ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 Preview

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Our Summary & Conclusion

Performance Summary: Without having an identically configured reference system, equipped with a competing mobile GPU, we won't make any broad sweeping statements about the Mobility Radeon X1600's performance versus its competition in this preview. What we can say is that the Mobility Radeon X1600 is an attractive product, that should handily outperform the Mobility Radeon X700 that it effectively replaces (see here for Mobility Radeon X700 benchmarks). The Mobility Radeon X1600 posted playable framerates in the majority of the benchmarks we ran, and because this is a Shader Model 3.0 capable GPU it should have no trouble running future titles as well, although they may have to be run at lower resolutions or detail levels.

Although we weren't to keen on the Radeon X1600 XT in our initial review of ATI's X1K graphics family, based on its relatively unfavorable price / performance ratio (at least according to initial MSRP information), the Mobility Radeon X1600 seems like a fine product. Representatives from ATI informed us the Mobility Radeon X1600 is targeted at the performance-thin notebook market, which means machines using this GPU will likely fall somewhere on the mid-point of the price scale. Notebooks equipped with a Mobility Radeon X1600 will likely be priced similarly to those that are currently based on the Mobility Radeon X700 or GeForce Go 6600, yet the MR X1600 should offer better performance than either of these mobile GPUs in a variety of situations. The Mobility Radeon X1600 XT isn't very power hungry, and its scaler performed very well in our opinion - two very favorable features of a mobile GPU. We mention the Mobility Radeon X1600's scaler specifically, because its performance stood out during our limited experience with the Asus A7G. The Mobility Radeon X1600, in conjunction with the specific LCD panel used in the Asus notebook we used for testing, produced excellent visuals even when running at resolutions far lower than the panel's native resolution, which is not something we can say very often. The only real issue we have with the Mobility Radeon X1600 is availability. It's being launched today overseas, but we're not quite sure when consumers in the US will be able to purchase a notebook using this GPU. Hopefully, ATI and the various notebook ODMs will come through quickly.

_Decent Performance
_Great Resolution Scaling
_Relatively Low Power Consumption
_Unsure About Availability in the US at This Time

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