NVIDIA GeForce Go 6600 Preview

Written by Tim Smalley

February 8, 2005 | 00:00

Tags: #3d #forceware #geforce #geforcego #geforce-go #notebook #powermizer #purevideo #video-card

Companies: #nvidia

The GeForce Go 6 series has the same plethora of features that the desktop version of the GeForce 6 has - this includes full DirectX 9.0c support, coupled with Shader Model 3.0 support and a programmable video processor, which comes under the guise of NVIDIA\'s PureVideo Technology. These features come together with all of the other checklist features that can be found throughout the GeForce 6 series - here is a list of those features, specifically from the desktop version of the GeForce 6600 series.

NVIDIA GeForce Go 6600 Preview Features
When we were out at NVIDIA\'s Editors Day, Winter 2004, we learnt all about PureVideo technology - the long-awaited technology that brings hardware acceleration to various video formats on all GeForce 6 products. However, many of you will know that the GeForce 6800 series, based on the NV40 and NV45 GPU\'s is not as feature-rich as the later products. This does not come in to the equation with the GeForce Go 6 series, as the three product lines are based around NV41, NV43 and NV44 respectively, which are all fully featured in respect to PureVideo technology. You can of course check out NVIDIA\'s homepage for more information on PureVideo Technology.

PowerMizer 5.0

PowerMizer is a very similar technology to ATI\'s PowerPlay technology, which we briefly overlooked here. In the latest instalment, PowerMizer 5.0, combines many techniques for saving power including CPU offload and maximum usage of ACPI low power states. It manages both Power and Thermal characteristics of the GeForce Go 6 series GPU, to ensure that the longest possible battery life is attainable. This is achieved by clock, voltage and thermal throttling control mechanisms built in to the GPU to optimise “On the Go” performance. It achieves this by using more circuits on lower voltage rails, while the addition of GDDR3 support also means that video memory power consumption is reduced, thanks to the reduced voltage requirements that make GDDR3 evermore attractive than previous video memory implementations.

PowerMizer also enables the ability to control the power consumption of system level components such as the CPU and LCD panel enabling balanced power savings, while also featuring a technology known as SmartDimmer, which effectively controls the LCD panels\' power consumption in an intelligent manner. One thing that we do see missing from this impressive feature set is the ability for the graphics module to run off the power of a PCIe x1 connector - this is something that ATI\'s Mobility Radeon X700 can do, coupled with their PowerPlay 5.0 technology.

Real World Gaming Performance

We did have the chance to test the wonders of the GeForce Go 6600 while we were out in San Jose, on a prototype Arima system. The graphics module was clocked at 300/600, which enabled us to enjoy a solid gaming experience in Half-Life 2 at 1024x768, 0xAA 4xAF with High Quality textures and water quality set to \'Reflect World\'. We were also able to enjoy a smooth game of Doom 3 at 1024x768, 0xAA 8xAF at High Quality. We were using the beta ForceWare 67.02 drivers on a pre-installed system, based around an Intel Pentium-M 1.8GHz.

Rounding things up...

NVIDIA would appear to have a very strong mobile graphics solution in the form of the GeForce Go 6600, and we expect to find that the mobile market might just get interesting again now that the boys in green have a product that appears to have a lot of promise - it takes after its desktop sibling, which is quite possibly one of the best GPU\'s for the money at the moment. Again, we can\'t wait to get a production notebook based around a GeForce Go 6600 in our hands, as we can\'t wait to size this baby up.

- Tim Smalley
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