updated 10:40 am EDT, Tue August 12, 2008
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700M
NVIDIA this morning made official upgrades to its Quadro FX notebook line that carry over lessons learned from the desktop GTX and mobile 9800M lines to pro-level graphics. Each chip is now capable of not only accelerating video but performing general computing at the same time using NVIDIA's CUDA language. The change lets the graphics processors work alongside the main system processor to speed up digital media editing, scientific calculations, and other more universal tasks.
The range is headlined by the Quadro FX 3700M and 2700M, both of which are aimed at 17-inch desktop replacements such as the ThinkPad W700. They include 128 and 48 graphics effects cores each, all of which support general computing, and both have a faster 256-bit memory path. The 3700M also holds up to 1GB of video memory while the less demanding 2700M can use 512MB.
Multiple chips are also available for 15.4-inch and smaller notebooks, NVIDIA says: the 1700M drops to 32 cores and a 128-bit interface to lower its power needs, while the 770M has similar features for lower-power environments. The 370M is designed for the smallest systems the Quadro FX can support and uses just eight cores and a 64-bit interface.
All the graphics options are being built into new notebooks as of today, though ship dates for these systems vary. Dell, Fujitsu, HP, and Lenovo are all launch partners. Other operating systems aren't mentioned, though CUDA is also supported in Mac OS X.
High-end workstation users also receive an upgrade to the Quadro Plex external line; the 2200 D2 and 2100 D4 each use NVIDIA's newest Quadro FX desktop cards in groups to help process 3D modeling and other high-end tasks. The 2200 D2 uses two newer FX 5800 cards with a combined 480 cores, while the 2100 D4 uses slower FX 4700 cards but uses four of them to improve performance with multiple displays. NVIDIA sells the Quadro Plex line itself and starts them at $10,750 when they go on sale this fall.