 15 comment(s) - last by EasyC.. on Mar 20 at 10:37 AM

Demoed unit has four times the number of CUDA cores

At 5 lb and 20 mm thick, Acer Inc.'s (TPE:2353) TimelineU M3 is a bit of a beefy 15.6-inch pseudo-Ultrabook.  But what it lacks in slender figure, it makes up for in pure power.

It comes with a Intel Corp. (INTC) Core i7-2637M, a 1.7 GHz dual-core Sandy Bridge part that can Turbo up to 2.8 GHz, a 1366x768 screen, 4 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 RAM, a 256 GB SSD from Lite-On, and a DVD+RW drive.  But its real treasure is its GeForce GT 640M GPU.

Yes, that's a Kepler GPU.  

NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) has been noticeably absent from the graphics race this spring while rival Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) rounded out its lineup [1][2][3].  However, NVIDIA is charging back, leveraging its strength of GPU computing.  The GT 640M comes with 384 CUDA cores (8 streaming multi-processors), putting it on par with a GTX 460 or a GTX 570M.  

Like AMD, NVIDIA is targeting lower clock speeds for its first 28 nm parts.  The GT 640M is clocked at 625 MHz for the core (versus 672 MHz for the GT 540M).  The part is somewhat limited by a 128-bit bus, and DDR3, instead of dedicated GDDR5.  Still gaming performance in Anandtech's benchmarks falls just short of the GTX 560M, but is overall solid.

TimelineU M3
The Acer Aspire TimelineU M3 is a slick piece of hardware, thanks to its Kepler GPU.
[Image Source: Anandtech]

The laptop showed an impressive 417 min. of battery life on its 55 Wh battery -- rather impressive.  The laptop is also cooler than previous powerhouses.  In both metrics the advantage of NVIDIA's new 28 nm and Intel's 32 nm processes are showing.

Sadly, details about Kepler architecture-wise are scarce as there's an embargo on them.  In fact Acer broke the embargo (accidentally) by airing the laptop, hence giving the world a sneak peek at Kepler.  If the GT 640M is any indication, expect CUDA cores to receive around a 4x bump, putting NVIDIA likely ahead of AMD in computing power.  At the same time expect lower clock speeds as NVIDIA -- like AMD -- adjusts to the perils of 28 nm part-making with its silicon partner Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (TPE:2330).

Source: Anandtech

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1366x768 on a 15.6" screen is pathetic
By corduroygt on 3/19/2012 3:48:42 PM , Rating: 4
Should be 1080p, otherwise this laptop is worthless.

By retrospooty on 3/19/2012 5:13:15 PM , Rating: 3
Ya, I dont get Intel's concept of "ultrabook". They dictate all sorts of minimum specs yet leave the single most important thing, the thing the users looks at all day every day at the bear minumum. It would be nive if at least 1600x900 were a minimum spec, if not go back to 16x10 and do 1680x1050.

By TakinYourPoints on 3/20/2012 1:33:39 AM , Rating: 2
Absolutely, that resolution shouldn't be on anything larger than a 13"

By EasyC on 3/20/2012 10:37:13 AM , Rating: 2
EXACTLY!!! If a 10" screen can pull off 1920x1200 then there is absolutely no excuse that laptop manufacturers can't provide it. I laugh quite a bit when I see any laptop over 400$ come with such a crappy resolution.

Asus Infinity + Keyboard dock + Splashtop THD > 90% of "ultra" books.

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