Out With The Old, In With The New
Every so often, a new technology reaches the mobile market that brings shock and awe to high-end buyers. Recent advances, such as Intel’s Clarksfield-based Core i7 processors (last fall) and AMD’s Mobility Radeon HD 5870 (in the spring) have finally introduced mainstream performance computing power back to the world of notebooks. But weren’t those advances immediately preceded by a new Nvidia product?
As it turns out, the refresh cycle for notebook tech is far longer than that of desktops, and graphics have become one of the best examples of this disparity. While desktop gamers expect biannual updates and major architecture improvements every 18 months, notebook enthusiasts watched with chagrin as NVidia’s three-year old G92 architecture was continuously rehashed, relabeled, and revamped from the 8800-series all the way up to the so-called GeForce GTX 285M, last winter.
Widely panned for applying the model numbers of revolutionary desktop parts to evolutionary notebook products, Nvidia finally saw the writing on the wall: it was time to try something different. Welcome the truly new, DX11-compatible GeForce GTX 480M!
Based on its now well-known Fermi architecture, the GeForce GTX 480M eschews the furnace-like power consumption and heat production of its namesake part through several carefully-devised optimizations, one of which must surely be a reduction in voltage.
Yet, while a voltage cut would certainly require a corresponding reduction in clock rate compared to the desktop part, the place where Nvidia really needs its new GPU to shine is a market dominated by the formerly-mentioned GeForce GTX 285M and AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5870. AVADirect made that comparison possible by configuring its Clevo W880CU based notebook with internal components identical to those of its previously-reviewed W860CU.
|AVADirect W880CU Component List
|Clevo W880CU Core i7 17.3" Barebone, Intel PM55 Express, MXM-III Discrete Graphics
|Intel Core i7-820QM Quad-Core 1.733 GHz, 2.5 GT/s QPI, 8 MB L3 Cache, 45 nm, 45 W, OEM
|Kingston 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) PC3-10666 DDR3-1333 MHz SDRAM SO-DIMM, CL9, 1.5 V, Non-ECC
|Nvidia GeForce GTX 480M 2 GB GDDR5 Mobile Graphics Card
|17.3" "Full HD" Glossy TFT, 1920x1080
|Integrated HD Audio
|Built-in Fingerprint Reader
|Corsair 128GB Nova Series SSD, MLC, 270/195 MB/s, 2.5-Inch, SATA 3 Gb/s, Retail
|Matshita UJ-240A Blu-ray Re-Writer
|Multi-Format Flash Media Interface
|Intel Ultimate-N 6300, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, 11/54/450 Mb/s, Internal Mini PCIe Card
|CastleNet BTC04R Bluetooth Module
|Built-in 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet
|Integrated IEEE-1394 FireWire 400 controller
|Integrated 56K V90/92 Fax/Modem
|3 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0
|1 x ExpressCard 54
|1 x eSATA 3Gb/s
|Headphone, Microphone, Line-In, Digital Out Jacks
|1x Dual-Link DVI-I w/VGA Adapter, 1x HDMI
|Power & Weight
|180W Power Brick, 100-240V AC to 19V DC
|11.1V 3800mAh (42.18Wh) Single
|Notebook 8.6lbs, AC Adapter 2.2lbs, Total 10.8 pounds
|Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition, OEM
|Row 31 - Cell 0
|RJ11 Telephone Cord
|Row 32 - Cell 0
|DVI-I to VGA Adapter Block
|Row 33 - Cell 0
|Row 34 - Cell 0
|Deluxe Nylon Notebook Bag
|OEM System Recovery (secure HDD partition only)
|Standard 1-Year Warranty
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It plays Crysis!Reply
....all of these notebooks must be plugged into a power outlet before gaming commences.I think that sums it up.
LmeowPortable vasectomy!LOL +1Reply
Quite a surprise on the power consumption...Reply
That's a crazy heat pipe setup...Reply
Agree on the naming thing on the last page, that would be helpful.
Before its launch,it was rumored that it will have a much higher power consumption than 5870M, but now it seems they are close
"Notice that the component on the left uses both fans and has two-thirds the total number of heat pipes" Ummmmm if I'm looking at the picture correctly the GPU and the majority of the heat pipes are on the Right, you may want to retype that.Reply
are there no temperatures for gpu in article or i missed it?Reply
The funny thing is, AMD actually DID use the naming scheme you like in their LAST generation of mobile GPU's. The Mobility 4850 matched the standard 4850's number of stream processors, albeit with lower clock speeds. Same with the Mobility 4870 and Mobility 4870x2.Reply
They changed it in response to Nvidia's naming scheme, which is a shame. I liked the matching of desktop/laptop performance to names, too. :/