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We have just taken a look at ATI’s latest graphics processor for notebooks, the Mobility RADEON X1600 which is fast enough to occasionally play games. Besides, it consumes not too much power and offers pretty decent battery life. We have generally positive feelings about the new mobile graphics solution from ATI, but pretty mixed impressions regarding the ASUS A7G laptop.

The RADEON X1600 XT and PRO on the desktop front do not look to be competitive offering at their price-points (the XT model should cost $249) and ATI is currently looking forward to sell the RADEON X1600 XT 256MB for $179 - $199 to improve their value for end-users. On the contrary, the mobile flavor – the Mobility RADEON X1600 – seems to be a very competitive offering in the mobile market: it can decode H.264 video in hardware, it can run the mainstream games and it does not consume a lot of power.

The most obvious highs of the Mobility RADEON X1600 are:

  • Avivo video engine and hardware H.264 and other HD formats, such as HD WMV, decoding;
  • Sufficient performance for mainstream games;
  • Relatively low power consumption;
  • Support of modern 3D technologies like Shader Model 3.0, HDR, alpha-textures antialiasing and high-quality anisotropic filtering;
  • Can be passively cooled-down;

When acquiring a notebook with the Mobility RADEON X1600, you should keep in mind that:

  • You won’t get high gaming performance in the latest titles;
  • You cannot get the lowest power consumption and very long battery life, as laptops with relatively fast graphics come equipped with pretty high-speed components that are energy hungry in general.

The launch of Mobility RADEON X1600 is a very important milestone for ATI: they have just launched a unique product that may not be the fastest and most efficient from the power consumption point of view in the today’s market, but which is still unique. It is a unique combination of features for a thin performance solutions segment, and it will certainly find its users there. Besides, the Mobility RADEON X1600 has no direct rivals as of today.

Given that it is unique, has no rivals and is compatible with the Mobility RADEON X700, we should see quite a lot of 14” and 15” laptops featuring ATI’s Mobility RADEON X1600 within a few months from such companies as Acer, Alienware, Arima, Asus, ECS, Evesham, FIC, Gericom, HP, LG, Medion, MiTAC, MSI, Packard Bell, Rockdirect, Samsung, Targa, and Uniwill. Additionally, given that the Mobility RADEON X1600 does not require high-performance cooling system, we may eventually see it in 13” or similar size laptops.

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