Performance with NVIDIA "go" chipset?

Hi people, I have to spec a laptop for running my software for a collegue - at present the 3D control I have written works sweetly with a GeForce 2MX (32mb) - I wonder what comparisons can be made between the 2MX and the “go” chipset from NVIDIA for laptops? Anyone have any experience with laptops here?


I have Dell laptops at work with GeForce2Go and GeForce4Go graphics. The 2Go seems about equal to a 2MX in performance. The fill rate and the general speed is lower, but not that much. It runs both professional 3D software and games with acceptable performance.

The GeForce4Go is very similar to a GeForce4MX, which is basically a GeForce2. There’s no fancy pixel shader hardware in it, but it’s a really good laptop 3D chip, and I would recommend it.

The ATI Mobile Radeon 9000 is an alternative. If you want hardware pixel shading and true DirectX9 support, it does it for you. I didn’t buy it for my latest laptop because Linux wasn’t supported then. Now Xi Graphics sells a Radeon 9000 OpenGL driver for Linux that looks very good for $119, but I’m quite happy with the free driver for my NVidia 4Go chip.

Unfortunately the Radeon 9000 just supports Directx8 shaders, which is still more then the gf4go.

I own an toshiba with gf2go and the only drawback are the 16 MB memory. All games are playable. Even ut2k3, if i keep down the number of bots, runs fluid. The only thing that runs a bit slow (10FPS) is the leaked Doom3 alpha.


I have the toshiba satellite with the Geforce 2Go (16MB) as well.
One annoying thing is that the nvidia detonator are not supported for it… the doc of latest detonator driver (last week) says that the Geforce2Go is supported, but I didnt manage to install it.
Toshiba didnt release any driver updates since last year (i.e. the one the laptop comes with… maybe I should try the Toshiba drivers for the latest models).

I’ve also got the dell 8000 with the gf2go w 32M. --Very nice, but it lacks in fill rate compared to a desktop version. I have a GForce 2 desktop, and it can roughly double the performance of the laptop, I believe it is largely because of the fill rate.


GF 4200 Go was announced today. Pretty much the downclocked desktop model, so you will get all the benefits (PS,VS etc).

Still, I question the design philosophy of notebook makers - I am seeing quite a bit of them using desktop P4 (50W dissipation) over P4M in order to cut costs, and all the new gpus are quite power hungry as well. The goal of a laptop should be portability, low weight and good battery life, not 150 fps in Quake3 (especially considering limitations of current LCD screens). Just IMO.

I am running the leaked 41.03 from they patched them for the toshiba notebook.

But even without patching it is possible to install the newer drivers. At least all the 40.xx drivers from nvidia installed just fine (not with setup, only by selecting gf2mx by hand thru the driver tab).

For me portability can have two different meanings:

  1. U need something while on the way, in the train ,jet or in places where no one has gone before. There u need a small lightweight laptop with low power consumption.
  2. U work on different places (at home, at university, at work and at the network session nearby) There you need all the power you can get, and you can sacrifice if your battery only lasts 2 hours. And for the developer on the way it is nice to have more extensions supported then a shared memory solution.

But i agree that it isn’t such a good idea to put those desktop processors into notebooks. All notebooks i have seen with one of them have their fan running all the time and somtimes their batterys dont last for an single hour. That is not nice. It should atleast be possible to watch one DVD without external power and without a constanly rotating fan disturbing the movie.
ohoh i am drifting of topic…sorry


I’ve been using a GF2Go 32 MB in a Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop for over a year and a half. It runs just as well as a GF2MX – in fact, some parts of the drivers call it a 2MX rather than a 2Go, for no discernible reason.

And as a 32 MB GF2MX is the minimum hardware requirements for our product, and the 1 GHz Pentium III is only a smidgen above the 800 MHz we require, this makes for a very good target machine test bed, too (except for the very nice 1600x1200 LCD panel :slight_smile:

If I had to buy a laptop right now, and wanted to play games on it, I’d probably go for the Radeon 9000, to get DirectX 8 level fragment programming support. Once the 4200 Go actually becomes available, it’s sure to be a nice solution – but by then, maybe someone will have shrunk the Radeon 9700, and the leapfrog game is on again :slight_smile: It’s useless to speculate about hardware you can’t actually buy yet, though – that way, you won’t ever actually buy anything, as you’ll always be waiting for that next, great thing.