MOBILITY 9700 chip
Last weekís DeltaChrome S4 Pro preview was a perfect example of the growing pains a hardware manufacturer must go through in order to ultimately bring their product to market. Even if a prospective graphics manufacturer was able to successfully design and manufacture the hardware (which is a difficult task by itself), you must also develop a solid display driver that provides compatibility with a wide range of applications, while at the same time you canít forget to overlook performance in Direct3D as well as OpenGL titles.
Once the hardware is complete and the software is polished, youíve then got to get board partners with extensive worldwide distribution channels onboard, who will hopefully get your product in the hands of consumers. And donít forget, all this effort could be wasted if your product isnít compelling or your timing is a little off, as high-end parts are replaced every few months.
But as difficult as producing a successful desktop 3D graphics product is, the mobile space is even more complicated. Heat and power must be kept in check, as a mobile system doesnít necessarily have the luxury of an infinite power source, or the space for a huge graphics cooler. In fact, the footprint requirements for a mobile graphics core can be a huge design constraint that must be overcome.
Mobile graphics manufacturers have come up with all kinds of clever ways to get around these issues, but the end result is that mobile graphics solutions tend to take more time to develop and fine tune, oftentimes the final product doesnít have what it takes for an enjoyable gaming experience.
All this changed last year with the launch of ATIís MOBILITY 9600. Its debut dramatically reduced the lag time between the introduction of a new technology on the desktop, to its arrival in laptops. In fact, MOBILITY 9600 arrived around the same time as the first DX9 games like Tomb Raider and Halo began to appear on the market. As a result, the MOBILITY 9600 firmly established ATIís superiority in the add-in mobile graphics market, where theyíve enjoyed a market share lead over rival NVIDIA.
We took a look at a high-end mobile system from ASUS that was equipped with ATIís MOBILITY 9600 PRO and found it to be competitive with a similarly configured desktop system with RADEON 9600 graphics inside. In other words, performance wasnít bad, but not quite up to the same level of ATIís faster desktop VPUs such as the RADEON 9600 PRO and RADEON 9600 XT. To address gamers on the go looking for a little bit more performance, ATI has prepared an enhanced alternative: MOBILITY 9700!