Nvidia has unveiled details of the new GeForce GTX 560M graphics processing unit (GPU). Nvidia is touting the GPU for "gaming" laptops, but the advanced graphics capabilities of the new Nvidia chip will benefit laptop users who aren't gaming enthusiasts as well.
According to the Nvidia press release announcing the GeForce GTX 560M, the new chip "hits the "sweet spot" for gaming notebooks by delivering a no-compromise gaming experience at full 1080p resolution in the hottest new DirectX 11 titles."
I am sure it is very impressive to be able to play Duke Nukem Forever at 50 frames per second on a laptop, but lost in the gaming hype from Nvidia is the fact that gaming often drives advances in technology for non-gamers as well. There are plenty of uses for advanced graphics capabilities like smooth 1080p streaming, realistic physics effects, and 3D rendering outside of high-end games.
The GeForce GTX 560M is compatible with advanced Nvidia features such as Nvidia 3D Vision, Nvidia PhysX, and Nvidia CUDA, and also support Nvidia Optimus and Nvidia SLI technologies. I realize there is a lot of "Nvidia" in there, and it seems obvious that an Nvidia graphics processor might support the various propietary technologies developed by Nvidia, but for laptops that provide these other Nvidia technologies, the GeForce GTX 560M will be awesome.
Optimus shuts off the GeForce GPU and falls back on the integrated graphics capabilities of the CPU to conserve battery life, and SLI enables a laptop to use more than one GPU for hardcore, graphics intensive applications.
I am sure it will be great for Alienware laptops and playing Portal 2 smoothly with no visible lag, but it will also benefit actual productive uses like 3D rendering of CAD/CAM or architectural drawings, medical imaging, and other uses that push the graphics processing envelope. The Optimus technology will be just as important so that the GeForce GPU won't hog resources and drain power when its advanced graphics capabilities aren't really needed.
And, it won't hurt that when you aren't viewing 3D architectural models you will be able to fire up Duke Nukem Forever at 1080p and 50 fps.
Nvidia revealed that Alienware and Toshiba are slated to produce laptops with the GeForce GTX 560M and the Nvidia Optimus technology. More details, and possibly actual laptop models, are expected to be unveiled at Computex.