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New PowerBooks, new Nvidia cards

The new San Francisco laptops present many stylistic innovations and also several novelties from the technological point of view. Among the most relevant and among those that affect performance the most are the new Nvidia graphics cards.

The Californian manufacturer, as noted in a press release released yesterday, for the first time lands on Cupertino laptops and does so with two mid-range chips: the GeForce 4 440 Go and the GeForce 4 420 Go.

As mentioned, these are two processors that are in the mid-range of Nvidia, surpassed by the GeForce 4 460 Go model released last September.

The entry level model, the 420 Go, which equips the 12-inch PowerBook, has a processor with a clock frequency of 190 MHz and a memory with a clock frequency of 200 MHz. The computing capacity declared by Nvidia of 760 million Texels with a memory bandwidth of 3.2 GB.

The 440 Go model has a 220 MHz clock for the main CPU and 220 MHz for memory. The fill rate of 880 million texels per second with an available memory bandwidth of 6.4 GB per second.

Both the processors are based on the NV 17 chip presented at the beginning of last year and which also equips the MX models of desktop chips.

The technical specifications of the chips, at first glance, appear inferior to those of the Radeon 9000-M present on the high-end models with 15-inch screen. The ATI, launched more recently than the GeForce, have in fact a clock of 250 MHz with 400 MHz memory. Even the higher fill rate: the Radeon reaches 1.04 Gigapixels per second and a memory band capable of reaching 7.36 GB / Sec .

Advantage that, if measured in practice, is greatly reduced and ends up giving an advantage, albeit small, to the ATI, as some tests in the PC environment demonstrate.