Nvidia uncloaks GeForce 800M GPU series for gaming notebooks
Seven new chips for ultrathin, ultralight Ultrabooks™
Nvidia has completely revamped its notebook graphics line with a seven-GPU launch of the new GeForce 800M series, four bearing the GeForce GTX moniker and three sans GTX.
The further down the ladder of oomph, the greater the performance boost over the GeForce GTX 7xxM series
The company claims that the GeForce GTX line provides up to 60 per cent performance improvement over similarly numbered GeForce GTX 7xxM chippery, with comparisons based on testing when playing Skyrim, Far Cry 3, and Tomb Raider.
Battery saver might have been a more appropriate name for this technology, which is an automatic, transparent, driver-level tech that dynamically adjusts the power load on components of a gaming system – CPU, GPU, resolution, display brightness, frame rate, and the like — when a notebook is unplugged from the wall. Battery Boost keeps an eye on all these components, adjusting them to maintain a frame rate of 30 frames per second.
Nvidia claims massive battery-life gains using Battery Boost
You can take control of each parameter, should you prefer, or turn it off altogether. According to Cnet, an "expanded" version of Battery Boost will be available next month that will allow you to create profiles on a game-by-game basis. You could, for example, crank up the FPS (frames per second) for an FPS (first-person shooter), or dial them down for a turn-based game and dial up the display quality.
Another new feature – for notebooks – is GeForce ShadowPlay, which had previously been available only for desktop GPUs. ShadowPlay, well, shadows your play, recording in the background up to 20 minutes of gameplay so that after a particularly stunning display of your personal digital cunning, you can save your excellence as a 1080p video trophy.
As Nvidia explains, "Don't just brag about your gaming wins. Show the world with GeForce ShadowPlay."
The hardware H.264 encoder in the new GeForce GTX chips that enables ShadowPlay also brings Nvidia's GameStream tech down from the desktop into notebooks. GameStream, well, streams games over Wi-Fi from a PC to a GameStream-enabled device such as Nvidia's Shield.
The GeForce lineup: What are the cores on the doors?
At the top of the new GeForce 800M series food chain is the GeForce GTX 880M, a 1,536–CUDA core beastie based on Nvidia's 28-nanometer Kepler architecture, running at a boost-able 954MHz. The new GeForce GTX 870M, also based on Kepler, has 1,344 CUDA cores running at 941MHz, also capable of being boosted.
The GeForce GTX 860M is available in two flavors, depending upon a computer manufacturer's needs. One comes with 1,152 Kepler CUDA cores running at 797MHz plus boost, and the second contains 640 of Nvidia's new 28nm Maxwell cores running at 1029MHz – and yes, it's boost-able, as well.
The final new GeForce GTX part, the GeForce GTX 850M, is also based on Maxwell, with 640 CUDA cores running at "up to" 936MHz plus boost. Like all of its more powerful brethren, the GTX 850M has a memory clock of up to 2.5GHz.
The new Nvidia GeForce 800M line, from top ...
... to bottom
All seven of the new GeForce 800M series parts support DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.4, and OpenCL 1.1, and all support PCIe 2.0 and 3.0 except the 820M, which is limited to PCIe 2.0. All of the GTX parts top out at a resolution of 3840-by-2160 pixels on eDP 1.2 (embedded DisplayPort), with the sans-GTX chips supporting up to 2560-by-1600 pixels on eDP 1.2. Each also can be connected over LVDS and VGA at lower resolutions; check their individual links, above, for more information.
"Look for a new generation of thinner, more powerful gaming notebooks featuring our new GeForce 800M series," Nvidia's Mark Aevermann says in his blog post. ®