Nvidia launches five 40nm mobile GPUs

The GeForce 200M series just got a whole lot bigger. Nvidia has announced five new mainstream entrants to the mobile GPU lineup, all of which pack a brand-new 40nm graphics processor with DirectX 10.1 support.

Unlike the GeForce GTX 280M and 260M, which feature a tweaked 55nm G92 GPU, these latest mobile offerings are derived from the same architecture as the GT200 GPU seen in desktop GeForce GTX 200 cards. Nvidia has gone a few steps further, moving to a state-of-the-art 40nm process, adding DirectX 10.1 and GDDR5 memory support (both firsts for GeForce products), and making "adjustments in the micro-architecture to improve battery life and overall graphics performance compared to the previous generation."

If you were expecting a super-high-end 40nm behemoth, though, think again. The fastest of Nvidia's new mobile offerings only has 96 stream processors—a far cry from the GT200's 240 SPs. Here's how specs break down across the five newcomers:

Model GeForce G210M GeForce GT 230M GeForce GT 240M GeForce GTS 250M GeForce GTS 260M
gigaFLOPS 72 158 174 360 396
SPs 16 48 48 96 96
Core clock 625MHz 500MHz 550MHz 500MHz 550MHz
Shader clock 1500MHz 1100MHz 1210MHz 1250MHz 1375MHz
Memory clock 800MHz 800MHz 800MHz 1600MHz 1800MHz
Memory bus 64-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit
TDP 14W 23W 23W 28W 38W

Thanks in part to architectural improvements, relatively high clock speeds, and GDDR5 memory support, Nvidia tells us the GTS 260M is actually almost as fast as the older GTX 260M. (As we told you in March, the GTX 260M has 112 SPs, a 256-bit memory interface, and GDDR3 memory support.) In case Nvidia's model numbering scheme doesn't make sense to you, here's how the new cards officially match up against previous offerings:

Looking at the bottom of the ladder, Nvidia claims the new GeForce G210M delivers up to twice the performance of the old GeForce G110M with 50% lower idle power draw.

The company goes on to say we should see the new GPUs in "over 100" notebook designs by the end of the year. Competing designs will likely carry AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 4860 and 4830, which came out three months ago and also have 40nm DirectX 10.1 GPUs with 128-bit GDDR5 memory interfaces.

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