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Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 485M

MALIBAL's Lotus P150HM: GeForce GTX 485M Gets Its Game On
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Nvidia’s GTX 485M looks almost exactly like its most recent preceding product, and there’s a good reason for that.

It appears that this is a different version of the same IC, with the added memory expanding its bus width from 192- to 256-bits. We pressed further to see exactly how this GPU stacked up to its relatives.

We had heard that the GeForce GTX 470M would have the “fully functional” version of the desktop GeForce GTX 460’s GPU. But as it turns out that honor was reserved for the GeForce GTX 485M. The GTX 460 was a great card for its time, even winning our coveted awards for both its single-GPU performance-value and its amazing SLI scaling. Naturally we have high hopes for it here.

Desktop Versus Mobile GeForce Graphics
 Desktop GeForce GTX 560 TiGeForce GTX 485MDesktop GeForce GTX 460 SEGeForce GTX 470M
Transistors1.95 billion1.95 billion1.95 billion1.95 billion
Engine Clock822 MHz575 MHz650 MHz535 MHz
CUDA Cores384384288288
Texture Units64644848
ROP Units32323224
Compute Performance1.26 TFLOPS883.2 GFLOPS855 GFLOPS634 GFLOPS
DRAM TypeGDDR5-4000GDDR5-3000GDDR5-3400GDDR5-3000
DRAM Interface256-bits256-bits256-bits192-bits
Memory Bandwidth128 GB/s96 GB/s108.8 GB/s72 GB/s
TDP170W100W150W50W (GPU Only)


Notice that the GeForce GTX 485M’s main specs closely match the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. Nvidia remains mum on whether the GTX 485M is based on the GTX 460’s original GF104 core or GTX 560 Ti’s revised GF114 (Ed.: all indications point to this being GF104), but we’re certain that the clock-optimizations made in the GTX 560 Ti conversion are not needed at the GTX 485M’s lower frequencies.

Nvidia is going further to enhance the power-to-performance of its top-end notebook model. Though, like all of Nvidia’s notebook parts, value has been forcefully thrown kicking and screaming out the top-floor window of a 32-story building, its remains stamped into dust by Nvidia’s marketing department.

According to the price sheets of various Clevo partners, this bare module costs approximately four times as much as a theoretical 2 GB desktop GeForce GTX 460 with all of its insides turned on. We blame neither Clevo nor MALIBAL, as this appears to be specifically related to Nvidia’s mobile GPU pricing structure. To be fair, AMD employs a similar practice, marking up its own mobile parts to cost significantly more than their desktop equivalents.

We're sure both companies would try to justify the increase with discussions of thermal engineering and volume. But it's hard to ignore the naming that at least suggests you're getting something as fast as a GeForce GTX 480 (there is no 485 on the desktop) or Radeon HD 6970, when in fact these are lower-performance versions of derivative chips (in Nvidia's case) or completely different architectures (in AMD's). This is one of those situations where it certainly pays to educate yourself before buying. Customers who don't, and end up drawing those parallels between mobile and desktop model names, are setting themselves up for disappointment.

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  • 1 Hide
    cable4 , February 15, 2011 4:18 AM
    Sweet laptop!
    Now all I have to do is plan a bank robbery to afford it ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , February 15, 2011 5:07 AM
    cable4Sweet laptop! Now all I have to do is plan a bank robbery to afford it
    I think you can save around $1500 and still keep the good graphics card if you're willing to give up the fast processor, SSD, and extra RAM :) 
  • 0 Hide
    lee3821 , February 15, 2011 6:17 AM
    CrashmanI think you can save around $1500 and still keep the good graphics card if you're willing to give up the fast processor, SSD, and extra RAM

    Good point.
    With that taken off price, it looks really appealing, honestly.
    Size+Wieght+Power+Price+Battery=great!
    ...if I wanted a gaming laptop.
    For me, the HD6550M and i5 480M serve me well enough at 1366x768 until I can get back to my kickass desktop.
  • 0 Hide
    Bigmac80 , February 15, 2011 7:48 AM
    I have a pretty good gaming laptop Asus G73. I remember when i bought it i was thinking to myself that this can really change everything because of how fast and how portble it was. But even though i have a fast laptop i still prefer gaming on a desktop.
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , February 15, 2011 8:11 AM
    Too bad you made no comparisons to desktop midrange systems. So we still don't know if it's worth going for only a laptop like this, or getting a cheap i3 laptop for the road and a proper gaming system for stationary use.
  • 0 Hide
    Maziar , February 15, 2011 10:22 AM
    Impressive results. 1:38 is quite good for a gaming notebook like this.
    to neiroatopelcc
    GTX 485M performs between desktop GTS 450 and GTX 460
  • 0 Hide
    bhaberle , February 15, 2011 10:44 AM
    I wouldn't say only seven pounds mate. That is on the heavier side for notebooks. =) But I am glad that laptops are finally not going to be a huge compromise.
  • 0 Hide
    oz73942 , February 15, 2011 11:10 AM
    The batterly life on the review is no where close to what owners are getting. 3 hours under typical daily use ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , February 15, 2011 1:29 PM
    Am I just stupid? What is "Clevo?"
  • 0 Hide
    JackNaylorPE , February 15, 2011 6:56 PM
    WyomingKnottAm I just stupid? What is "Clevo?"


    Most of the brands you heard of don't actually make any laptops. The vast majority of laptops on the market are manufactured by a small handful of Original Design Manufacturers (ODM).

    Major relationships include:

    * Quanta sells to (among others) HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, Acer, NEC, Gateway and Lenovo/IBM - note that Quanta is currently (as of August, 2007) the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world.
    * Compal sells to Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Dell.
    * Positivo Informatica sells to Samsung, Sony, Siragon, Toshiba, HP
    * Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, Acer, and Lenovo/IBM.
    * Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP/Compaq, NEC, and Dell.
    * Itautec sells to Siragon, LG, Samsung, Sony
    * ECS sells to IBM, Fujitsu, and Dell.
    * Asus sells to Apple (iBook), Sony, and Samsung.
    * Inventec sells to HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and BenQ.
    * Lanix sells to Sony, Compaq, Toshiba, Siragon, Itautec
    * Uniwill sells to Lenovo/IBM and Fujitsu & PC World UK own brand Advent.
    * Clevo sells to known boutique brand OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)… notably Sager, VoodooPC, Falcon Northwest, Eurocom, Xoticpc, Prostar, etc.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo/91510-clevo-guide-v2-0-faq-reseller-info.html

    Quote:
    They are also considered (by whoever knows about notebooks) to design and manufacturer the best of the best notebooks in terms of superior build quality and innovative designs
    .
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , February 15, 2011 6:57 PM
    ok...we have high performance laptop...where are the high performance batteries to go with them? why can't they make a small power brick like the ones that apple makes?
  • 0 Hide
    envolva , February 15, 2011 11:05 PM
    What about Optimus or some way to switch between the GTX 485M and the i7 2920XM integrated graphics? Is it something out of reach for these parts?

    I wonder because you absolutely don’t need the GTX while doing mundane work, and the notebook could run for 4+ hours with that battery.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , February 16, 2011 12:06 AM
    envolvaWhat about Optimus or some way to switch between the GTX 485M and the i7 2920XM integrated graphics? Is it something out of reach for these parts?I wonder because you absolutely don’t need the GTX while doing mundane work, and the notebook could run for 4+ hours with that battery.
    Intel demonstrated at CES a compact desktop system that could do that using Lucid software, but I believe we may have to wait for the Z68 before we see it in any retail products. Intel didn't provide the technical details of its demo and if I had urgently wanted to know them, I probably would have been forced to sign an NDA to see them.
  • 0 Hide
    WyomingKnott , February 16, 2011 1:30 PM
    Quote:
    Most of the brands you heard of don't actually make any laptops. The vast majority of laptops on the market are manufactured by a small handful of Original Design Manufacturers (ODM)..
    [/quote]
    Thanks!
  • 0 Hide
    shrapnel_indie , February 16, 2011 6:22 PM
    Why no thermals? I know we got power, and efficiency, but if it can't cool itself well for extended use (say, away from home, and taking care of the gaming urge) it will be wasted money when parts breakdown from being too hot for too long.
  • 0 Hide
    lostandwandering , February 16, 2011 8:49 PM
    envolvaWhat about Optimus or some way to switch between the GTX 485M and the i7 2920XM integrated graphics? Is it something out of reach for these parts?I wonder because you absolutely don’t need the GTX while doing mundane work, and the notebook could run for 4+ hours with that battery.


    I was wondering the same thing and after reading the initial reviews of the white books that were handed out, I was hoping we would see this. The ability to have a gaming laptop that is able to achieve more than 2 hours of battery life would really turn the mobile world on it's head.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , February 16, 2011 10:11 PM
    lostandwanderingI was wondering the same thing and after reading the initial reviews of the white books that were handed out, I was hoping we would see this. The ability to have a gaming laptop that is able to achieve more than 2 hours of battery life would really turn the mobile world on it's head.
    Let's recap before we continue that discussion:
    CrashmanIntel demonstrated at CES a compact desktop system that could do that using Lucid software, but I believe we may have to wait for the Z68 before we see it in any retail products. Intel didn't provide the technical details of its demo and if I had urgently wanted to know them, I probably would have been forced to sign an NDA to see them.
    Intel's NDAs tend to be regressive, so if Intel had asked and I had capitulated I wouldn't have been able to tell you that much. I'd rather have the ability to report a few things than have "total knowledge" and no ability to speak of it.

    What I'm saying is that the technology you seek should be possible, but we will likely have to wait for the public announcements.

  • 0 Hide
    voltagetoe , February 17, 2011 1:50 AM
    Please get proper noise dB tests for everything. Many people buy only quiet computers/components. I'm freaking tired of the fact that PCs get more noisier year by year. It's getting harder and harder to find acceptable hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    lostandwandering , February 17, 2011 3:15 AM
    CrashmanLet's recap before we continue that discussion:


    lol, don't get me wrong. I read what you wrote and fully understand that. One can be hopeful though ;) 

    edit: Like I said, I also read the reviews on the White books that Intel released for Sandy Bridge. Anandtech wrote the same thing you did, the "it's possible" thing. Just hoping to see it in implementation is all.
  • 0 Hide
    msgun98 , February 18, 2011 1:59 AM
    NeBuNok...we have high performance laptop...where are the high performance batteries to go with them? why can't they make a small power brick like the ones that apple makes?


    Because you can't make a small power brick for a computer with that kind of power. Apple can make small power bricks because they use sub-par graphics components in their machines that are at most, 20% the power of the 485m.
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