ATI announced yesterday its latest graphics chips for notebook computers; the Mobility Radeon 9800.
Billed as providing 'high definition gaming' the Mobility 9800 is rather confusingly built on the X800 core, rather than the 9800 desktop series. Furthermore, its an AGP rather than a PCI Express part. The benefit though is that it’s built using a low-k 0.13 micron process, and offers support for ATI’s currently proprietary 3Dc, which should bring real performance benefits in future games if it's adopted by games developers. The new chip also sports an eight pixel-pipe architecture and a 256-bit wide interface.
To extend battery life for cable free gaming the chip features ATI’s PowerPlay technology.
All this should mean that ATI should be able to comfortably extend its lead in the mobile graphics markets. This is good news for the Canadian company, at a time when nVidia is beginning to pull away in terms of performance on the desktop front.
Dell has already announced laptops that will feature the Mobilty Radeon 9800, in the guise of the Inspiron XPS for the US market and the Inspiron 9100 for Europe.
To further promote the Mobility Radeon 9800, ATI has pushed some game developers up to the microphone. First up is Dany Lepage, lead programmer of the forthcoming Splinter Cell 3, who claims that the Mobility Radeon 9800 equipped Dell Inspiron XPS is the first laptop in the world that can run the Splinter Cell 3 Weather demo at above 30 fps. Lepage says that “The strong performance of the Mobility Radeon 9800, with anti-aliasing and the widescreen display of the Inspiron XPS, should allow players to experience Splinter Cell 3 in the best possible conditions.”
ATI has also trotted out the ubiquitous Peter Molyneux of Lionhead Studios who claims that, "Gamers can now experience the advanced 3D graphics in applications like Black and White 2 previously available only to desktop users.”
For more, you can take a look at www.ati.com.
Update: We asked ATI's Andrzej Banias why the Mobility Radeon 9800 was so named, when it's actually built on X800 technology.
He said, "We are trying to give consumers an idea of the level of performance they'd should expect from the mobile part in comparison with a desktop based graphics part. Although the Mobility Radeon 9800 is built on X800 technology, as it's a mobile part it delivers performance closer to the Radeon 9800 than the X800, so to use the latter name would be misleading."
So now you know....