AMD releases its 'fastest notebook GPU' too: AMD Radeon HD 6990M

The high-end notebook graphics war is on for 2011. Nvidia was first to fire a shot a few weeks ago, unveiling the GeForce GTX 580M.

AMD has since counterpunched with the AMD Radeon HD 6990M, its new, most high-end laptop graphics card, which the company now claims, as Nvidia did weeks ago, is the "fastest notebook GPU." This time, the edge indeed seems to belong to AMD. The company boasts a 25 percent improvement over the next-fastest notebook GPU. According to slides from AMD showing head-to-head performance benchmarks versus the GeForce GTX 580M, that statement seems to hold … Read more

Nvidia GTX 580M top-end laptop graphics unveiled; already showing up in Origin and Alienware systems

Today Nvidia unveiled its latest high-end laptop GPUs, the GTX 570M and 580M. That's not a huge surprise: the new GTX cards round out the "500 series" of GT and GTX graphics that have been available throughout the year. One feature Nvidia's particularly touting is the GTX 580's Optimus automatic switching, which should offer up "5 hours of battery life in Facebook," in case you measure your juice through social networking.

Nvidia promises that the GTX 580M is the fastest laptop graphics card anywhere, ever--the benchmark comparisons were leveled against the AMD Radeon … Read more

Nvidia CEO: Future laptops will mirror MacBook Air

Nvidia's CEO added his two cents to an increasingly popular theory on laptop design: that is, the MacBook Air as a template for all future designs.

In case you're wondering where the laptop is headed--circa 2014--Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang offered what could be considered a highly educated guess in response to a question I posed to him in a phone interview today.

"You'll have trouble finding one that doesn't look like the MacBook Air," he said. "I think the Macbook Air is a good mental image of what a clamshell laptop will look … Read more

Nvidia intros new 500 Series laptop GPUs

LAS VEGAS--Several new laptop graphics cards are joining the Nvidia family today, namely the GeForce GT 555M, GeForce GT 550M, GeForce GT 540M, GeForce GT 525M, and GeForce GT 520M. These new GPUs support all the proprietary technologies that Nvidia uses to set itself apart from the competition, including Optimus, PhysX, and 3D Vision.

Optimus is notable because it allows laptops to include both integrated graphics (typically from Intel) and a discrete Nvidia graphics card, then switch between them automatically as needed. Other graphics-switching technologies typically require users to hit a manual or virtual button, or else have very simple commands, such as switching off the discrete graphics when running on battery power.

All of the new Nvidia 500 Series GPUs support Optimus, while the 550M, 500M, and 540M support 3D Vision, Nvidia's self-contained ecosystem of 3D active-shutter glasses, IR emitters, and compatible monitors and GPUs.

Nvidia is also taking advantage of this launch to lob a few attacks at sometimes partner, sometimes rival Intel. The CPU maker is aiming to reduce the need for discrete graphics cards (Nvidia's main business) with its revamped Sandy Bridge integrated graphics, which aim to be good enough so that most mainstream users (such as World of Warcraft players) won't need a discrete GPU. … Read more

MacBook Pro owners to benefit from Nvidia settlement

A number of owners of the 2007 and 2008 MacBook Pro systems found that there were some graphics problems that showed either scrambled video output or sometimes black screens. Many people suspected this was because of faulty graphics processors, and had to get their systems serviced to fix the problem.

Recently a settlement was achieved in a class-action lawsuit against Nvidia over faults in the GeForce 8600M graphics processors included in a variety of notebook models primarily from Dell and HP, but also in Apple's 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro systems.

People who have MacBook Pro systems manufactured between … Read more

Nvidia unleashes 400M series laptop GPUs

Have you been looking for a laptop with good gaming graphics, but haven't pulled the trigger yet? Well, it's a good thing you waited. Nvidia has released their next wave of laptop GPUs, and they're an across-the-board upgrade in the middle and upper range of their line.

The 400M series of GPUs are the first laptop processors designed with DirectX11-oriented Fermi architecture, and all the new GPUs are enabled with Nvidia Optimus automatically-switching graphics. This should ramp up the exposure of Optimus automatic-switching graphics considerably, and provide extra battery-conserving performance in faster laptops.

The new processors consist … Read more

Samsung debuts new QX, RF, NF and SF laptops

A year ago, Samsung wasn't much of a player in the laptop space aside from a few Netbooks. This year, however, the equation changed. We've seen Samsung midrange laptops that have offered great value for their components, with designs that seem to be getting progressively better. With the company's newest batch of laptop announcements, that trend seems to be continuing.

The NF and SF series of Netbooks and laptops adopt a similar design, with curved, glossy lines and raised walls around the keyboard deck. The look feels particularly suited to living-room use, as if these laptops were … Read more

Upgrade your video card for $49.99

Most off-the-shelf desktop systems come with pretty weak video cards. That's fine if all you're doing is checking e-mail and browsing the Web, but if you plan to get into gaming, photo editing, video production, and other graphics-intensive areas, you'll need a lot more video horsepower.

Thankfully, upgrades are fast, easy, effective, and affordable. For example, Newegg has the EVGA GeForce 9800 GT 512MB video card for $49.99 shipped. That's after a $35 mail-in rebate (PDF).

This isn't the fastest card on the planet by any stretch, but trust me--it's plenty fast. I … Read more