Nvidia has done the unthinkable – turn the 300W GF100 behemoth into a mobile GPU. It doesn’t come without it’s (hefty) compromises, however. At first glance, the GTX 480M looks like a severely downclocked version of the desktop GTX 465, which itself is heavily crippled. This means the GTX 480M features 352SP, clocked at a paltry 425 MHz, with shaders at 850 MHz. Upto 2GB of 600 MHz GDDR5 is mated to the same 256-bit interface off a GTX 465.

All this means the GTX 480M is finally suitable for a notebook, though barely. Despite lowering the power consumption of GF100 to “only” 100W, it is double that of ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD 5870, and 50% more than Nvidia’s current flagship, the GTX 285M.

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Nvidia has done the unthinkable – turn the 300W GF100 behemoth into a
mobile GPU. It doesn’t come without it’s (hefty) compromises, however.
At first glance, the GTX 480M looks like a severely downclocked version
of the desktop GTX 465, which itself is heavily crippled. This means the
GTX 480M features 352SP, clocked at a paltry 425 MHz, with shaders at
850 MHz. Upto 2GB of 600 MHz GDDR5 is mated to the same 256-bit
interface off a GTX 465.

All this means the GTX 480M is finally suitable for a notebook, though
barely. Despite lowering the power consumption of GF100 to “only” 100W,
it is double that of ATI’s Mobility Radeon HD 5870, and 50% more than
Nvidia’s current flagship, the GTX 285M.

The GTX 480M’s closest competitor is the Mobility Radeon HD 5870. It almost seems like a mismatch, as the 100W 500+ mm2 (though, to be fair, far from peak capability) goes up against the 50W 166 mm2 Radeon HD 5870. Quick speculation would suggest that performance would be closer than one might expect from the above figures.

Interestingly, AMD opted out of releasing any mobile products based on Cypress. Surely, if GTX 480M were to prove a threat, AMD would release Mobility Radeon HD 5900 series.

GF100 was always going to ill-suited to the notebook platform. It is a miracle that Nvidia has even made it possible. Such severe downclocks, however, are likely to take its toll. AMD’s Evergreen family has a massive lead in terms of performance/watt, and this is an area crucial to mobile graphics. Nevertheless, Nvidia is back in the mobile market with a DX11 product, and we have to applaud Nvidia for turning an improbable product into reality less than 3 months after GF100′s release. That is, of course, if Nvidia release the GTX 480M in mid-June, as rumoured.

Reference: Techreport