ATI have unveiled their latest mobile graphics chip – the Radeon Mobility 9800. The DirectX 9 card is actually based on the new Radeon X800 core, and will first appear in Dells Inspiron XPS and Inspiron 9100.
Graphics capabilities have become far more important in recent years due to three factors: screens have become far better, good TFT screens are cheaper, and many people are buying laptops not just for business, but because they don’t have enough space at home for a full sized PC. And many of those people want to play games.
“Thanks to the new Mobility RADEON 9800, the Dell Inspiron XPS is the first laptop in the world with the power to run the Splinter Cell 3 E3 Weather demo at above 30 fps.” said Dany Lepage, Splinter Cell 3 lead programmer at Ubisoft’s Montreal studio. “The strong performance of the Mobility RADEON 9800, with antialiasing and the widescreen display of the Inspiron XPS, should allow players to experience Splinter Cell 3 in the best possible conditions.”
“ATI continues its outstanding graphics performance with the MOBILITY RADEON 9800 and enables us to be more creative with the visual effects in our games,” says Peter Molyneux, founder of Lionhead Studios. “Gamers can now experience the advanced 3D graphics in applications like Black and White 2 previously available only to desktop users.”
The Mobility 9800 has eight pixel pipelines and uses ATI’s Smartshader technology. A powerful graphics processor will basically eat your laptop battery in one gulp, but ATI have developed Powerplay to make sure you can actually play Splinter Cell past the loading screen.
Paradoxically, the chip runs at 100MHz less than its predecessor the 9700, but it has a staggering 110 million transistors – more than twice that of the previous offering.