ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 and NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5650: Taking on DX9by Andrew Ku on September 14, 2003 11:04 PM EST
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Right after the Centrino buzz, we reported in March of ATI’s and NVIDIA’s new mobility graphics processors. This got the mobile industry excited because for the first time, we were told that full high performance DX9 mobile parts were going to be released to the market. No small news either, since they were going to bring the relative performance of desktop systems to mobile systems.
It has been a bit hard to get together a Mobility Radeon 9600 and GeForce FX Go5600 head to head because of the odd product cycles that have been going on. Toshiba was the first to release a GeForce FX Go5600 based system, but this was on the Japanese product cycle, which is around spring/summer. Since the relationship between Japan and North America are intertwined via manufacturers, the US and Canada saw units trickle into their marketplaces. Meanwhile, Europe was really the earliest to see production systems that were based on the Mobility Radeon 9600, but due to marketplace relationships, North American didn’t see any of these products retailed. Mobility Radeon 9600 in North America wasn’t really seen until VoodooPC’s Envy M: 460 hit the market, which was just several weeks back.
Required or not these days, students back in North America are commonly buying notebooks for school use, and NVIDIA’s marketing has decided to go after the back-to-school cycle with their GeForce FX Go5600. Meanwhile, ATI’s Mobility Radeon 9600 will be aimed toward the US fall refresh cycle (sometime around late Q3 and early Q4), which means we will see more design wins in the near future. Though, at the moment, both graphic processors can be considered shipping components. Either way, the two cycles have lead to a shifted timeline between Mobility Radeon 9600 and the GeForce FX Go5600. With GeForce FX Go5600 arriving earlier than its competitor, it was sometimes unfairly compared to Mobility Radeon 9000 (code named M9). M9, though, was not a DX9 part nor supported AGP8X.
Today, we have the benchmark results to show for all of the countless hours. Not only do we have Half-Life 2 for viewing pleasure, but we will throw in the anticipated AquaMark 3. This should give you the full spectrum look into the latest and greatest from NVIDIA and ATI, with our look into full DX9 desktop and mobile graphic processors. You may have seen other media report benchmark scores [for these two mobile parts] that have been called into question, specifically involving odd margin results. In our time spent benchmarking the two mobile graphics processors, we have yet to be able to recreate similar scenarios.