GeForce 9M GPUs arrive in style with Hybrid SLI

The GeForce 9600M GT. Source: Nvidia.

Nvidia has announced a new GeForce 9M series of mobile graphics processors, bringing Hybrid SLI and some other new GPU goodies to notebooks.

Hybrid SLI includes two technologies: Hybrid Power, which allows an integrated GPU to trade off with a discrete GPU to save power, and GeForce Boost, which lets two similarly powered GPUs work in tandem to improve 3D graphics performance. Nvidia says Hybrid SLI in notebooks will "deliver more performance . . . when needed, or save power by switching to the low-power GPU when not." The mobile flavors of Hybrid SLI will likely require an Nvidia integrated graphics chipset like in desktop systems.

The GeForce 9M GPUs include new and improved PureVideo HD video processing features, including support for the Blu-ray Profile 2.0 and Blu-ray Live standards.  They also can support HDMI 1.3 and DisplayPort 1.1 display outputs and the latest MXM graphics module specification (version 3.0).

Nvidia claims the GeForce 9M series "delivers up to 40% faster performance than the previous generation of GeForce notebook GPUs." That said, the mainstream GeForce 9M models Nvidia is unveiling today might look a little stripped-down next to their desktop siblings:

Mobile GPU SPs GigaFLOPS Mem. interface width Mem. bandwidth GeForce Boost Hybrid Power
GeForce 9650M GT 32? 132 128-bit 26GB/s No Yes
GeForce 9600M GT 32 120 128-bit 26GB/s No Yes
GeForce 9600M GS 32 103 128-bit 26GB/s No Yes
GeForce 9500M G 16 60 128-bit 26GB/s Yes Yes
GeForce 9400M G 16? 57.6 128-bit 21GB/s Yes Yes
GeForce 9300M GS 8 34.8 64-bit 11GB/s Yes Yes
GeForce 9200M GS 8 31.2 64-bit 11GB/s Yes Yes
GeForce 9100M G 8 24 128-bit 21GB/s Yes Yes
GeForce 8200M G 8 17.2 64-bit 10GB/s No No

Compare those to the specs for GeForce 8400M and GeForce 8600M, and you'll see striking similarities: stream processor counts ranging from 8 to 32, along with memory interface widths of 64- and 128-bits. That said, the 9M line does have four models with 32 SPs instead of just one.

If you're wondering why there's a low-end GeForce 8200M G in the table above, it's because Nvidia seems to have decided to roll it out together with the GeForce 9M series. Also, Nvidia hasn't told us SP counts for the GeForce 9650M GT and GeForce 9400M G. Based on how their gigaFLOPS ratings fit in the rest of the lineup, though, we believe the former has 32 SPs and the latter 16 SPs.

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