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Desktop Graphics Ambitions: ATi Mobile Radeon 9800

Test Setup, Continued

Probably the most obvious difference between the two Dell test systems, the Inspiron XPS and 9100, is the CPU. While the XPS came with a standard Pentium 4/Northwood 3.4 GHz, a P4/Prescott 3.2 GHz is hard at work in the 9100. Whether and to what extent this affects the battery life and system performance will be seen in the test results. The difference in the clock rate of the CPU has little to no effect on the 3-D graphics performance.

What's more, the XPS came with two gigabytes (2x 1 GB module DDR400, CL3, Hynix) of RAM; the 9100 came with one gigabyte (2x 512 MB DDR400 module, CL3, Micron).

For the test, we swapped them in both machines with two 256 MB DDR400 modules with CL3, which Infineon supplied.

For all tests, we use SO DIMMs from Infineon: 2x 256 MB-DDR400, CL3

The desktop system that we included to compare with the notebooks is based on a board from Asus with a 865PE chipset. A P4/Northwood 3.2 GHz chipset was also equipped with two 256 MB DDR400 modules from Infineon. For graphics cards, we chose two models each from ATi and Nvidia: the Radeon 9600XT, the Radeon 9800XT or the Geforce FX Ultra5700 and the Geforce FX Ultra5900.

MotherboardASUS P4P800 Intel i865PE chipset
CPUIntel Pentium 3.2 GHz (Northwood / FSB800)
RAM2x 256 MB Infineon DDR400 CL3
Graphics card 1ATi Radeon 9600XT(500MHz/300MHZ DDR)
Graphics card 2ATi Radeon 9800XT(412MHz/365MHZ DDR)
Graphics card 3Nvidia Geforce FX 5700 Ultra (475MHz/ 450MHz DDR)
Graphics card 4Nvidia Geforce FX 5900 Ultra (450MHz/ 425MHz DDR)
Drivers & Settings
Graphics-Driver VersionATI Catalyst 4.7 NVIDIA Detonator v61.72
Chipset driverIntel Ver. 5.00.1012
OSWindows XP Professional SP1