A Few Extras

New to the RV250's mobile core is an upgraded scaler. A scaler is a portion of the graphics chip which is dedicated to taking video and making it fit on the screen. When running an LCD panel at a resolution besides the native resolution of the panel, the scaler takes the image and stretches or shrinks it in order to make it display properly. ATI implemented a new scaler algorithm in the Mobility Radeon 9000 that produces sharper images at nonnative resolutions. Typically, notebook displays become fuzzy when running at a nonnative panel resolution. ATI's new scaler helps alleviate this problem and produces images much cleaner than before when scaling 1.5x or more. So, for example, the new scaler makes the image on UXGA (1600x1200) displays look much better than before when displaying at XGA resolutions (1024x768). This is mainly apparent when viewing text and does not really affect the visual quality of games all that much.

Although difficult to capture with a screen shot, the above is a demonstration of how ATI's new scaler addresses the problem of running a laptop display at a nonnative resolution. Note the ghosting and blurry text in the image without ratiometric expansion.

In order to take full advantage of the new scaler, ATI also introduced a one touch zoom function called ATI ZOOM. This allows for the changing of resolutions with a single key stroke rather than having to change it in the display properties dialogue box.

A display at a high resolution.

The same display at a lower resolution.

This feature is really there to help those with limited computer knowledge take advantage of the new scaler in the Mobility Radeon 9000. Not really all that exciting for the typical AnandTech reader but a noteworthy feature nonetheless.

ATI's Zoom keys represented by stickers over the F11 and F12 keys.

Radeon 9000, Take Two POWERPLAY
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