Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 660M GPU Equipped Gaming Notebook
GPU launches by both AMD and NVIDIA are getting to be rather confusing these days with various models, launch dates and sometimes even re-badging older products to fit into the newer line-up.
Fortunately, the GeForce GTX 660M isn't such a GPU. Based on the GK107 core, it's a true Kepler offspring based on the 28nm fabrication process technology. The GK107 GPU isn't new as it was first used on the GeForce GT 640M SKU, which we reviewed using the Acer Timeline Ultra M3 14-inch Ultrabook. As a matter of fact, even the GTX 660M isn't new as it was announced at the same time period. However the GTX 660M has hardly been featured and we reckon it's because of the massive notebook transition as vendors are clearing older Intel Sandy Bridge based notebooks with Intel Ivy Bridge based ones which will carry all new configuration options.
The GeForce GTX 660M is pretty much the same as a GT 640M except that it's much faster clocked. Basic configuration of 384 CUDA processing cores, 32 texture units, 16 ROP units and 128-bit memory bus are all common to both models.
With that said, what we wanted to point out in this news is Gigabyte's latest multimedia/gaming-class notebook, the P2542, is one of the first few we've personally encountered to use a GeForce GTX 660M GPU. (We reckon the desktop system owners are itching to upgrade to a desktop GeForce GTX 660 GPU, but that will have to wait a little bit more.)
Apart from the bad naming scheme of their notebooks, the 15.6-inch P2542 looks rather nice on the onset with silver trimming all around the edges to give the mostly plastic-build notebook an air of sophistication - that it certainly pulls off. However, the handling of the notebook felt cheap as plastic body flexed notably in certain areas, making it a somewhat fragile. However, we're at a tech show, not a retail sales show, so whatever is shown is normally not the final build/edition. Given our experience with their past notebooks, it should come out fine by the time it hits retail.
From a specifications point of view, the P2542 is well equipped - a full HD screen, Intel Core i7-class Ivy Bridge processor, plenty of memory, storage (it has a 1TB drive in addition to an SSD, as well as a Blu-ray drive) and modern connectivity options.
Now if only the notebook was lighter, had a stronger build and comes with a reasonable price, we're sure this will be an appealing notebook. The GeForce GTX 660M isn't a high-end gaming grade GPU like the GTX 670M we tested, but it's safe to say that it will handle most games at mid-range settings.