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  • nserra - Monday, August 23, 2004 - link

    Thanks for the reply and it's really impressive that a 256bit memory interface is going into the mobile market so soon.


    I also don’t understand the problem about the driver? Is it about the time taken to release a new one (validation)? What i do is to force the last catalyst to install, it have worked just fine with me.
    Reply
  • ATIMobileGuy - Friday, August 20, 2004 - link

    #28 nserra

    Keep in mind the development cycle for mobile designs is longer than desktop development - when the design was started there were still questions on GDDR3 power and availability at the time, so we felt DDR was the ideal solution for the initial mobile introduction of this type of product. Plus, running at 300MHz and using the full 256-bit memory interface we felt the memory bandwidth was pretty good for a mobile design.

    This is not to say GDDR3 is not going to show up in Mobile soon - as I said in post #26, there are a lot of surprises coming your way in the future. ;-)
    Reply
  • nserra - Friday, August 20, 2004 - link

    To DerekWilson and/or ATIMobileGuy:

    On you nvidia Geforce5800 review about ati Anisotropic Filtering: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=1779...
    “Since there is virtually no difference between ATI's Performance and Quality modes, …..”

    Does this still hold true in today’s games?
    Since I could get some nice performance boost according to these charts
    http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=1779...
    Reply
  • nserra - Friday, August 20, 2004 - link

    To ATIMobileGuy:

    -If this is for the mobile market, why not use the new GDDR3 memory, since it would lower the power consuming and heat and deliver higher speed.

    -Isn’t these chip a "little" waste of time if taken into desktop, since you guys already have a very similar chip but at .15, or we will only will see it on notebooks for the time.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    #22 suryad

    We actually had the XPS in early July IIRC. We used ATI's latest drivers at that point. I'm not sure what driver the current Dell release is based on, but maybe Darren (ATIMobileGuy) can help us out there ;-)
    Reply
  • ATIMobileGuy - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Comment 5 [I](Posted by Anemone)[/I]

    Anemone, thanks for the comments. Without saying too much, I can tell you that this was really our first attempt at a new class of product, and once we move into PCI Express we'll have a few more surprises for you that should make you happy!
    Reply
  • ATIMobileGuy - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Re: Comment 20 (the esteemed Mr. Baumann)

    This is true Dave - unlike the desktop side, every Mobile driver is customized for each notebook for things like power management, hot keys, panel support - all kinds of things. If ATI were to provide "generic" drivers the user would run the risk of losing a lot of features or would experience potential instability.

    The OEM has to do a lot of qualification to test all these unique aspects of their driver before feeling comfortable releasing it. Dell has been very good in understanding the need for fresh drivers, expecially for this segment, so I think it won't be too long before you see a new driver release for this system from them.
    Reply
  • ATIMobileGuy - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Hi Everyone - I'm Darren from ATI Mobile group. Just finished reading the review, and wanted to read the comments and see if there was anything I could answer from the comments that were posted; will be checking in sporadically and will give some responses to some of the things that have already been posted if possible. Reply
  • jediknight - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Doom 3 benchmarks, please!! Reply
  • suryad - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    I have a similar specced Dell XPS and I was initially getting a 5440 with 3dmark but then I used Dells release of the 4.8 Catalyst drivers and that alone pushed me to a 6600 on 3dmark and over 43.1k in Aquamark3 all stock settings. Now I am not saying that the benchmark is the tell all in this situation but where these benches performed using the latest driverset? I am curious since I have yet to install any new games on it and wanted to know if I would get a performance boost sorta similar to what I got in 3dmark. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Thanks Dave, I've tweaked the conclusion a little to reflect this fact.

    As for the comparison systems, the only way to have a true and fair comparison would have been to grab an AGP version of the mr9800 and dropped it in our desktop system. Since we couldn't do that (or shove other GPUs in the notebook) we went with our standard graphics testbed.

    This isn't a direct comparison, and we mentioned that we only used other ATI cards because of that fact. Numbers other than the MR9800 are just for reference.
    Reply
  • DaveBaumann - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Derek,

    Its up to the notebook vendors to qualify the drivers, not ATI. ATI can supply the drivers to the vendors, but its up to the vendors to qualify and release them.
    Reply
  • plewis00 - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    If the graphics drivers are lagging behind, can't you use a driver which works with all cards - like the Omega ones? The same driver works with the Mobility series and the desktop ones, would that help out? I don't think it disables Powerplay either.

    Does anyone know what the power drain of the laptop is during a heavy gaming session? Or how long it lasts on batteries?
    Reply
  • devonz - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    I have to reiterate what #13 said. Why did you compare a P4 notebook against an Athlon 64 desktop!?!?!? And why the differing memory configurations!?!?!? Since you are comparing the video cards, it would SEEM like a good idea to get the configurations as close as possible. Certainly you could get closer to parity than THIS choice!

    My $.02
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    I agree, I keep my laptop graphics cards at stock, it's not worth overclocking for a small performance increase, especially when it is usually difficult to replace the graphics card.

    John
    Reply
  • nserra - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    #14 Maybe Powerstrip will do, but not recommended....

    Besides overclock just to get from 200 to 220, 100 to 110, 50 to 55, 25 to 27 in some games.....
    Just to say that when you already have a lot of fps you will get even more (not needed) and when you have low fps, you will continue to have low fps….

    In very resuming words OVERCLOCK does not compensate.
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Usually it's just the same as overclocking a desktop graphics card although obviously you have far less headroom.

    John
    Reply
  • skunkbuster - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    just out of curiosity, anyone know if it's possible to overclock a video card in a laptop? Reply
  • reboos - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    comparing a Athlon64 3200+ w/ 1 gig of RAM to a Northwood 3.2 with 2gb of RAM. I don't get it. :\ Reply
  • Shalmanese - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    No Doom 3 benchmarks? :o :( Reply
  • ianwhthse - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    You know, I think I read it wrong. 256-bit bus width, but no mention of the memory.

    I think I'm just confusing myself now, so I'll leave it to the experts to tell me off.
    Reply
  • ianwhthse - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    7 & 8: Dell is currently selling the X800 SE in their Dimension 8400 series (And possibly elsewhere).

    Looks like the X800 SE is a system-vendor only thing. But it does supposedly have a 256-bit memory.

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/video/display/2004070...

    Xbit labs talks about it. Futuremark (Yeah, yeah, 3dMark sucks. Blah, blah) doesn't currently even have the option to view X800 SEs on their ORB so I would assume they're not out in significant numbers yet.
    Reply
  • jcwagers - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Is it just me or does it seem like the UT2k4 benchies are slighly low? I know that it is a tweaked and slightly more demanding version than UT2k3 but surely not by that much. The 3400+ with Radeon 9800XT scores a 51.6fps at 1280x1204? A similar config in earlier reviews ran UT2k3 at 98fps on a 9800 Pro. I know that 1280x1024 is more stressful than 1024x768 and that UT2k4 is more demanding...but should there be THAT much performance loss? I know it was a notebook review but it just seems strange to not see higher fps on the game. Again....maybe it's just me........

    jc
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    It is .13 low-k

    As far as I'm aware, ATi did have plans to release this card as the X800SE, but with 128-bit memory rather than 256, but I've not seen any sign of it.

    John
    Reply
  • nserra - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Why don’t they use GDDR3? It would lower the power consuming, that's important for mobile. Maybe GDDR3 memory banks are bigger?

    Is this chip .13 lowk, right?

    I will wait for the desktop version of this chip. If its 9800 nr on mobile, I bet will do 500Mhz on desktop.
    And if it's 256bit it will out do nvidia 6600 since this card is 128bit only.
    What will ati call it? X700?
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Dell do not only sell 4,200rpm hard drives in their notebooks, they sell 7,200rpm 60GB hard drives and 5,400 rpm 80GB hard drives as options.

    Very impressive results from a notebook though, performed better than I expected.

    John
    Reply
  • Anemone - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    Well, I might be a bit too demanding from a poor notebook but, imo, one more generation and probably they will have finally gotten notebook gaming to an ok level. 9800 is pretty good, but I'd prefer to see closer to X800 pro #'s and pci-express changeable interfaces before taking the leap into notebooks.

    $.02
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    We've updated the article with clock speeds: core 350, mem 300.

    Most game test are not affected by harddrive speed (except for loading time between levels). None of our tests are significantly affected by harddrive speed (especially with all the system and video ram in the box).

    For more info on our farcry tests, see here: http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2102 ... we used the airstrip_mp demo as we have been doing since we started testing farcry. We also always test with sound disabled.

    Thanks,
    Derek Wilson

    Reply
  • unuselessj - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    I did some looking into the Dell Inspiron XPS specs. Dell's "help me choose" specs say that it does have 256mb ram and a 256-bit bus. On NotebookForums, someone who had tested the XPS with the MR9800 said it comes set to 350mhz core and 300mhz ram.

    I also noticed that in the specs for the laptop used, the harddrive was an 80gb. Dell only sells 4200rpm drives. Although I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have much of a difference, I'm curious as to what the benchmark results would be if the laptop had a 60gb 7200rpm drive that would be more similar to the desktop's harddrive speed and buffer.
    Reply
  • l3ored - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    what far cry benchmark is that? i have an athlon 64 3000, 9800 pro, and a gig of memory, and theres no way i would score 40fps average at those settings. Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Thursday, August 19, 2004 - link

    What are teh actual specifications of the MR9800 as configured in the Dell XPS laptop? I assume it had 256 MB of RAM with a 256-bit bus, but what was the clockspeed of the RAM and the GPU core? I'm betting lower clocked RAM is a major reason that the MR9800 sometimes falters in performance. Reply

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