A New Contender: NVIDIA GeForce4 Go
Last month we took at look at ATI's new Mobility Radeon 7500 and we were excited about the performance that it had to offer (
The GeForce4 product line was perhaps one of the worst kept secrets that we have seen in a long time. Most consumers knew many of the details about the product before the launch, so, while it perhaps didn't make the biggest splash in history, it was a very exciting move forward for NVIDIA nonetheless. We covered the launch of the GeForce4 desktop product line in the following article:
Although we have all heard most of the details and seen the performance of the GeForce4 desktop products, still, as of press time, little has been written about the GeForce4 Go, which was also known as the NV17M. Many of the issues regarding the absence of information about the GeForce4 Go have been due to the lack of review units available for testing. THG has been affected by this problem, as well. It was never a question of if we would review the GeForce4 Go, but a question of when a unit would be made available to us so that we could review the GeForce4 Go.
Another issue that has surrounded its launch has been the lack of design wins for the GeForce4 Go. By our count, NVIDIA did not really gain that much ground (so far) in new OEM design wins. Currently, only Dell and Toshiba are selling units with the GeForce4 Go in them. NVIDIA did pick up some additional design wins by adding the new Acer TravelMate 630 and WinBook n4, however, they both use GeForce2Go, rather than GeForce4 Go, designs. However, as of this article, you can only find the GeForce4 Go in the Dell Inspiron 8200, Dell Latitude C840, Toshiba Satellite 5105-S507, Toshiba Satellite 5105-S607, and Toshiba Satellite Pro 6100. Industry sources seem to indicate that you can expect to see additional OEM wins for the GeForce4 Go in other Pentium 4m units, once OEMs announce Pentium 4m notebook product refreshes later this year. It will be interesting to see how many additional units we be announced with the GeForce4 Go at this time. At least for the time being, it will be easier to find units with the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500.
When NVIDIA launched the GeForce4 Go, the only unit available with the GeForce4 Go in it was the Toshiba Satellite 5105-S507, which was the Pentium III 1.1Ghz unit with the 100MHz FSB. Of course, as we explained in depth in our look at the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500, comparing different notebooks on different platforms is a difficult task as the machines and configurations are not the same. In the case of the Toshiba 5105-S507 and the Dell Inspiron 8100, the difference in FSB speed alone makes any comparison pretty much useless, in our opinion.
After much waiting and wondering, we were provided with a final engineering sample notebook from Dell for use in the testing of the GeForce4 Go. As excited as kids at Christmas time, we dug deep into the GeForce4 Go to find out if it is the evolution that NVIDIA would lead us to believe it is.