ATI Mobility Radeon X1800XT launches

Written by Geoff Richards

March 7, 2006 | 14:37

Tags: #256mb #intel-core-duo #launch #mxm #wifi #wsxga

Companies: #corsair #rock

Looking for more graphics grunt in your notebook? Until today, your options at the top-end were NVIDIA Go 7800 GTX or ATI Mobility Radeon X800XT, a race that NVIDIA won comfortably.

Today, ATI are redressing that balance by launching the Radeon Mobility X1800 XT. This mobile GPU is based on the same R520 core as the desktop X1800 so it features 16 pipelines and comes with 256MB of memory on the module.

British specialist notebook manufacturer, rock, are a launch partner for the Mobility X1800XT and they kindly lent us their latest model, the Xtreme CTX. Here is the full specification:
  • Intel Core Duo processor T2600 (2.16GHz)
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1800XT 256MB
  • 17" 1680 x 1050 (WSXGA+) X-Glass TFT Screen
  • 1GB Corsair DDR2 667MHz RAM
  • 100GB SATA 7200rpm Hard Drive
  • 8x Dual Layer (-/+) DVD Writer
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, WebCam
  • £TBA
Nick Boardman, Managing Director of rock said “We thrive on giving the latest technology to our customers first. Having a great partnership with ATI makes it possible for us to produce cutting edge notebooks time and again”. Plus, because it’s a rock, the Xtreme CTX comes with a 3-year warranty on parts and labour is provided for free.

Of course, we couldn't resist the temptation to peek under the hood of these beastie. We originally believed rock had used MXM - the open standard that allows easy upgrading of graphics card for notebooks - but we have been told this is not the case. Rock are using their own proprietary interface which is still nonetheless interchangeable between ATI and NVIDIA modules.

We were still able to take our Go 7800-powered Rock Xtreme CT, strip out the NVIDIA GPU and add in the Mobility Radeon X1800XT. The entire operation (see below) involved just 8 screws and took a mere minute or two.

We will be putting a full retail sample through its paces soon and look forward to seeing how ATI's Mobility Radeon X1800XT performs against GeForce Go 7800 GTX.

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