ATI's Mobility Radeon 9700 - What's in a name?by Andrew Ku on February 3, 2004 12:50 AM EST
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The word is out - ATI has released their newest mobile GPU, code named M11, which is the successor to the Mobility Radeon 9600 family. As we mentioned in our mobile GPU Q1/2004 update, ATI and NVIDIA did not announce their next gen mobile GPUs at the same time. Instead, NVIDIA announced NV36M, dubbed GeForce FX Go5700, back at Comdex. And today, ATI's M11 newly christened Mobility Radeon 9700 officially hits the market. (It isn't based on the R300 core, but we will explain all of that later.)
While gaming/rendering on notebooks has never been up to par with desktop stuff (barring overly large-sized notebooks), the gap between the two has been slowly narrowing, and the sales for desktop replacements have been steadily on the upswing. The high-end mobile graphic solution for notebooks is now basically comparable to the mainstream desktop graphic stuff (of course, the 9600 name helps to get ATI's point across).
After enjoying the success of the M10 GPU, ATI doesn't want to slow down in the mobile segment at all. But they are still very cautious of the moves that they make in tandem to their competitor. While the Mobility Radeon 9600 is shaping up to be a very resilient mobile GPU, ATI still has a lot of work ahead, if they want to maintain the dominant position in the mobile GPU market.
M11 and its successor (we will get to that some other day) are supposed to be just that: the insurance ATI needs to solidify their mobile GPU market position. By all present indicators, the Mobility Radeon 9600 family looks like its going to be around for a while. ATI is positioning the M11 GPU to be the higher end derivative of its mobile graphics family, while the Mobility Radeon 9600 trio will remain in place as mainstream solutions. With that having been said, let's get to the good stuff.