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.

ATI - Mobility Radeon 9600


View All Comments

  • Andrew Ku - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    We are currently revising our graphics benchmark suite in the anticipation of future DX9 stuff. These two GPUs are full DX9 parts, and we are benchmarking them accordingly. UT2003 and our current line of benchmarking titles are DX8, and therefore aren't specifically appropriate for this context. Why are our choices of benchmark titles odd? The Mobility and Go mobile graphics parts are no more than mobile version of desktop processors (clocked down, better power management features and in the M10 case integrated memory package). Reply
  • dvinnen - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    Where's UT2003 and other stables? Odd choice of benchmarks. I would of liked to see how it stood up to desktop varients also. Reply
  • Andrew Ku - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link


    Question 1: Actually, we were considering memory bandwidth as a possible issue. I will try and report back as soon as we sort this out.

    Question 2: We tested at 1600x1200 for benchmark purposes, as it shows degrade. Additionally, the newer desknotes and mobile multimedia notebooks are capable of this resolution and higher.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 15, 2003 - link

    Great review, funny too. (And it wasn't just the horrible failure of the Go5650 to perform that I found amusing!) Reply
  • AgaBooga - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    Wow, nice set of benchmarkings applications! That is really something you've put together! My compliments to you!

    Do you think it is bound by something other than the GPU at 1024x768 on Splinter Cell 2_2_1 Set 1? Also, why was it tested at 1600x1200 because laptop users usually don't use resolutions that high on a relatively small screen than what is used on a desktop.
  • Andrew Ku - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    I am somewhat considered a new writer. My first article was the CEO Forum - Q3/2003. Reply
  • AgaBooga - Sunday, September 14, 2003 - link

    New article writer? Not bad, it seems pretty good! Reply

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