ATI's RADEON 7500/ POWERPLAY
ATI just unveiled the MOBILITY RADEON 7500, a competitor to NVIDIA's Quadro2 Go . When operated in power-saving mode using ATI's new POWERPLAY voltage and frequency scaling technology, the new chip consumes less than half a watt in light usage. ATI says POWERPLAY extends DVD playback on battery power by up to 25 percent, modulates clock speeds and voltage settings automatically when you switch between AC and battery operation, and includes the option of user-selectable voltage/frequency scaling. The MOBILITY RADEON 7500 offers video features like adaptive per-pixel de-interlacing technology, which ATI says improves vertical resolution and eliminates twitter and feathering artifacts during DVD playback. Other features include HydraVision for multi-monitor management where you can define up to nine multi-monitor configurations; ATI's CHARISMA ENGINE, which supports transformation, clipping and lighting at 40 million triangles per second processing capability with character animation features like vertex skinning and keyframe interpolation; PIXEL TAPESTRY, which combines a rendering engine with a set of 3D special effects that let you render up to three textures concurrently; and VIDEO IMMERSION, which provides for digital video with features like on-chip motion compensation, iDCT and adaptive de-interlacing. ATI says the RADEON 7500 can decode and display MPEG-2 content in all HDTV formats, including 1280 X 720 pixels progressive and 1920 X 1080 pixels interlaced and that its HYPER Z technology can boost effective memory bandwidth by 20 percent. The question for both NVIDIA, with its Quadro2 GO, and ATI, with its MOBILITY RADEON 7500, is how much graphic processing folks need on a laptop. Since we don't know how much either product will increase the price of mobile computers, we'll have to see what the market will bear. Do both companies think that CAD users and other content creators will snatch the things up and take their work on the road? Seems like most of those folks barely get by with a 21" (or bigger) monitor and many work with dual-monitor setups. Gamers? Maybe, but only if they're interested in playing on a plane - and you can't dial in to Battle.net while you're airborne.