NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M: Kepler Goes Mobile

Article Index

Test Methodology, PCMark 7 and 3DMark 11

Test Methodology: As you'll note in the following pages of benchmarks, we've compared the Acer Timeline Ultra M3 with NVIDIA's new GeForce GT 640M GPU versus a few different machines, both standard notebooks and ultrabook class products. In every test case, we tried to leave each notebok as delivered to us from the manufacturers. This meant, after any pending Windows updates were installed, we disabled Windows update and also disabled any virus scanning software that may have been installed, so it wouldn't kick in during benchmark runs. That said, it's virtually impossible to ensure identical system configurations between notebooks; so we'll caution you that reference scores from the various test systems are listed in order to give you a general feel for performance between these similar class of machines and not for direct, apples-to-apples comparisons.

NVIDIA's Optimus control panel with game profiles at the ready...

PCMark 7
General System Performance
Futuremark's PCMark 7 is the latest version of the PCMark suite, more recently released. It has updated application performance measurements targeted for a Windows 7 environment. It combines 25 individual workloads covering storage, computation, image and video manipulation, web browsing, and gaming.

This benchmark is more to set a baseline for you on general system performance.  Here, the Timline Ultra M3's slower CPU and hard drive aren't doing it any favors versus the other Ultrabooks in our test field.  This benchmark only utilizes the GPU in a few tests and in those tests, workloads are very light.  So, in short, this benchmark might be indicative of what Acer's machine can do in general desktop performance but it doesn't showcase what NVIDIA is looking to wave the flag for today.

Futuremark 3DMark 11
Synthetic DirectX Game Benchmarks

Futuremark 3DMark11

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark11, is specifically bound to Windows Vista and WIndows 7-based systems due to its DirectX 11 requirement, which isn't available on previous versions of Windows. 3DMark11 isn't simply a port of 3DMark Vantage to DirectX 11, though. With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated four new graphics tests, a physics tests, and a new combined test. We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark11's Extreme preset option, which uses a resolution of 1920x1080 with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering.

With our first 3D gaming test, we've changed the competitive field to standard notebooks with discrete GPUs.  For gaming, our database of results with the current crop of Ultrabooks is limited. But then again, with virtually all of them thus far driven only by Intel integrated graphics, it doesn't make much sense to compare to them, since you already know what the result will be versus NVIDIA's latest.  In 3DMark 11, versus NVIDIA's previous gen GeForce GT 555M GPU in the Alienware M14x, the new Kepler-based GeForce GT 640M offers up a sizable performance gain; and that's even with a much more powerful CPU backing up the mid-sized Alienware gaming notebook. Early signs here are that mobile Kepler is no joke.

Related content