updated 10:05 am EDT, Tue June 3, 2008
NVIDIA GeForce 9M
NVIDIA on Tuesday officially unveiled the next major upgrade to its notebook graphics lineup. The GeForce 9M series is built on a new, multi-core graphics engine that the electronics designer claims is as much as 40 percent faster than earlier 8M chipsets. Video encoding is up to five times faster, the company claims. The new design is also home to the first mobile chipsets with Hybrid SLI; notebooks can switch off the dedicated video and revert to integrated graphics to save power while on battery or when running less demanding tasks.
The 9M line also supplies better video decoding with better color and contrast in video that supports hardware acceleration. Output support has been added for DisplayPort as well as HDMI 1.3. The platform is the first to use the MXM 3 format for add-in notebook graphics.
NVIDIA introduces the series with several different speed grades for both thin-and-light and mid-range notebooks. At the top, the 9650M GS offers 32 processing cores with a 625MHz core clock, a 128-bit memory bus, and up to 512MB of memory; the 9500M GS, 9600M GS, and 9600M GT all share the same number of cores at reduced speeds running as low as 475MHz for the 9500M GS part. The 9500M G offers 16 cores.
The simpler parts vary both on cores and bus speed. The 9300M GS uses just eight cores but keeps the full bus speed; the 9300M G doubles the number of cores to 16 but drops to a 64-bit memory interface. The 9200M G scales back to just the 8 cores and the narrower memory path, while the 9100M is intended to serve as integrated graphics on mainboards that don't already have feature built-in and combines with the lower-end dedicated models.
Notebooks using the new GeForce graphics are officially set to appear this summer but include already-shipping models that include Acer's Gemstone Blue desktop replacement notebooks as well as several ASUS portables.