updated 10:05 am EDT, Wed May 9, 2007
NVIDIA GeForce 8M
After numerous leaks, NVIDIA today has rolled out its officially-titled GeForce 8M series of mobile graphics chips. The GPUs are the first to support unified shaders in portables, enabling full DirectX 10 support for Vista as well as improved OpenGL for faster 3D. The architecture can be twice as quick as the last generation, NVIDIA claims. Just as important is video decoding: like the desktop GeForce 8600, the 8M can accelerate the entire H.264 video process, making it easy to play Blu-Ray, HD DVD, and other 1080p-native movies on a notebook without siphoning away CPU and memory resources.
Two models make up the initial introduction with multiple speed grades each, the company says. The 8400M is geared towards thinner, lighter, or less expensive notebooks with more modest demands; it starts with the most basic 8400M G with 8 stream (shader) processors and a 400MHz core, and finishes with the 8400M GT using 16 stream processors with a 450MHz core. The 8600M is bulit for gamers and other demanding users and starts more aggressively, beginning with the 16 stream units and 600MHz core of the 8600M GS and ending with the 8600M GT that drops the core to 475MHz in exchange for 32 stream processors.
Notebooks using the new GeForce hardware should be available shortly from several computer builders, including Toshiba's just-announced Qosmio G45 as well as systems from ACer, ASUS, HP, and others to be announced later.