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

  • slimborama - Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - link

    Why don't you guys do what Tom's Hardware does and only mention the parts when they hit the shelves? By giving them free press, you're only perpetuating the problem of imaginary hardware. Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Friday, December 9, 2005 - link

    they already burned ATI in the first paragraph, so the reader already knows this.

    so with that said, might as well look at the potential technology
  • Bull Dog - Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - link

    " apparitions floating around that, more than likely, won't show up for weeks or even months after we were told they would. And what happened with the X1800XL All-In-Wonder? The situation is absolutely not acceptable."

    what was so wrong with the x1800 AIW?

    Newegg started selling it later the same day all the articles came out. Maybe it was the day after but still, that was quick.
  • Jedi2155 - Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - link

    BOYCOTT ATI!!!!! Oh wait...we can't boycott something we cant' buy..... Reply
  • Eug - Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - link

    I don't expect to see the X1600 in a 5 lb 13" PowerBook, but would not be surprised to see an X1300.

    I don't care so much about game performance, but would be very interested in H.264 decode (and transcode) acceleration. How fast would it be anyway? Comparable to a Mobility X700? X600?
  • h7o - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    "we're somewhat skeptical about actually seeing any for sale in Asia today or in the US in mid-January"

    This truly sucks, I was hoping there be a large supply by the time yonah is released.

    Do you know if this chip will be in laptops weighing 5-6 lb or just for those >6 lb?
  • LoneWolf15 - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    Links to pages 2 and three lead to the "Article Search" function. Reply
  • Visual - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    this article disappeared! what happened? Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, December 5, 2005 - link

    This is the first article I've seen with a "9PM" NDA instead of 9AM. Oh well. It'll be back up in a few hours.

  • Jedi2155 - Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - link

    Does that mean its possible that it might be on sale by now? Reply

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