After a summer full of marketing hype, lack of stock and benchmark numbers in the desktop graphics arena, the battle lines have now been drawn in the mobile graphics market.
Last week nVidia launched its GeForce GO 6800 chipset, and raised the bar on mobile gaming. We have a notebook in the lab right now with the GO 6800 inside, and a full review will be up later this week.
However, we also managed to get our hands on a pre-production machine running the ATI Mobility Radeon X800 chipset (codenamed M28). Of course we couldnâ€™t resist running some numbers and seeing how these two mobile monsters compared.
The Mobility Radeon X800 machine came directly from ATI, and was supplied on the understanding that we wouldnâ€™t mention any details on the underlying technology. So Iâ€™m afraid I canâ€™t say anything about core clock speeds, memory frequency, memory type, or even the number of pipelines.
However, we will mention that the notebook housing the ATI chipset was running a 3.4GHz Pentium 4 CPU, while the GO 6800 machine was sporting a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 chip. Both machines were backed up with 1GB of RAM.
Of course with the introduction of MXM, it will be possible for notebook manufacturers to carry both ATI and nVidia chipsets and give the customer the choice of solution. Hopefully it wonâ€™t be too long before you can specify which graphics chipset you want in your notebook as easily as you can in a desktop. Weâ€™re fairly certain that mobile gaming specialists like Voodoo will be keen to offer its customers even more choice when buying a custom built machine.
Back to the job at hand though, and despite all the stuff that we're not allowed to mention, ATI is happy for us to talk about benchmark results. We just about managed to run a decent set of numbers in the short time that we had the M28 equipped machine, and we then ran the same tests on the GO 6800 machine.
Itâ€™s worth remembering that both chipsets are early samples, especially the ATI one. There is also no way of knowing what the eventual clock speeds of the Mobility Radeon X800 will be at launch, and whether they will be the same as the sample on test here. Ultimately though, what weâ€™re looking at is a comparison of the latest mobile graphics solutions as they stand today.