The word is out - ATI has released their newest mobile GPU, code named M11, which is the successor to the Mobility Radeon 9600 family. As we mentioned in our mobile GPU Q1/2004 update, ATI and NVIDIA did not announce their next gen mobile GPUs at the same time. Instead, NVIDIA announced NV36M, dubbed GeForce FX Go5700, back at Comdex. And today, ATI's M11 newly christened Mobility Radeon 9700 officially hits the market. (It isn't based on the R300 core, but we will explain all of that later.)

While gaming/rendering on notebooks has never been up to par with desktop stuff (barring overly large-sized notebooks), the gap between the two has been slowly narrowing, and the sales for desktop replacements have been steadily on the upswing. The high-end mobile graphic solution for notebooks is now basically comparable to the mainstream desktop graphic stuff (of course, the 9600 name helps to get ATI's point across).

After enjoying the success of the M10 GPU, ATI doesn't want to slow down in the mobile segment at all. But they are still very cautious of the moves that they make in tandem to their competitor. While the Mobility Radeon 9600 is shaping up to be a very resilient mobile GPU, ATI still has a lot of work ahead, if they want to maintain the dominant position in the mobile GPU market.

M11 and its successor (we will get to that some other day) are supposed to be just that: the insurance ATI needs to solidify their mobile GPU market position. By all present indicators, the Mobility Radeon 9600 family looks like its going to be around for a while. ATI is positioning the M11 GPU to be the higher end derivative of its mobile graphics family, while the Mobility Radeon 9600 trio will remain in place as mainstream solutions. With that having been said, let's get to the good stuff.

ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 – All the details
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  • Platter - Saturday, February 14, 2004 - link

    Suppose, just for the sake of argument, that the recent official announcement from IBM regarding the 970FX has something to do with ATI's 'Big One™'?

    PowerBook G5, anyone?
  • Andrew Ku - Monday, February 9, 2004 - link

    Ok, so to answer some of the inquires posed to me - if you currently own a Mobility Radeon 9600 (one of the three) based notebook, you are more or less set to go. The Mobility Radeon 9700 in the majority of cases behaves like an OC'ed version of its predecessor. However, the M10 is still a very hardy chip seems like it is going to have a long life cycle.

    As for waiting time, it looks like the bulk of the design wins won't start to be announced until the end of Feb. So go with a M10 based notebook if you plan to buy within the next few months or if you are just looking for the "traditional notebook." It's going to take some time before mainstream sees M11 in their mobile systems. And when it does, M11 will be in DTR notebooks for the most part.
  • Serp86 - Thursday, February 5, 2004 - link

    i think that the performance difference is quite enoght to justify calling it a 9700.
  • yomer - Thursday, February 5, 2004 - link

    So Andrew, Dell is supposed to be one of the bunch in adopting the M9700. Might Dell be called BIG? I wanted to buy an IBM t41p with a mobility firegl T2(based on the 9600) with 128MB. Should I wait and buy a notebook with the new M9700? Is it worth it? How much should we wait in oder to be able to buy one of thoes notebooks here in the US?
  • TrogdorJW - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - link

    #9, it's all marketing. There will be enough people out there that don't know hardware who will just assume the 9700M is the same as the desktop 9700. Too bad for them. The important thing is that the M11 *is* quite a bit faster than the R9600 Mobility Pro, right? Or maybe they should have called the part the Mobility Radeon 9800 SE? ;)
  • CaptainSpectacular - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - link

    ok ATI, what's with the naming scheme. this is absolutely awful! This part has nothing to do with the desktop 9700. I understand the dilema as presented, but what's wrong with 9650? or some other similar variation? the name 9700 is flat out misleading, regardless of how you justify it. This is almost as bad as nvidia calling the NV17 a GeForce4 series card (ok, not nearly that bad, but same idea...)
  • Slappi - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - link

    Well if it is BIG I would think the biggest notebook maker is Toshiba and they are all Nvidia now so....... that would be huge.

    Do I get a cookie?
  • Andrew Ku - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - link

    #6 - Sorry, no hints. You can count all the big guys on a single hand, and so there isn't much point in the old'e guess and check.
  • yomer - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - link

    Andrew please! Tell me that the big name is not IBM!!
  • Andrew Ku - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - link

    #2 - From our talks with the OEMs and ODMs, we understand that the pricing between the two chips is basically pocket change for prospective notebooks owners.

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