The Card and PowerPlay 6.0

So, we have already mentioned that this part is similar to what will some day be the desktop X1600 series. Clock speeds and memory size aside, the part looks alright for its target market. The card needs to be able to run moderately sized panels at good quality and speed. Of course, battery life is important in this market as well, but we didn't have enough time with the system to run any battery life tests. The ASUS A7V in which we tested the MRX1600 was running a 2GHz Pentium M with 1GB of RAM. The system has a 1440x900 wide screen panel attached to it, which ends up requiring about the same pixel pushing power as a 1280x1024 display.

We ran a few brief tests just to see how the system performed. We wanted to know if we could play games at the maximum resolution without any problems. The A7V ran the tests that we tried quite well. Here's a look at our data.

Day of Defeat on Mobility Radeon X1600
  1024x768 1440x900
No AA 43.7 42.7
4xAA 43.7 42.8

Quake 4 on Mobility Radeon X1600
  800x600 1024x768 1152x864
No AA 60.9 45.7 39
4xAA 40.8 30.8 26.6

PowerPlay 6 has most of the same features of PowerPlay 5. The GPU is able to run at 0.95V, the number of PCIe lanes is dynamically configurable, and clock gating is still a major feature, but there is one new addition that is quite interesting. The concept isn't new, but this is the first time that ATI has gone down this path.

We've spoken about leakage currents in some of our CPU articles before, but the basic problem of leakage is that high speed transistors end up drawing power even when they are off. One of the unfortunate side effects of trying to make it easier for electrons to flow through something quickly and easily is that it becomes more difficult to prevent them from doing so. And process shrinks don't help the problem either. ATI is combating the problem in its latest mobile parts by implementing reverse biasing. The idea is that in lower power modes, current flow through transistors that are off can be reduced if a voltage is actively applied in the opposite direction. ATI indicates that their method can reduce power by up to 20%.

Index Final Words


View All Comments

  • Sunrise089 - Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - link

    Well actually I wasn't the only person backing the way it was written, but I can see most people feel I'm wrong, so I will apologize. While the concepts of for example 2 square mm and 2mm squared no doubt exist, I admit the article should have been written in such a way to make the size of the GPU much more clear. Just because I understood the author's intent, doesn't meen that intent was properly communicated. Sorry for stirring up so much trouble. Reply
  • psychobriggsy - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    lol, I bet they meant it in square cm and failed to account for altering cm to mm correctly, and indeed 2.14cm * 2.14cm is 4.6cm^2 ... Reply
  • mbhame - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    Who wrote this article?
    Is Anandtech abandoning crediting its authors???
  • mbhame - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    NM, I'm a moron. Reply
  • Hi - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    we knew that Reply
  • ksherman - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link


    The X1600 is a mid-range graphics solution that is meant to perform at about the same level of the X800 GTO and the 6600 GT.

    What happened to progress, to improving performance? To me, a next-gen mid range card should not perform at the same level of the previous gen mid range cards... I remember the days (not that long ago, only like a year or two ago) when the next-gen mid range cards were very comprable to the previous-gen high end parts... why sis ATI limit the X1600 to perform like a 6600GT?! Is it because their x800 line is better than their X1800 line?
  • phaxmohdem - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    I agree with you that Nex Gen mid range cards should ideally perform at or about the level of previous gen higher end cards. Otherwise whats the point, unless they have some new badass featuer (perhaps H.264 counts once it is supported). Reply
  • allnighter - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    I'd like to get my hands on one too but it seems we don't even have an eta on these do we? And Asus recently jumped the gun on nV 7300Go. I don't think you can get any of those either. HKEPC recently had an article with benchmarks, and I couldn't tell whethere it was a retail unit or not. Although that one may be a little closer to be available than this x1600 mobile part. I hope it's not after CeBit when any of us can actually buy one of these. I'd love to be able to upgrade to a model sporting one of these and one of those sweet dual core yonah's. It's a mobile wet dream he, he. Reply
  • Wesleyrpg - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    hmm, nice laptop, i don't think we'll see the chip anytime soon though.

    whats up with the commment about the all in wonder x1800xl?
  • Shortass - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    Looks pretty decent for a mobile gfx card, too bad it'll probably actually hit the market in late '09 :roll: Reply

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