GeForce 600M Notebooks: Powerful and Efficient
March 22nd, 2012
By Andrew Burnes
The use of laptops and notebooks in day to day life has risen dramatically, and with their growing adoption, the demand for both longer battery life and faster performance has been unrelenting. Lacking any new breakthroughs in battery technology, system builders now rely on efficiency improvements from hardware vendors to drive progress and increase the cordless longevity of their popular products.
In 2011, we released the GeForce 500M series, sporting improved efficiency and performance compared to the previous-generation GeForce 400M chips. Notably, the new chip series featured our award-winning Optimus technology, which intelligently enables and disables the GeForce GPU as needed, resulting in greatly improved battery life.
Today, we’re announcing our new, NVIDIA GeForce 600M series mobile GPUs, the first of which is in Acer’s Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG, available from e-tailers now. Dozens of models will follow in the near future alongside the launch of Intel’s Ivy Bridge, a new platform offering increased performance and a number of new features.
Performance Efficiency: The Real Measure Of A Notebook GPU
The most important consideration for notebooks is battery life, and to get great battery life you need a GPU that has great performance per watt.
Compared to the 500M series, the 600M series is twice as efficient, resulting in faster frame rates and increased detail levels on chips that draw less power, which in turn increases battery life, reduces heat and noise output, and allows manufacturers to create super slim models. For a detailed look at the inner workings of the new 600-series chips, and in-depth info on how their efficiency is achieved, please check out our accompanying architecture article.
The entry-level GeForce GT 620M is twice as fast as its predecessor in Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s demanding DirectX 11 rendering mode, allowing users to crank up detail settings whilst maintaining playable frame rates.
On the flip side, those same improvements can instead be used to match the performance of previous generations, albeit in far smaller, lighter chassis, with a longer battery life.
The ultra-thin, ultra-light GT 640M ultrabook runs Battlefield 3 at over 30 frames per second in High Detail, but in 2010 you’d only find that level of performance in a back-breaking desktop replacement rig with only two hours of juice away from the power port.
Across the 600M range we have six GeForce GT models, each offering up to twice the performance of their equivalent 500M models, and up to ten times the performance of Integrated Graphics Processors (IGP). Designed with day-to-day usage, multimedia consumption, and gaming-on-the go-in mind, GeForce 600M notebooks give gamers excellent performance without sacrificing battery life.
|600M GPU||610M||GT 620M||GT 630M||GT 635M||GT 640M LE||GT 640M||GT 650M|
|Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)||7.2||10||12.8||16.2||16||20||27.2|
|Memory Interface Width||64-bit||128-bit||128-bit||192-bit||128-bit||128-bit||128-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)||14.4||28.8||32||43.2||28.8||64||64|
As mentioned, the first 600M notebook to arrive is Acer’s GT 640M Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG. Supporting a 2nd generation Sandy Bridge Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, up to 6GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, the Ultra M3 weighs in at 5 pounds, is only 20mm thick, and runs for up to 8 hours on a single charge. Despite its thin and light form factor, the Acer Ultrabook powered by the GeForce GT 640M can easily handle the latest games at higher detail settings.
- Batman: Arkham City, 51 FPS: DirectX 9, Very High detail preset, tessellation off, PhysX off, FXAA High.
- Battlefield 3, 34.7 FPS: Ultra detail preset, FXAA High, 16xAF.
- DiRT 3, 34.9 FPS: Ultra detail preset, no AA.
- Metro 2033, 30.5 FPS: High detail preset, DirectX 11 enabled, no AA.
- Shogun 2: Total War, 35.8 FPS: High detail preset, 4xMSAA.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, 31.3 FPS: High detail preset, 8xMSAA, 8xAF.
- StarCraft II, 71.7 FPS: Ultra detail preset, High Texture Quality, no AA.
With settings cranked we’re showing the maximum capabilities of the GT 640M, and though there’s no anti-aliasing in several of the tests, users can enable NVIDIA Control Panel Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing to improve fidelity, as detailed in our GeForce 301.10 WHQL driver release article.
Our relative performance chart reveals that the GT 640M is 97.7% faster than the entry-level GT 620M, and that the GT 650M is even faster, clocked running 151.6% faster.
Using medium graphics settings the above games all run at over 30 frames per second on the GT 620M. On the GT 640M, users can reinvest the extra performance in higher detail levels to further beautify their chosen title.
The new 600M series GPUs also accelerate popular productivity and video applications such as Adobe Photoshop and vReveal.
When supported by the 600M, Adobe Photoshop and vReveal power through tasks twice as fast as leading Integrated Graphics Processors.
GeForce GTX 600M: Designed for Gamers
Twice as fast as the GT range, the new GTX 600M notebooks are designed for the most demanding gamers. Tackling the latest titles at 1080p resolutions, using the max possible settings, the GTX 600M notebooks have enough spare performance to also leverage DirectX 11 tessellation, hardware PhysX, NVIDIA Control Panel Ambient Occlusion, NVIDIA Control Panel FXAA, and NVIDIA 3D Vision, the most popular notebook stereoscopic 3D gaming solution. And if one GPU just doesn’t cut it in your ultrabook, double-down with NVIDIA SLI dual-GPU technology.
|600M GPU||GTX 660M||GTX 670M||GTX 675M|
|Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec)||30.4||33.5||39.7|
|Memory Interface Width||128-bit||192-bit||256-bit|
|Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)||64||72||96|
|Max SLI Configuration||2-Way||2-Way||2-Way|
The three GTX 600M models side-by-side.
- Batman: Arkham City: High detail preset, PhsyX On, DirectX 11 effects enabled, FXAA High.
- Battlefield 3: High detail preset, DirectX 11 effects enabled, no AA.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops: Highest possible settings, no AA.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Highest possible settings, DirectX 11 enabled, no AA.
- DiRT 3: Ultra detail preset, DirectX 11 enabled, no AA.
- F1 2011: Ultra detail preset, DirectX 11 enabled, no AA.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: High detail preset, 8xMSAA, 8xAF.
This level of mobile performance previously meant carrying around large, bulky systems that lasted only an hour or two on a single charge. Now, with the launch of the GeForce GTX 600M family, you can get a notebook that's an inch thick and that lasts for up to five hours on the go. They're equally at home as desktop replacements and highly portable LAN machines, producing frame rates in excess of many prior generation desktop GPUs; so while friends lug 50 pound chassis around, you roll up with your featherweight system sporting heavyweight performance.
With improved performance and efficiency, the GTX 600M is our best mobile GPU lineup to date, and thanks to regular driver updates and exclusive GeForce technologies like NVIDIA Control Panel FXAA and Ambient Occlusion, they’re only going to get better.
In addition to performance improvements, the Verde mobile driver update program guarantees that users will receive free software updates as developed for the lifetime of their laptop, be those Optimus efficiency improvements, 3D Vision profiles, SLI profiles, or exclusive GeForce game enhancements.
GeForce 600M: The Best Just Got Better
Since its release, the 500M family has been the best of the best when it comes to laptop tech, unsurpassed by any other chipset. The GT-class’ video game performance was far faster than the previous generation’s, and its efficiency improvements led to more gaming and productivity on the go. High-end GTX models, meanwhile, came close to the performance of their desktop brethren for the first time, making GTX 500M notebooks the weapon of choice for LANers tired of lugging chassis, monitors, and accessories to and fro.
The GeForce 600M series represents a huge step forward, continuing to optimize power usage, heat output, and game performance, making ultrabooks with dedicated graphics a reality. Gone are the days of 12-pound slabs of black plastic – now, we’re talking 5-pounds encased in 1 inch of svelte, sparkly, lightweight material. Performance matches or exceeds that of last-gen desktop replacements, battery longevity is better than ever, and the complete system can rest in the palm of your hand.
Available soon from all retailers and e-tailers, these Ivy Bridge-powered ultrabooks are worth waiting for.