According to NVidia, the new GeForce 9400M GPU is up to five times faster than the Intel GM45 integrated solution used in Centrino 2 notebooks.
In terms of graphics performance, the 9400M is roughly equivalent to the relatively low-end 9400GT processor used in desktop cards. They both have 16 cores and a 128-bit memory interface, though the 9400 GT has a higher texture fill rate (4.4 billion texels as opposed to 3.6 billion in the 9400M).
Neither comes close to the performance of mid-to-high-end desktop cards like the GeForce 9800 GT, which has 112 cores, a 256-bit memory interface and a texture fill rate of 33.6 billion pixels per second.
As we saw in the recently released MacBooks, however, this low-end integrated performance can be compensated for with an additional discrete graphics processor installed in the notebook. The 9400M supports both HybridPower and GeForce Boost.
HybridPower, which is supported by the new MacBooks, gives the notebook the capacity to switch between the integrated GPU for low power usage and a discrete, higher-performing GPU for performance applications. HybridPower can also dial-down the power usage and performance of the 9400M GPU.
GeForce Boost allows the integrated 9400M GPU to act in tandem with a supported discrete GeForce graphics chip – effectively the two processors act in an SLI-like partnership, sharing the rendering load between the discrete chip and the integrated processor.