Oh beloved Mobility 9800, where art thou?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Demon Hunter, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    So lately I have decided to give Apple more credit than I usually do. I mean, c'mon, the Mobility 9700 is a powerful GPU. It kicks a lot of ass, even though it was released a while ago... hm, yeah. Sure, the bus speed is only 167, but the G4 is special and has special needs. Tiger will make me feel better. I nod to reassure myself.

    In my daily efforts to avoid homework, I stumble upon Dell.com to see what their current XPS gaming notebooks are offering. Lo and behold, the mighty 6800 Go is available standard by 4/11/2005 with 256 MB of onboard video memory. The true meaning of Joseph Conrad's "the horror... the horror!" is finally made clear.

    Hmm. Not only does the Pentium M trounce the G4, now their graphics chipsets are lifting the computing equivalent of 500 ton silicon barbells.

    After crying for a few hours, I discovered the 9700 is now a year old -- middle-aged, to say the least. Even the 9800 Mobility is old news. So much for my vociferous outpour against the 5200 FX. What's more, the 9700 is still based on the R360 core. In other words, it's a glorified 9600 Mobility (a google of the early benchmarks will elaborate on this). The Powerbook implementation doesn't even use AGP 8x. PowerMacs were using AGP 4x when I bought my 667 tower in 2001.

    To make matters worse, Dell offers mobile workstations with ATI's Mobility FireGL -- nothing even comes close on our side, especially for CAD users (I know this is really isn't a Mac market, but what can I say, I'm a sensitive guy).

    What is a Mac user to do? In this Powerbook owner's opinion, it is very unlikely that the line will not be updated again sometime this year. I see a few directions.

    Theory #1: Apple introduces PCI Express in the PowerMac line, with a PCIe mobile graphics option for Powerbooks at the same time or shorly after. Possibilities: X700/Go6600, X800/Go6800.

    Theory #2: Apple revamps the Powerbook line with a new chip or "superman" G4+ (read: 200MHz FSB, 1.8GHz+), and uses the 9800 Mobility.

    Theory #3: Apple fubars. Dell takes over the Earth.
  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    Theory #4: Apple keeps doing what it has always done, i.e. selling computers with good (but not bleeding edge) hardware on the strength of it's great OS and super-loyal user base.

    Seriously, I think that the 9700, while not top dog, is far from the Powerbook's weakest link. I am interested to see how Apple deals with the PCI-E phenomenon though. If they don't adopt soon, they'll need nVidia and ATI to continue developing AGP cards for the Mac, which will probably be recycled PC models from last year.

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