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NVIDIA lets loose GeForce 500M Series GPUs

by Parm Mann on 6 January 2011, 12:42


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For a minute there, you thought NVIDIA had brought nothing other than a new website to launch at this year's CES, didn't you?

Since the introduction of 3DVisionLive.com, the GPU giant has signaled its intent to revolutionise the smartphone space with Tegra 2, as well as its ambition to transform the computing industry with Project Denver - an ARM-based CPU that'll one day run Windows.

But it wouldn't be an NVIDIA event without a couple of new GeForce GPUs, so you'll be pleased to hear that the manufacturer has obliged with the launch of the GeForce 500M Series.

The mobile chips, destined to join forces with Intel's 2nd Generation Core processors in mainstream/performance notebooks, carry the 500-series branding but are in many ways 400-series parts operating at higher speeds. And, helping muddy the waters, NVIDIA has also launched a new 400-series GPU that's quicker than all of the 500M range. Confused? We were, so we broke out the table:

GPU GeForce GTX 485M GeForce GT 555M GeForce GT 550M GeForce GT 540M GeForce GT 525M GeForce GT 520M
Processor Cores 384 144 96 96 96 48
GPU Clock (MHz) 575 590 740 672 600 740
Shader Clock (MHz) 1150 1180 1480 1344 1200 1480
Memory Type GDDR5 GDDR5 or DDR3 GDDR5 or DDR3 GDDR5 or DDR3 GDDR5 or DDR3 GDDR5 or DDR3
Memory Clock (MHz) 750MHz 900 900 800 900 800
Memory Width 256-bit 192-bit 128-bit 128-bit 128-bit 64-bit

The new GeForce GTX 485M becomes NVIDIA's fastest mobile GPU to date - it's armed with 384 processor cores and a GPU clock speed of 575MHz. That's a healthy bump up from the previous GTX 480M's 352 cores and 425MHz core clock speed.

Moving along to the 500 series, the GT 555M takes the place of the old GT 445M and now sports a standard 192-bit memory bus and a quicker 900MHz frame buffer (up 100MHz). The GT 550M, 540M, 525M and 520M parts, meanwhile, are all successors to the previous-generation 435M, 425M, 420M and 415M. Clock speeds are bumped up by as much as 20 per cent, and there's quicker memory across the range.

NVIDIA's Optimus technology will no doubt make the GPUs a popular choice among system manufacturers and consumers, and with over 200 design wins already in the bag, you'll be seeing notebooks sporting these chips heading to retail real soon.

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