ATi has announced two new PCI Express based graphics processors for notebook computers. These are the Mobility Radeon X300 and the Mobility Radeon X800, previously codenamed M28. We have already looked at a pre-production notebook featuring the M28, but at that stage we were only allowed to show benchmarks and were not able to discuss the details of the X800 architecture. As of today we can reveal that the X800 features twelve pixel pipelines, matching nVidia’s 6800 GO. It features six vertex shader engines, which is one more than the 6800 GO. This makes sense as the Mobility X800 outperformed the GeForce 6800 GO is our initial tests.
The part supports up to 256MB of GDDR3 memory, and features a 256-bit memory interface. Clock speeds still weren’t confirmed at time of writing but in the pre-production test machine the numbers were 400MHz for the core and 400MHz (800MHz effective) for the memory, so it’s likely to be very close to that if not exactly the same. Other technology taken from the X800 desktop part featured is 3Dc texture compresion and VideoShader HD.
Despite its name, this isn’t the first mobile part based on the X800. ATi’s Mobility Radeon 9800 was also based on X800 technology, though it only featured eight pixel pipes.
The Mobility Radeon X300 is also DirectX 9 part, but only offers four pixel pipelines. More significant for this end of the market is the PCI Express based PowerPlay technology. The part also supports HyperMemory, which like the little used AGP direct memory access feature before it, enables developers to use system memory for graphics, enabling less on board memory to be used, and thus lower costs.
Leading manufacture of performance notebooks such as Alienware, and Rock have confirmed plans for Mobility Radeon X800 notebooks with additional wins likely to be announced over the coming months.
ATi has stated that the Mobility Radeon X300 will also be used in many companies notebooks but had not confirmed any names at time of writing.