NVIDIA launches 28nm graphics processor for ultrabooks

NVIDIA is introducing its next-generation graphics processing technology, and along with a new high-end GeForce GTX 680 graphics for desktop gaming, the company has a new mobile solution for ultrabooks and other notebooks.

NVIDIA GeForce 600M

This isn’t a huge surprise. We already knew that the Acer M3 ultrabook would feature an NVIDIA GeForce GT640M graphics processor based on NVIDIA’s new 28nm Kepler architecture.

But it looks like that’s just the first notebook to feature NVIDIA’s new chip. The company is introducing a whole family of chips under the GT 600M name, and NVIDIA says we should expect ultrabooks and notebooks with Kepler chips from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba this year.

The new mobile graphics solution features NVIDA Optimus graphics switching technology, which means that you can pair an NVIDIA graphics chip with Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processors.

When you don’t need the extra graphics capabilities provided by the NVIDIA chip, your computer will automatically use the Intel integrated graphics to save power. But when you’re playing games or performing other tasks that require extra 3D or HD video processing power, the Kepler chip kicks in.

NVIDIA says the new chips are twice as fast as the GeForce GT500M graphics processors for notebooks released in 2011, while using half as much power. That’s important for ultrabooks and other notebooks focused on both performance and long battery life — especially since most ultrabooks do not feature removable batteries.

While a discrete graphics chip makes it possible to play seriously detailed video games on the go, the 600M family isn’t only useful for gamers. Other apps that support hardware graphics acceleration including Photoshop for editing images and vReveal for processing videos can also run twice as fast on a device with NVIDIA graphics than one with Intel graphics alone.

  • http://www.ultrabooknews.com chippy

    In comparison with ‘IGP’ it’s obviously HD 3000 they will be comparing with. I wouldn’t recommend anyone runs out and buys a discreet-graphics Ultrabook before Ivy Bridge HD 4000 has been fully tested. 

  • MonkeyKing1969

    The space computers hold in our lives and the sheer amount of computers some people keep on their person is getting weird.  It almost argues for the CELL architecture IBM, Sony and Toshiba tried to introduce six years ago where chips in multiple devices would communicate to tackle shared processing jobs.  

    I’m sure if today Apple demonstrated the same CELL tech and said, “Your iPad 4 will be twice as fast if you own a iPhone 6.  Moreover, your iPad and iPhone will both be five times faster at video processing or touching up images if your MacBook can communicate with either device!!!” People would buy more Apple devices - despite the fact that processing intensive apps you want to use on a touch screen would be few.

  • Mark

    Any advantages to discrete graphics if you don’t play games and edit photos/videos? I do encode videos using x264 but that only uses the CPU.

    • CyberGusa

       There are encoders that could take advantage of hardware acceleration to speed the process up and reduce CPU load, though Ivy Bridge HD 4000 should be able to provide that feature and cover more of the basics than any previous Intel GMA.

      So you’ll likely not be the type who would benefit much from discrete graphics if you don’t need any high performance graphical features.

    • Nick

      The software that use the embedded encoders of GPUs aren’t very good (Cyberlink and some others). They also
      have a very short list of features. I tried looking into them and they
      hardly had good (if any) support for embedded subtitles to just name one
      missing feature. They are really just targeted towards people wanting
      to upload to YouTube or transcoding videos for phones/tablets.

      If you’re using x264 and related tools then it’s better to
      just keep using them. Discrete graphics won’t help you at
      all.