In all reality, not allot is know about the NV3x chip. the 4x2 seems to be the most widely stated amongst their spec sheets, but they have been rather tight lipped about it. They did make a significant performance gain that wasn’t cheating with the 52.xx+ Forceware line of drivers. A gain in performance was made by software, in that it better allocated how the registers were used, and improved some of the algorithms to reduce in chip calc times. In fact if you do some image comparisons out there, the NV cards do more work than the ATI card reversing the whole “cheating” issue back at ATi. In the case of Halo, the NV will calculate out soft edges of a flashlight beam, while the ATI will have hard edges. here’s a link: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1931&p=8
. There are other instances where the ATI card is doing less work that NV card is making a performance gain on the ATi side.
DX9 was made around the ATi 24 bit chip. NV wasn’t a part of the DX9 creation until it was too late to change their NV3 chips to support it better, or change DX9 to interface with their chips better. The NV chips stand to improve performance with better DX9 compilers. DX9.1 looks to be able to cross the bridge from DX to NV’s Cg better and make better use of the NV3x features. The same problem can be reduced in different ways. A find max element in a an array can be reduced to sorting, the moving to the last position which is O(Nlog(N))-O(N^2), vs just looking for max element wchich is O(N) time. A better call from DX would tell the chip to use the O(N) algorithm, where before it was running the longer path. Ultimatly, the ATi cards will prolly have the better DX performace over the NV3x chips, but that doesn't mean that the gap can't be closed between the two.
You can’t say what DX9.1 can and can’t do for the NV chip until DX9.1 comes out and we get some concrete numbers. The best position is to be open to both possibilities, because unless you work for NV or Microsoft, how can you be so certain what kind of performance gain DX9.1 will or won’t have?
In terms of this forum and the Area 51m, the NV card is seemingly the better choice for right now. Both cards are inadequate for future games, and the laptop supports the ability to be upgraded to the newest card. Ever since the ATi 9600 card was used in these, people have started to make complaints about image quality and stability, where people with the NV cards never complained. If you look around a lot of people with the ATi are having over heating problems, poor snowy image quality on playback, color washed out screens, and system stability problems. I have never had any of those problems with my NV card, so in the frame work of these laptops, until the mobile ATi 9700 and the NV 5700 Go, the NV 5600 is the better choice in these laptops. And really, stability and Image quality is more important than performance. Judging current trends, NV card will be the way to go due to the better drivers for the NV cards (the is providing you know how to make the reference driver support the mobile cards).
I modified the newest Forceware 53.03 drivers to support our laptops for those who want it.
P.S. I'm sorry if I confused anyone with my poor gramar skills and what not. I prolly have a sinus infection and its harder than normal to think straight...