The consumer base for mobile discrete graphics cards has been growing at a rate triple that of the desktop variety. In 2003, ATI sold 39.4 million units; it is expected to sell 60.1 million units this year, and projecting 70.5 million sales in the New Year. ATI has listened to its customers, and its domination of the mobile discrete market for the last two to three years is proof enough - the company boasts over 72.5% of total sales.
Source IDC, June 2005
In August, we test drove Acer's Ferrari 4000, which was equipped with ATI's performance thin sector product, the Radeon Mobility X700. Typically, mobile discrete products are passed down from desktop products in a way similar to that of hand-me-down clothes in a large family. It begins with a desktop product hitting the market; as it ages, the product is repackaged into a more power-conscious version with more limited capabilities, due to heat constraints. The product is then launched in a mobile platform 4-6 months after the desktop discrete launch. However, lately, this timeline and the added restrictions on the mobile have all but disappeared.
Mobile consumers are looking for more performance, but still want to be able to use products unplugged. With the X1000 series launch, ATI's mobile division has been busy, and their efforts have resulted in a short three-month turnaround time between the desktop product and the launch of the Mobility Radeon X1600.
The Acer Ferrari 4000 has horsepower, but there is another thoroughbred coming out of the stables from Asus: the A7G with ATI's Mobility Radeon X1600. It is a well designed and sleek notebook computer with an average of 40% more power in high end graphics applications when compared to the Acer Ferrari 4000.