The All-New G92?
Bringing high-end performance to the upper-mainstream masses, the 8800 GTS 512 might be the most exciting PC gaming product…of 2007. But rather than wax nostalgic for its G92 architecture, Nvidia has rehashed and revised it, first naming it the 9800 series, then shrinking it from 65 to 55nm for the G92b, and finally moving to 40nm for its latest mainstream-mobile variant. So far, so good!
But then came the naming games. Knowingly pulling one over on mobile gamers looking to buy the latest notebook products, Nvidia re-named the 8800 GTS 512 (in its 55nm, 1 GB trim) to GeForce GTX 280M. Today’s notebook comparison shows that this sneaky maneuver probably wasn’t necessary in order to win over performance-oriented customers, but may instead be intended to woo unwary buyers as they drop out of the desktop market.
That sounds like harsh criticism, so let’s have a look at the actual specs of each mobile processor to see how accurate it is.
|Mobile GPU Feature Comparison|
|Mobile Model||Die Process||Stream Processors||Memory Bus||Mobile GFlops||Desktop Version||Die Process||Desktop GFlops|
|GeForce GTX 280M||55nm||128||256-bits||562||8800 GTS||65nm||624|
|GeForce GTX 260M||55nm||112||256-bits||462||8800 GT||65nm||504|
|GeForce GTS 260M||40nm||96||128-bits||396||8800 GS||65nm||396|
The computational power might be a little lower for the mobile version than the elder desktop parts, but we’re willing to give up a little clock speed to keep heat production and power consumption at notebook-acceptable levels. What we’re not willing to give up is an entire generation of graphics development while paying for the latest “high-performance” product in name only.
To be fair, Nvidia is far from the only offender, yet we remember previous products like the Radeon Mobility 9700 (based on the 9600 XT) being much closer in performance to the desktop part from which it took its name. Indeed, the aforementioned notebook comparison even shows a Mobility Radeon HD 4850 that differs from its desktop counterpart in clock speed alone, not architecture.
Eurocom’s recent delivery of a desktop Core i7-based mobile solution gave us the perfect opportunity to see how well Nvidia’s most recent high-end notebook graphics processor stands up to last year’s desktop-performance phenomena of similar name.