After launching the GeForce 200 series last year, NVIDIA unveiled the GeForce GTX 260M and 280M GPUs for notebook computers earlier this year. The GeForce GTX 280M is currently NVIDIA's fastest notebook GPU, even though it is derived from the GeForce 9800GTX+ core rather than the GTX 280 desktop variant. This 55nm notebook GPU has 128 processing cores, supports two-way SLI, features NVIDIA PureVideo HD technology (important for VDPAU usage under Linux), and other features to pack a desktop performance punch in notebook computers. The Linux-friendly System76 manufacturer recently introduced the Bonobo Professional notebook computer with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M and an Intel Core 2 Quad processor, which we happen to be looking at now and today are delivering some initial performance results from this high-end NVIDIA GPU under Ubuntu Linux.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M has 128 processing cores, has a texture fill rate of 38 billion/sec, 1463MHz processor clock, a memory clock up to 950MHz and up to 1GB of GDDR3 video memory with a 256-bit bus, and its peak memory bandwidth is 61GB/s. Other features for this notebook GPU include two-way SLI support, NVIDIA PureVideo HD, NVIDIA PhysX, NVIDIA CUDA, NVIDIA HybridPower, OpenGL 2.1 supportive, and PowerMizer 8.0 power management. The GeForce GTX 280M is compatible with HDMI, dual-link DVI, DisplayPort, LVDS, and VGA outputs. HDMI audio is also supported via an S/PDIF input.
Behind the GeForce GTX 280M is the GeForce GTX 260M and GTS 160M. The GeForce GTX 260M has a core clock of 550MHz compared to 585MHz with the 280M (though the memory clock is the same), and 112 processing cores compared to 128 on the high-end model. The NVIDIA GeForce GTS 160M is limited to 64 processing cores, 600MHz core clock, and 800MHz memory clock.
For providing these initial benchmarks of the GeForce GTX 280M under Linux we used the System76 Bonobo Professional that was loaded up with this discrete notebook GPU, an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 clocked at 2.00GHz, an Intel 4-Series motherboard Chipset with ICH9M Southbridge, 4GB of system memory, and a 320GB Hitachi HTS72323 SATA hard drive. We will be featuring a complete review of this System76 notebook in the next week. On the software side we were running Ubuntu 9.04 x86_64 with the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, X Server 1.6.0, and the NVIDIA 185.18.14 display driver.