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Friday, 03 September 2010 21:58

Nvidia expects to regain lead notebook position with Geforce 400M

Written by Jon Worrel

nvidia

An ambitious but difficult challenge

Following its top-to-bottom launch lineup of Fermi-based Geforce 400M Series mobile GPUs, corporate figures within Nvidia have announced their expectations for the company to gain back a leading position in the graphics card market in the second half of 2010.

Rene Haas, general manager of notebook product business at Nvidia, has pointed out that the Geforce 400M Series graphics chips have already been adopted by top global OEMs including Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung Electronics, Toshiba and MSI for upcoming notebook products. Haas also commented on Nvidia's relationship with Sony and Apple, who recently turned to adopt AMD's discreet Mobility Radeon HD 5000 Series graphics chips for their latest notebook products. He explained that Nvidia still maintains a close relationship with the two firms and assures that both partners are still adopting Nvidia GPUs for some of their products. At this point, however, it is unclear whether Sony and Apple will choose to adopt Mobility Radeon HD 6000 Series or Geforce 400M Series graphics chips for their next-generation notebook products to be unveiled in the early half of next year.

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With this successive generation of mobile GPUs, Nvidia is heavily emphasizing its Optimus Technology and 3D Vision, which will also be accompanied by 3DTV play. As a protection mechanism to ensure maximum GPU driver stability, the company has introduced Verde notebook drivers over the past few months. The program is essentially designed to offer first-party GPU drivers for Nvidia discreet mobile GPUs, rather than having consumers rely on third-party OEM refresh schedules which have screwed over both AMD and Nvidia in the past.

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Nvidia announced two notebooks in particular with high-end Geforce 400M Series GPUs at the IFA 2010 show in Berlin. The first is the ASUS G53Jw, powered by a Geforce GTX 460M with support for 3D Vision. The second is the Acer Aspire 5745DG, powered by a Geforce GT 425M with support for 3D Vision. Thanks to the feedback of many 3D Vision customers over the past several months, both notebooks will become the first to integrate the 3D Vision emitter right into the LCD display bezel. Mark Aevermann, Nvidia Geforce Product Manager, recently posted a YouTube video demonstrating the features of Geforce 400M-equipped notebooks with Optimus Technology arriving for the upcoming holiday season.

With a mobile DirectX 11 Fermi-based launch schedule arriving six months after AMD's introduction of Mobility Radeon HD 5000 Series parts, many expect Nvidia will face several hurdles in order to catch up with the competition. Nevertheless, the architectural performance improvements yielded in this new generation of mobile chips is a significant leap for the company. At this time, no analysts have received review samples of the new Geforce 400M Series GPUs other than the GTX 480M released back in April, and therefore it is difficult to put a finger on the specific comparative differences between Geforce 400M and Mobility Radeon HD 5000 chips. Nevertheless, we expect AMD will introduce its Mobility Radeon HD 6000 Series refresh chips by the time CES 2011 comes around in January, and this will pose yet another performance obstacle for Nvidia's new GF104, GF106 and GF108 chips.

Last modified on Friday, 03 September 2010 23:47

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New GeForce 400M Series Notebook GPUs Mark Aevermann, Nvidia Geforce Product Manager
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