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Monday, November 12, 2001
ATI, Nvidia Introduce New Mobile GPUs
3:23 PM | Sean Smith | Comment on this story

ATI and Nvidia today introduced their newest mobile graphics processing units, the ATI Mobility Fire GL 7800 and the Nvidia NV17M.

ATI's Mobility Fire GL 7800 is targeted at the mobile workstation market, so it does not seem likely that it will find its way into Apple's PowerBook line. In the words of ATI's press release:

The Mobility Fire GL 7800 delivers unmatched compatibility, reliability and performance to the new category of notebook workstations. The combination of outstanding 3D graphics performance and quality combined with workstation ISV (independent software vendor) support from ATIís Fire GL team makes this the ideal choice for mobile workstation users.
Like their recently announced Mobility Radeon 7500, the new chip is based on ATI's Radeon architecture, but it features 64 MB of 128-bit DDR (double data rate) memory.

Of greater potential interest to Mac gamers is Nvidia's introduction of their "new-generation" graphics processing unit (GPU), code-named NV17M. While Apple's mobile line exclusively features ATI GPUs, including the recently adopted Mobility Radeon, Apple's desktop line now comes standard with Nvidia hardware, and it is possible that the NV17M could contend with the Mobility Radeon 7500 for inclusion in future PowerBooks.

While Nvidia's announcement was short on details, it said:

Nvidia's new-generation mobile GPU is... the first to feature custom antialiasing hardware designed specifically for notebook computers.†With support for several high-performance, high-quality antialiasing modes, this new mobile GPU enables mobile users to experience very high frame rates and crisp, clean visuals--despite the XGA resolution (1024 x 768) limitation of most notebook LCDs.
While neither ATI nor Nvidia made any reference to Mac hardware or driver support in today's announcements, the following features in Nvidia's new hardware, if supported in Mac OS drivers, would be welcome indeed to DVD movie buffs:
The [Video Processing Engine] improves overall system efficiency and performance by offloading critical tasks, such as the decoding, processing, and playback of video and DVD content from the CPU, and includes the most complete hardware MPEG2 decoder, sub picture alpha blend processor and de-interlacing circuitry to unequivocally deliver the industry's best video playback.
Hands-on information is not yet available for these new chips. We'll be sure to bring you word when it is, but in the meantime, you may want to review our earlier coverage of comparisons between the ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 and Nvidia's previous generation of mobile GPU, the GeForce2 Go. Nvidia say the NV17M is in volume production and will be appearing in notebooks in early 2002.

IMG News: Apple "Speed Bumps" Portables
ATI: Mobility Fire GL 7800 (Press Release)
IMG News: More Details on Mobility Radeon 7500
Nvidia: New Mobile GPU Raises Bar (Press Release)

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Archives  News  ATI, Nvidia Introduce New Mobile GPUs