Nvidia launches new notebook GPUs, promises big battery life gains

|By:, SA News Editor

Nvidia's (NVDA) new 800M notebook GPU line mostly leverages the company's new Maxwell architecture on the low-end, and its older Kepler architecture on the high-end. The top-of-the-line GTX 880M (competes against AMD's R9 M290X) features 1536 cores, a 954MHz. GPU clock, and a 256-bit GDDR5 graphics RAM interface.

Drawing the most attention: Nvidia's Battery Boost tech (found in high-end and mid-range 800M parts), which the chipmaker claims can lead to 50%+ increases in notebook battery life during gaming sessions. Nvidia achieves this in part by keeping frame rates at a target level, and monitoring non-GPU system elements.

AnandTech: "I suspect many of us simply don’t bother trying to game while unplugged because it drains the battery so quickly, and potentially doubling your mobile gaming time will certainly help in that respect." Nvidia argues Maxwell parts with Battery Boost can also enable thinner/lighter notebooks with strong gaming credentials.

Jon Peddie Research estimates Nvidia's discrete notebook GPU shipments rose 3.2% Q/Q in Q4, while AMD's fell 6.7%. The company is estimated to have a total PC GPU share of 16.6% (-20 bps) vs. 18.3% for AMD and (-140 bps) and 65.1% for Intel (+210 bps). AMD and Intel's figures take integrated CPUs/GPUs into account.