NVIDIA Launches World's Fastest Notebook GPUs
6/28/2011 by: Theo Valich
Today, NVIDIA launched GeForce GTX 570M and GTX 580M, claiming their stake for the title of world's fastest mobile graphics processors. Both parts are based on GF114 GPU (also powering desktop GTX 560Ti cards), a two billion transistor chip that delivers a lot of performance for the money.
GeForce GTX 580M
Just as the name goes, the 580 represents single fastest GPU NVIDIA is offering to the market, that being in desktop or mobile form. The chip packs "up to" 384 cores, which means some OEMs could cut 48 cores in order to keep the power consumption down, and the same "up to" was used when describing the clocks of the part.
Should your notebook manufacturer deliver the maximum specification, GTX 580M comes with 384 cores ticking at 1.24GHz (GPU operates at 620MHz) and a 256-bit memory interface with connects to 2GB of GDDR5 memory. NVIDIA clocked the memory at 750MHz QDR, i.e. 3GT/s. Combining 256-bit memory width with three billion transfers per second gets you 96GB/s - third best bandwidth in the notebook world: AMD comes first with 115.2GB/s on Mobility Radeon HD 6950M and HD 6970M.
NVIDIA-sanctioned claim that GTX 580M is 30-40% faster than competing Radeon HD 6970M 2GB
However, one look at performance chart (provided by NVIDIA) reveals that 384 processing cores tick better than 192 VLIW5 units (960 cores) inside AMD's Mobility Radeons.
The chip is packed in MXM 3.0b format and while the company representatives declined to reveal the power consumption, MXM 3.0b is pegged at 100 Watt TDP and we presume that the GTX 580M consumes 100W or just a little bit below the triple digit mark. This figure would go in line with GTX 470M/485M, as well as competing HD6950M/HD6970M.
Good example of just how efficient the new GTX 580M is the comparison with its predecessor. GeForce GTX 485M was launched just couple of months ago and was based on GF104 silicon. GTX 485M featured the identical number of cores (384) and a full 256-bit memory controller with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. As GTX 485M operated at 575MHz for the core and 1.15GHz for the cores, the GTX 580M offers 9% higher GPU and core clock at the same power envelope.
GeForce GTX 570M
GeForce GTX 570M Specs reveal that you can have up to 1GB GDDR5 more than on GTX 580M
Moving one step lower, NVIDIA also introduced Geforce GTX 570M. As expected, this part is based on GF114 GPU silicon with one 48-core cluster disabled, meaning you have "up to" 336 CUDA cores and a 192-bit memory controller at your disposal.
The interesting part is that this part is available with either 1.5 or even 3GB of GDDR5 memory. It sounds a bit "off" to hear that a lower numbered part comes with more video memory, but NVIDIA has no choice - putting 4GB of GDDR5 memory on GTX 580M is cost-prohibitive and removes the option to run on 32-bit operating systems (seriously, is there a gamer that would run a 32-bit OS with GTX 500M-class of GPUs?).
The memory ticks at 750MHz QDR, i.e. the identical three billion transfers per second, achieving 72GB/s of video memory bandwidth. Performance-wise, NVIDIA pitches this part against AMD Mobility Radeon HD6950, even though in some tests you could expect it to beat HD6970M.
NVIDIA had three notebook manufacturing partners that came to aid in the launch of GeForce GTX 570M and 580M. The manufacturers in question are Alienware, Clevo and MSI. Alienware (18.4" M18x) and MSI (17.3" GT780R) offer retail notebooks, while two models from Clevo (17.3" P170HM3, 18.4" P270WM) are intended to numerous system integrators which will finish the assembly process for their customers.
Alienware M18x and Clevo P270WM support two GeForce GTX 580M in SLI mode, while Clevo P170HM3 and P270WM offer an option for 3D Vision-enabled, i.e. 120Hz LED-backlit display. All four notebooks are offering Intel Core i7 processors and a Full HD resolution (1080p).
These notebooks are shipping as of today and are configurable on respective websites.
Optimus and 3D Vision Don't Mix'n'Match
The company still hasn't managed to resolve the situation between Optimus technology and 3D Vision. If you select a 3D Vision-enabled LCD display, you cannot have Optimus functionality. The reason for this is very simple - integrated graphics processor inside Core i5/i7 processors doesn't support 120Hz panel resolution and thus, Optimus cannot use the Intel's iGFX to put the 3D display onto the screen.
When Intel releases a 3D-supporting graphics co-processor, then NVIDIA (and AMD, for that matter) will be able to attach their GPUs to Intel's Core processors and have dynamic switching and 3D at the same time.
NVIDIA has a good notebook lineup in the highest of all ranges, the 100 Watt TDP. However, we'll reserve the final judgment until after we receive a notebook with the respective cards. As we all know, everything sounds great on paper, while delivering on promised experience is another thing.
NVIDIA, NVDA, GeForce, GeForce.com, Verde, GTX 570M, GTX 580M, GTX570M, GTX580M, Fermi, GF114, 192-bit, 256-bit, 1.5GB, 2GB, 3GB, GDDR5, GDDR5 memory, GPU, GPGPU, CUDA, 3D Vision, 3DTV, 3DTV Play, Optimus, Optimus Technology, 120Hz, Alienware, Clevo, MSI
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