Nvidia fills out GeForce 400M lineup with seven mobile GPUs


— 11:01 PM on September 2, 2010

At long last, Nvidia has a top-to-bottom lineup of DirectX 11 mobile graphics processors. The company has just introduced seven new GeForce 400M-series graphics processors, which will complement the company's existing, GF100-based GeForce GTX 480M. This is interesting timing for Nvidia, since the firm still hasn't introduced corresponding low-end GeForce 400-series GPUs on the desktop. But I digress...

Nvidia says the new 400M parts, which include the GeForce GTX 470M, GTX 460M, GT 445M, GT 435M, GT425M, GT420M, and GT415M, are up to 40% faster than the 300M-series mobile GeForces they will replace. All seven parts support Optimus switchable graphics technology, and all of the offerings from the GT425M up support GeForce 3D Vision.

In other words, get ready for more notebooks with 120Hz displays and stereoscopic goggles. Nvidia teased a couple in its presentation, suggesting a holiday launch time frame:

All in all, Nvidia says six of the top seven laptop makers—Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba—have GeForce 400M-series notebooks up their sleeves. HP is conspicuously absent from the list. We're told availability should be immediate, but we'll have to study online stocks and e-tail listings to make sure.

If you're like me, you may now be itching for a big, boring table full of numbers. You're in luck. Here are the key details Nvidia has revealed about its 400M GPUs so far:

GPU SPs Core clock (MHz) SP clock (MHz) Max. memory Mem. clock (MHz) Mem. type
GeForce GTX 470M 288 535 1100 1 GB 1250 GDDR5
GeForce GTX 460M 192 675 1350 1 GB 1250 GDDR5
GeForce GT 445M 144 590 1180 1 GB 800/1250 GDDR3/5
GeForce GT 435M 96 650 1300 1 GB up to 800 GDDR3
GeForce GT 425M 96 560 1120 1 GB up to 800 GDDR3
GeForce GT 420M 96 500 1000 512 MB up to 800 GDDR3
GeForce GT 415M 48 500 1000 512 MB up to 800 GDDR3

Surprisingly, Nvidia declined to disclose thermal envelopes, die sizes, or GPU code-names. The firm did stress that all GeForce 400M-series products are based on 40-nm GPUs and are based on its Fermi architecture. Studying the chip shots Nvidia sent us (which we've included in the image gallery below), we can see at least three different GPUs: a large, wide specimen with a heatspreader in the GTX 470M; a square design without a heatspreader in the GTX 460M and GT 445M; and a smaller, also-naked square chip in the GTX 435M. (The 425M, 420M, and 415M all look just like the 435M.)

That wide GPU in the GTX 470M look an awful lot like the GF104 chip that powers Nvidia's desktop GeForce GTX 460. Meanwhile, the larger of the two square chips looks like it'd be right at home on those leaked circuit board shots of a rumored, desktop-bound GeForce GTS 450. That would make it the GF106. Clearly, cheaper Fermi derivatives on the desktop can't be much further off.

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