It's roughly a year since NVIDIA launched their GeForce Go 6800 Ultra GPU for notebooks. Over the course of the last year, notebooks have transitioned quickly from being a poor second fiddle for gaming, to some of the most desirable gaming rigs around. Mobile X700 parts have brought decent gaming quality into the mainstream, and the availability of notebooks sporting top-end X800 XT and 6800 Ultra graphics processors (as well as faster Pentium M processors) have put gaming notebooks almost on par with their desktop equivalents.
Today, we can perhaps truly say that a notebook is able to match the desktop, because we are looking at a mobile part based on the 7800 GTX. Well, perhaps this is the wrong way round - NVIDIA claims that its desktop part was based on its mobile development, hence the efficient power management on the desktop GTX.
(The question remains - if the GTX based on the mobile GPU, why the heck is it so big?)
We have a notebook from Evesham on the test bed today. Evesham, along with guys like Dell and Alienware, are a launch partner for this technology with NVIDIA, and they have the first machines in the UK with the Go 7800 GTX.
We only had a very limited time to play with the notebook, so this is really only going to be a preview - there were also some small discrepancies between the model we have here and the final one you'll buy from Evesham. What we've done, then, is to show you the notebook and illustrate the graphics performance.
The question is - is the GTX Go really as fast as a desktop GTX, and is this a laptop you'll want to think about spending your cash on?
Let's jump in with some shots of the machine itself.
Our initial thoughts are - wow. This is one thin notebook. Well, OK, that's a relative term - but this is certainly the thinnest high-end gaming laptop we've seen. Considering there's a 17" screen on there, the size compared to previous 6800 machines is fantastic. Whilst previous machines have been decidedly brick-like, this is the first 17" chassis we've seen that is remotely sleek.
Here's the core tech specs of this model according to Evesham:
Intel Pentium M Processor 770 (2.13GHz)
1GB DDR 2 RAM (533MHz)
80GB SATA 5,400RPM 8MB CACHE Hard Drive
17” WXGA X-Bright Display (1440x900)
256MB GeForce 7800 GTX graphics
Dual Layer DVD-RW
Wireless Mini PCI 802.11abg LAN
3 year warranty
£1449 inc VAT
We'll talk more about the various options and funky bits when we come on to looking at the laptop in detail in a couple of pages but, for now, let's move on to the NVIDIA card under the hood.