Nvidia cranks up notebook graphics

Nvidia cranks up notebook graphics

Nvidia is stoking the action in notebook gaming with the introduction of the GeForce FX GO5700. The chip is expected to appear first in notebooks from Toshiba and Alienware in the first quarter of 2004.

The GeForce FX GO5700 is an update to the GeForce 5600 Nvidia rolled out in March.

The most dramatic improvement in the new chip is its capability to reproduce multiple shadow and lighting effects without impacting frame rates, general manager for Nvidia’s Mobile and Embedded Business unit, Rob Csonger, said.

Demonstrations at Comdex, which aren’t always the best way to judge new graphics chips, revealed excellent shadow-and-light effects that would please gamers and game developers.

Video imaging was especially impressive, particularly when HD quality content was displayed on a Toshiba notebook screen. Csonger said the GeForce FX GO5700 would display 17 ranges of black and run at 1.1 volts. The chip would also display HD video signals and works with PowerMizer 4.0 technology for power and battery management.

“A year ago, there was no such thing as a mobile gaming PC,” he said. “Six months ago, there was no such thing as 17-inch (LCD) notebook, no such thing as the ability to pre-record television shows, no such thing as DirectX 9 on notebooks. All those things were made possible first by our GO5600. Now, we want to take it up another notch.”

No doubt this year’s explosion in notebook sales was ignited by the launch of high-end graphics chips that made the terms “multimedia notebook” and “gamer notebook” something much more than marketing speak.

Nvidia wants to encourage that interest.

Chips from graphics CPU rivals Nvidia and ATI brought true desktop graphic processing to notebooks, making it possible to play demanding 3D games such as Unreal Tournament, watch movies, and TV.

What’s more, users can do all that without the pain that usually accompanied such tasks on older notebooks.

The introduction of high-power graphics in notebooks turns what were principally business products into something that consumers now clearly believe can replace a desktop system.

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