Notebooks once again caught up with their desktop counterparts this week as nVidia rolled out its latest mobile GPUs.
Dropping the traditional 'GeForce Go' branding, the 'GeForce 8M Series' is based on the company's flagship 8xxx range of full size products. Like their bigger brothers, the 8Ms will be fully DirectX 10 compatible and support HD video playback via either HD DVD, Blu-ray or Internet downloads.
A remarkable 15 mobile GPUs will surface from the range with parts stretching from low performance budget offerings like the 8400M G with just eight unified shaders and a 400MHz core clock rate right up to the 8600M GT with 32 unified shaders and a 700MHz core clock. All will be Vista Aero compatible (which means a minimum of 128MB RAM) with the ability to connect up to a minimum of 256MB RAM with the higher end 8600Ms enabling up to 512MB.
nVidia is promising the new range will "deliver up to 2x the performance of previous generation GPUs for Windows Vista, DirectX 10 games and mainstream applications".
Other than raw performance, the 8Ms also add an AES128 encryption engine and bitstream processor which shifts much of the weight of decoding HD content from the CPU and to the GPU. The result is reduced power consumption and a faster OS during intensive multitasking.
So this week we have Santa Rosa and 8M series graphics, time to upgrade that dusty old laptop...