NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX Preview

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Features and Vendor Support

Unlike the GeForce 7950 GX2 which launched on the desktop platform, the GeForce Go 7950 GTX utilizes a single GPU. In recent weeks, NVIDIA has also launched the GeForce 7950 GT on the desktop platform which also features a single GPU. For many, this can be somewhat confusing, though in the case of the latest mobile part the naming convention does make sense. Make no mistake, the GeForce 7950 GTX is anything but a new GPU. Rather, this new product is more of a refinement of the previous flagship GPU in an effort to squeeze even more performance out of that architecture. 

  GeForce Go 7950 GTX GeForce Go 7900 GTX GeForce Go 7900 GS GeForce Go 7800 GTX
Process Technology .09u .09u .09u .11u
Transistor Count 278M 278M 278M 302M
Core Frequency (MHz) 575 500 375 400
Memory Frequency (MHz) 700 600 500 550
Vertex Shaders 8 8 7 8
Pixel Shaders 24 24 20 24
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s) 44.8 38.4 32.0 35.2
Vertices / Sec (Millions) 1140 1000 656 800
Pixel Fill Rate (Billions/s) 9.2 8.0 6.0 6.4
Texture Fill Rate (Billions/s) 13.8 12.0 7.5 9.6

Looking at the respective specifications in the table above, we can clearly see that the new GeForce Go 7950 GTX is more of an "evolution" rather than a "revolution". Regardless, we are witnessing a healthy 75MHz increase in core frequency compared with the previous flagship GeForce Go 7900 GTX. In addition, we have no less than an additional 100MHz in memory frequency. Together, these higher frequencies translate into some significant performance enhancements. Here, we find memory bandwidth increasing by more than 6GB/s, Fill Rate increasing by 1.2BP/s, and an additional 140M vertices can be processed per second. On paper, the new GeForce Go 7950 GTX certainly looks the part of a dominant flagship mobile GPU. 

Somewhat ironically, one of the most significant new developments with the launch of the GeForce Go 7950 GTX has nothing to do with the overall GPU architecture itself. For years, users have been pleading with NVIDIA to make it possible to allow notebook users to download and install the same drivers the company posts on its website to give us access to the various performance enhancements and game fixes the frequent driver releases make possible. Unfortunately, the barrier to this has been the fact that there are hotkeys and flags within the notebook drivers which are specific to the notebook vendor you're using. Here, a handful of enthusiasts opted to do without the "vendor features" of the model-specific drivers and brute forced the installation of the latest NVIDIA driver. Fortunately, mobile gamers can rejoice as they can now have their cake and eat it too. NVIDIA is announcing that from this point on, mobile enthusiasts will have several ways of utilizing the latest NVIDIA drivers while retaining the hotkeys and features the vendor has created for their notebooks. Whether it be through the vendor's own support website as seen in the example with Dell above or directly through NVIDIA's website, mobile users can now easily access and install the latest and greatest drivers for their notebook's GPU. 

Throughout the last few years, NVIDIA has gained significant momentum in the mobile segment in terms of overall vendor support. Judging from the list of vendors which will be supporting the GeForce Go 7950 GTX and the rest of the GeForce Go 7-series of GPU's, that momentum is continuing to grow. Users would be hard pressed to find a reputable notebook vendor which does not offer a GeForce 7 series GPU.

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