Originally Posted by terminator02
I have read the reviews and it seems like the 9800 is basically a little inferior to the older 9800pro desktop card and it doesnt even come close to comparing to the newest x800 cards even though the mr9800 is based off much of the same technology. Does this discrepancy translate to a very visual difference when playing games? I don't really understand what the real world implications are. I am debating if I just want to sell my xps and go for a powerful desktop IF the difference is startling. If it is negligable I will trade the performance variance for portability.
getting back on track. the mr9800 is somewhere between the 9800 and the 9800XT, depending on the game, the driver version, if you are oc'ing or not, etc. performance wise, if you can be happy with the performance of a 9800pro, then in eccesance you'll be fine with the mr9800.
lets cover some basics: the mr9800 is not an x800 core, but it is based on the x800 core. I recall from one of the previews it was mentioned that ATI started a division who's sole purpose is developing these laptop gpu's. And the mr9800 is the first part. It was essentially co-developed with the x800, instead of waiting for the x800 to be done, then trying to manipulate the desktop part into a mobile package. So the 9800 core was designed along with the x800, but one of the reasons I don't suspect we'll be modding for more pipes is I would guess ATI didn't even design the other pipes into this chip, why waste the extra transistors?
So, understanding that the design of the mr9800 occurred along side the x800, and with the same "feature" sets, it will be visually IDENTICAL to an x800XT.
the only difference is, the mr9800 can't run at the framerates of the x800XT since it only has 8 pipelines, not 16. But "visually" they have exactly the same capabilities. There are NO features available on the x800 gpus that aren't also in the mr9800 for visual affects.
So, the more appropriate answer is, depending on the game, and the resolution you pick, there will be cases, like Doom3, where the mr9800 can not be run either in as high a resolution for high details, or at the same resolutions but medium quality as the desktop x800's. AF/AA will more greatly impact the 9800 with it's 8 pipes. This is why it seems to run even with the desktop 9800 series. They are all based on 8 pipelines. That's the most crucial number, along with the 256 bit memory path.
you won't be able to play doom 3 at 1280x1024 at ultra high settins with max AF/AA, but you will be able to play at 800x600 in ultra, and you might be able to get AF based on some of the tweaks out there.