It wasn't too long ago that executives at the big system manufacturers expected the sales for notebooks to surpass their desktop line. This hasn't materialized as fast as previously predicted, but the notebook market continues to grow by leaps and bounds, particularly as the lines behind ultra-portable, thin and light, mobile workstations, and desktop replacements become blurred. Coupled with lowering prices of PC components and space saving capabilities, notebooks are finding new demographics to tap into.

So, it really comes as no surprise that more and more R&D dollars are being invested in a company's mobile division. Dothan and the mobile version of Athlon 64 are due to be out soon, and we will spend more time on that subject when the time comes. So far, we back on the subject of mobile GPUs. Gaming/rendering on the newest high-end desktop card can (for the most part) attain desirable frame rates, even with non-released games that have implemented heavily on pixel shader use.

Gaming/rendering on notebooks has never been up to par with the best of the desktop stuff (behemoth-sized desktop replacements don't count); yet, more and more people are looking for laptops that do just that. Our most recent case in point would be Half Life 2 on Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro and GeForce FX Go5650 based laptops. The laptop equipped with the Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro made Half Life 2 reasonably playable on a notebook - quite a noteworthy accomplishment. Meanwhile, the GeForce FX Go5650 (one up from the Go5600) based notebook went to a crawling halt.

Domestically, the sales for desktop replacement notebooks are uncannily high compared to ultra-portables, and vice versa for the European market. In the North American market, there is a tendency to like the biggest and baddest stuff around, and we will take it despite the price tag and size. This is why SIs and SDs are carefully watching the upcoming mobile GPU scene between ATI and NVIDIA. Unlike the desktop scene, the stage will be set not just on performance, but also on thermal characteristics. NVIDIA and ATI have an easier time on desktop cards, since they can crank up the clock speeds and slap on a bigger heatsink. Meanwhile, mobile GPUs are at the mercy of the system manufacturer (i.e. Dell, HP/Compaq, IBM, etc.), since NVIDIA and ATI need to conform their GPU's thermal characteristics to the notebook's thermal design, all the while maintaining the promised performance.

NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5700 – NVIDIA answers back
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  • Andrew Ku - Friday, January 30, 2004 - link

    For the clock speeds of any mobile GPU from ATI, there is a general target and that is usually designated as the official clock speeds. In the past, ATI hasn't achieved their official clock speeds in shipping notebooks with their high eng mobile GPUs, but they have gotten a lot better at it. Recently, they have been just missing their memory clocks by one or two 10MHz increments, while achieving the official core speeds. Clock speeds are at the mercy of system manufacturers, but they work with the graphics manufacturer to get the most performance out of it. This obviously means that there are some benefits for system manufacturers to get them as close to “official.”
  • rainypickles - Friday, January 30, 2004 - link

    i'm not saying that this article makes any claims about 9000/9200. its just that OEMs have control over clockspeeds, so anything that ATI says their chips run at might not be what you get in your notebook.
  • Jeff7181 - Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - link

  • tfranzese - Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - link

    If you're thinking of the Mobility 9000/9200 I don't think the clockspeeds in this article concern that GPU. I was only aware of the clockspeed problems of the 9600s... article mentions nothing of a 9000/9200 using the turbo pro branding.
  • rainypickles - Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - link

    regarding ATI clockspeeds, they aren't fixed for notebooks, right? i mean, i'm thinking of the compaq x1000 with the 9000/9200 thing.

    is hp going to try to sell the pro as the turbo pro because they say the performance is the same?

    ignore if this comment is stupid

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