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Nvidia GeForce 700m gears up for Haswell

Nvidia has launched the GeForce 700M mobile GPU range, just in time to power Haswell-equipped laptops once Intel launches the new chips

Nvidia has officially launched the GeForce 700M series, its latest range of mobile graphics cards designed to boost frame rates in laptops powered by Intel’s upcoming Haswell processors.

Although Intel has made a real effort with the integrated GPUs built into its Haswell processor range, it’s largely expected that they won’t be a big enough improvement to enable full-screen gaming at high detail levels or resolutions – roughly 50% of all the PC games released in 2012 aren’t classed as playable (30fps or better at 1,366×768) on Haswsell hardware. That’s why Nvidia has stepped up its game, with the launch of the “world’s fastest mobile GPUs”.

The GeForce GTX 780m is leading the charge, with 1,536 CUDA cores running at 823MHz – it also supports Nvidia GPU Boost 2.0, which automatically overclocks the chip when thermal temperatures allow for higher frame rates. The 256 bit memory bus, 2,500MHz memory clock and up to 4GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory, high resolution textures shouldn’t be a problem either.

Nvidia 700M

The 770M, 765M and 760M all retain the GTX monicker, but drop the number of CUDA cores, clock speeds and memory bandwidth. The 770M has 960 cores running at 811MHz, a 192-bit memory bus and 2,000MHz memory clocks, the 765M drops to 768 CUDA cores running at 850MHz, along with a 128-bit memory bus running at 2,000MHz, and the 760M makes do with 768 cores running at 657MHz. It retains the same 128-bit memory bus and 2,000MHz memory clock.

Nvidia 700M

Unlike last year’s 600M series, the entire 700M range is based on Nvidia’s Keppler architecture – even the more mainstream GT chips, which include the 720M, 730M, 740M, 745M and 750M. Even the entry-level GT 720M will outperform a Haswell integrated GPU by two and a half times, depending on the benchmark or game used.

Nvidia 700M

Unsurprisingly, Nvidia practically has the monopoly on dedicated graphics for Intel-powered laptops – rival AMD favours its own Radeon cards for its more powerful APU-powered machines. 99% of all Haswell-equipped laptops with dedicated GPUs will be using Nvidia graphics.

Nvidia has yet to share official benchmark results for its new graphics cards, but has given us a sneak peek at what laptops will be using them – unlike previous years, where having a dedicated graphics card meant having a big and bulky desktop replacement, in 2013 you’ll be able to pick up a 14in MSI laptop capable of playing Crysis 3 at 720p resolutions. Apparently dedicated GPUs won’t break the bank either, as Acer’s Aspire V3 will include a 17in, 1080p display and a GeForce GTX 760m for less than £850.

Nvidia 700M

Nvidia 700M

Almost every single Nvidia-powered laptop released this year will support also support Optimus, Nvidia’s power-saving technology designed to deactivate the dedicated GPU in favour of on-board graphics when battery life is critical.

We’ll have to wait until we see GeForce 700M-powered machines to test Nvidia’s battery life claims, along with firm benchmark results, but these early sneak peeks look promising – hopefully we’ll be getting hands on time with the tech at next week’s Computex trade show in Taipei.

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