ATI Technologies Inc. on Monday introduced the
Mobility Radeon X800 XT, its new flagship graphics processor for laptop computers. ATI said the new Mobility Radeon X800 XT provides “virtual performance parity” to its X800 XT PE desktop graphics hardware.
The Mobility Radeon X800 XT features 16 pixel pipelines and six vertex engines, along with a 256-bit memory interface and support for GGDR3 memory. The Mobility Radeon X800 XT also uses PCI-Express to communicate with the laptop — a faster interface than the AGP technology currently used across Apple’s product line.
By comparison, Apple’s current PowerBook G4 15-inch and 17-inch models utilize ATI’s older Mobility Radeon 9700 hardware. First introduced early in 2004, the Mobility Radeon 9700 is limited to four pixel pipelines and two vertex engines.
The emphasis of the muscular new mobile graphics processing hardware is to improve the performance of visually intensive games on laptop systems running Windows using Microsoft’s DirectX 9.0 application programming interface (API), according to ATI. Despite that, the hardware also supports the latest OpenGL shaders. OpenGL is the graphics rendering standard supported by Apple’s Mac OS X.
In announcing the new Mobility Radeon X800 XT, ATI also announced that it will be incorporated in new laptop designs coming from Alienware, Rock, Eurocom, VoodooPC, HyperSonic, Pro-Star, Velocity Micro and Sager. The technology could certainly be used by Apple in a future laptop design, as well, though no announcement from Apple was forthcoming as MacCentral posted this article.