As you have probably already read, ATI has just launched the Mobility Radeon 9700 and claims that it is the fastest mobile graphics chip ever. This doesn’t mean that nVidia hasn’t been busy getting its own products ready and the latest and greatest mobile solution from nVidia is the new GeForce FX Go5700. This might not sound like it’s going to offer the Mobility Radeon 9700 a lot of competition, but nVidia thinks differently.
The GeForce FX Go5700 has been completely revamped compared to the GeForce FX Go5650 and should prove to be a far superior graphics chipset. How it compares to the Mobility Radeon 9700 is a different matter and something time will tell once products are available. Looking at the specifications, the Go5700 has been equipped with three Vertex engines compared to one of the Go5650 and it is capable of twice as many floating point operations per clock cycle.
nVidia has also incorporated some new features, namely UltraShadow and IntelliSample HCT. Let’s start with the easy one. IntelliSample HCT which is an improved anti-aliasing engine with high-resolution texture compression which you’ll find on the latest nVidia desktop parts. UltraShadow on the other hand is an occlusion culling technology for shadows. This is very similar to the technology used in normal 3D graphics where parts of the scene that are not visible won’t be drawn. The only difference here is that shadows that aren’t possible or not seen won’t be drawn.
Other improvements include HDTV support and HD (High Definition) video playback as well as component video output. And most crucially of course, the speed increase, but this is dependant on the type of laptop you buy and the manufacturer. The speed should vary between 350/300MHz (GPU/Memory) for slim and light laptops to 450/300MHz (GPU/Memory) for desktop replacement laptops.
The final changes are lower operating voltage at 1.1v compared to 1.18v on the FX Go5650 and PowerMizer 4.0 power management. This adds support for more advanced power management features, although half of the features in PowerMizer 4.0 are not yet available on current laptops.
nVidia is also promising a range of new software features, such as an improved video encoder that will take advantage of some of the hardware features of the Go5700.
While there’s also improved DVD playback and better colour reproduction that should allow for more details during video playback. How this pans out is hard to tell before we get our hands on a production sample, but during the presentation hosted by nVidia some video clips where shown that where very impressive.
All in all it looks like it’s going to be an interesting year in mobile graphics and nVidia is promising an Ultra part of the Go5700, the GeForce FX Go5750 which should improve even further on the performance estimates of the Go5700.
As soon as we get our hands on sample notebooks with both the new ATI and nVidia chipsets we’ll be able to make some performance comparisons.