After some the time waiting for the next generation of graphics chips Nvidia has finally announced their new Series 600 full range of mobile GPUs, but it appears not all of them will be based on the new Kepler architecture. Those new GPUs include Nvidia GeForce GTX 675M, GeForce GTX 670M, and GeForce GTX 660M in the enthusiast segment; GeForce GT 650M, GeForce GT 640M, GeForce GT 640M LE, GeForce GT 635M in the performance segment and GeForce GT 620M in the mainstream segment. And the 610M based on the older Fermi architecture has been available already for a while in notebooks, so it is nothing new actually. These new graphics processors should be starting to make their way in the latest offerings from different laptop makers, with Acer being the first on the market with their Acer Aspire M3-581TG Ultrabook that comes based on Intel’s Sandy Bridge platform and is equipped with GeForce GT 640M GPU. But there should soon be others coming with the next generation mobile platform from Intel expected to be released very soon…
But what is so interesting about this new Acer Aspire M3 Ultrabook? Well, the fact that this is actually the first Ultrabook to come on the market with a discrete GPU on-board and not only with integrated graphics in the CPU. And the GeForce GT 640M has 384 processor cores running at 625 MHz with 1GB memory making it pretty fast for a mobile graphics chip, so you can actually get the best of both worlds – mobility and performance. Te new GeForce GT 640M comes as a replacement for the previous generation 540M Fermi GPU, bringing significant performance increase and making you able to play most recent games in High detail levels. The laptop comes with support for Nvidia’s Optimus technology bringing extended battery life (up to 8 hours according to specs) when the extra graphics power is not required. And now the not so good news, while the GPU supports 3D Vision and 3DTV Play, the fact that the laptop uses Optimus is still kind of making the laptop unable to work with external HDMI 1.4 3D displays in stereo 3D mode. I was hoping that Nvidia was finally able to make the Optimus technology play nice with 3D Vision and 3DTV Play, but it seems we’ll have to wait some more for that to happen, hoping that it will actually happen. And while the 640M does support both 3DTV Play and 3D Vision, there are two GPUs from the mobile 600 Series that according to Nvidia will not support them, these are the mainstream models GeForce GT 620M and GeForce 610M. There is some light in the tunnel though, I’ve noticed “Optimus for 3D Vision” mentioned for an upcoming laptop from Toshiba that will be featuring GeForce GTX 670M GPU. And while that laptop will probably have a 3D-capable display it is interesting to see what Nvidia has done to make 3D Vision play nice with Optimus in the Toshiba Qosmio X870.
Now, moving on to a bit more details about what the new Series 600 mobile GPUs from Nvidia will be, the top two high-end models GeForce GTX 675M, GeForce GTX 670M all be based on a revised Fermi architecture, so no Kepler here unfortunately and the bit slower GeForce GTX 660M will be the highest-end mobile Kepler product for now. We’ll probably have to wait some more for a really high-end model, probably 680M to be released, hopefully based on the Kepler architecture as the difference in terms of performance between these three GPUs most likely isn’t that high, considering that their specifications are quite close to each other.
Moving on to GeForce GT 650M and GeForce GT 640M, GeForce GT 640M LE and GeForce GT 635M. The GT 650M and 640M are based on the 28nm Kepler architecture, while GT 640M LE will apparently have a Fermi and a Kepler version making it more confusing for the users while the GT 635M will be a Fermi-based chip. Looking at the specs of the GeForce GT 650M and GeForce GT 640M they seem to be not that much lower compared than the higher-end models above.
And moving to the lower-end products GeForce GT 630M and GeForce GT 620M we can see something else interesting – they are both based on Fermi architecture, but the GT 630M will have a 28 and 40 nm versions while the GT 620M will be only available in a 28 nm chip.
And from all the new announced so far laptops that will be featuring the new mobile GPUS from Nvidia the Toshiba Qosmio X870 seems to be the only interesting model for anyone interested in getting a mobile 3D-capable solution. If you remember, Toshiba was eager to announce the Qosmio X870 earlier this month, but without revealing much details about the GPU and CPU. And now we know it will feature the GeForce GT 670M, so definitely a higher-end 17.3-inch mobile solution meant for gamers and enthusiasts. Hopefully more laptop makers will have mobile 3D-capable solutions based on the new GPUs from Nvidia as even the GeForce GT 640M can handle quite well games in stereo 3D mode on a 1366×768 resolution display, much better than a 540M can. And hopefully with the new GPUs introduced we are also finally going to be seeing some interesting ultra-portable laptops with 3D display coming in up to 13-14-inch display size as well, but the last one is just wishful thinking.