Mobile Graphics: What to Do?

tdewey10

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Jan 3, 2004
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First background, then my question.
Here's my understanding of the current state of the mobile graphics market: gleaned from THG, AT and various posts on various boards.

From Best to Worst:
M11-p (Mobility Radeon 9700 Pro) (Due ?)
M11 (MR 9700) (Due Q1 04) 256 MB
Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo 128MB
MR 9600 Pro 64/128MB
GeForce FX Go5700 ??
MR 9600 32/64 MB
FX Go5650 ??

I haven't seen a direct comparison of the 5700 to the Pro/Pro Turbo but comparing benchmarks of (possibly non- equivalent) systems the Pro Turbo seems to be better (e.g. 3DMark01 of 10.1k v 3DMark01 of 7.7k).

Quick Aside: I have no idea of what the difference is between the MR 9600 Pro and the MR 9600 Pro Turbo. As I understand both allow oveclocking and 128MB on-chip memory--so I assume some difference in the default clock?

Question: I'm buying a new laptop and I'm trying to decide whether to get one with a Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro Turbo now, or whether it is worth the 1-2 month wait for the M11.
By all accounts the M11/M11-p are just clocked up versions of the M10-p core with more memory (256Mbytes). Is there any estimation as too how much better the chip will be than the M10-p? I can wait for a bit to buy if it is significantly better, but if we're only talking about a 25% boost over the pro turbo, i'd rather just get the notebook now ;-)

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
 

splenda20

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Mar 2, 2003
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Sorry I don't have any links for you, but as far as I've seen, the 9700 will only offer a slight performance increase. I've heard that the 9700 will have 8pixel pipelines, vs 4 for the 9600. That would obviously have an impact on DX9, shader intensive games, but wouldn't have much effect on current games or most coming out in the near future. The 256megs of memory would probably be useless on a mobile card, because it would only allow for games to run at ultra high res with AA and AF enabled, something neither of those cards would be able to do anyways. Unless you really want bleeding edge, opt for the best card available now. Also something to consider would be an Alienware or Voodoo that have the upgradable graphics port, so you can always replace your card later.
 

tdewey10

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Jan 3, 2004
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Thanks. One last question: Is Overdrive enabled in the Alienware or Voodoo machines? My understanding is that most 9600 Pro/Pro Turbo laptops are not yet overdrive capable.

Trev