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MXM by nVidia - Bringing Life and Upgradeability to Notebook Graphics

By: Cameron Wilmot | Editorials in Laptops | Posted: May 16, 2004 4:00 am

Why do we need it?


The main question which may come to your mind is, "Why do we need MXM?" There are a few key reasons why MXM has come about.


- Faster Time to Market


By developing a universal graphics connector for notebook computers, MXM allows manufacturers to bring their latest and greatest notebooks to the market much quicker than ever before.


Since eliminating the need to firstly develop, then produce a separate graphics board for each new line of notebooks and then physically solder each board one by one to the notebook motherboard, manufacturers are able to forget this costly and time consuming production step and simply slide in an MXM module from their add-in board company of choice or even have their own line of MXM modules on offer which their customers can choose to be placed in their notebook just before shipping.





At launch, nVidia already has many committed launch partners including Quanta, Wistron, Uniwill, Alienware, Aopen, FIC, Clevo, Arima, Tatung and so on which is certainly a good sign for the future of MXM.


- Ability to easily upgrade notebook graphics


As discussed in the introduction, ever since notebook computers were released, there has always been a big challenge to be able to provide easy and hassle-free upgradeability to the average consumer. It is important we remember not all of us are enthusiasts and know how to break inside a notebook and have the ability to determine what part does what.



Upgrading of notebook graphics has always been a tough task since the actual procedure in upgrading the graphics card inside your notebook is not easy given the need of having to remove a lot of screws and essentially pull your notebook to many bits, which can be a scary task for some - not to mention warranty-removing. And while a couple companies (such as Alienware) have dabbled in the market of upgradeable notebook graphics in the past, there always existed the need of having to pull your notebook to bits. It is definitely not as easy as pulling one side of your case off and replacing your PCI or AGP graphics card in a desktop computer environment. Sometimes it is even impossible to upgrade your notebook graphics as the graphics chip is onboard or the proprietary graphics board is soldered to the motherboard making life quite difficult for consumers, techies and manufacturers alike.


With MXM you are easily able to upgrade your notebook graphics by first removing the existing MXM module and replacing it with a new MXM module of your choice - just slide it on an angle and push it up and the module locks in place. The idea is so simple it is amazing it wasn't thought of many years ago. Nevertheless, MXM is here and we think it will be an instant success among the masses due to the easy and hassle-free method of upgrading notebook graphics giving consumers the freedom they always crave which only comes down to human nature.


- One Design, Many Notebooks


MXM gives the ability for system designers of notebook computers to produce a much wider range of notebooks for their consumers. Since all three MXM type modules use the same single 230-pin connector, manufacturers are able to produce and sell notebooks to a larger range of price points from value / onboard upgrade to desktop replacement / performance.



In the past notebook manufacturers have really only been able to choose one current generation mobile GPU from their GPU supplier. This limits the available price points manufacturers are able to deliver to by only having the option of one GPU. With MXM, there will be a large range of MXM modules on offer using the full range of GPUs available from each GPU maker to match those of desktop systems giving a much greater choice to consumers on the hunt for a new notebook.


- nVidia leading the way


One of the key reasons we think nVidia co-developed MXM in the first place was to deliver their new mobile PCI Express GeForce Go 6 series.



This is all we have on GeForce Go 6 at this stage. All we can say is mobile gamers prepare to brace!


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