Nvidia Corp. has unveiled the world's highest-performing graphics processing unit designed for notebooks to date. The new GeForce GTX 680M utilizes GK104 chip based on Kepler architecture and features as many as 1340 stream processors in addition to a rich set of functionality. Several leading notebook suppliers have already announced the first PCs featuring GeForce GTX 680M.
"The GeForce GTX 680M is the fastest mobile GPU ever, but it's more than just a speed king. It also offers an entire arsenal of next-gen gaming technology, along with Optimus technology for extended battery life," said Rene Haas, vice president and general manager of the notebook business unit at Nvidia.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M appears to be a much more powerful solution than it was first rumoured to be. The GTX 680M utilizes GK104 graphics chip with one streaming multiprocessor disabled and clock-speed reduced. The chip has 1344 stream processors, 112 texture units, 32 raster operating units, 256-bit memory bus and so on. The chip developer recommends its partners to clock the GTX 680M at up to 720MHz and equip it with 3.60GHz GDDR5 memory. The novelty fully supports modern high-end features like DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2, OpenCL 1.2, stereoscopic-3D, multi-monitor capability, PhysX, multi-GPU, PCI Express 3.0 and so on.
Nvidia Corp. decided to use its top-of-the-range graphics processing units inside notebooks for the first time in several years. Typically, such graphics processors consume too lot of power and produce too lot of heat, therefore both Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia used their performance-mainstream GPUs as the highest-end graphics adapters for notebooks. The latter situation caused creation of notebooks with two graphics processors that consumed no less than one high-performance graphics chips.
In fact, even with all the tweaks that are made to mobile graphics chips, the GeForce GTX 680M mobile graphics solution will likely have thermal design power of around 100W or higher. As a result, the new mobile GPU will only be found inside laptops designed strictly for gamers and therefore featuring robust cooling solutions. One of such laptops will be Alienware M18x, which will run two GeForce GTX 680M mobile GPUs.
"The intense focus on performance and technology engineered into the 2GB GDDR5 Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M is a perfect match for the Alienware M17x and M18x laptops. Whether a single graphics card on the 17x or dual GTX 680M's on the M18x, Alienware owners are going to love having this much power at their fingertips," said Frank Azor, general manager of Alienware.
Gaming machines with Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M will be available from Alienware, Clevo, Eurocom, MicroStar International (MSI) and Origin PC. All notebooks with GTX 680M except Alienware M18x will support Optimus technology that disables Nvidia's graphics card when it is not needed and uses built-on graphics adapter found in Intel Core i-series "Sandy Bridge" and "Ivy Bridge" chips.