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Mobility Radeon Vs. GeForce M: The CrossFire Advantage

Test Settings

Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-940XM PGA988 2.13-3.33 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache
RAM2 x Kingston KHX1333C7S3K2/4G (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1333 CAS 7-7-7-20 4 GB Total
GeForce Mobile GraphicsNvidia GeForce GTX 480M 2 GB 425 MHz GPU Core, GDDR5-2400 Mobile Driver Version 257.07
Mobility Radeon Graphics2 x ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 1 GB, CrossFire 700 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4000 Mobile Driver Version 8.75-100527a-100755E-Clevo
System Hard DriveCrucial RealSSD C300 256 GB, MLC, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerFSP 19 V 11.57 A (220 W) Power Block 14.8 V 4650 mAh (68.82 Wh) Battery
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Desktop GraphicsAMD Catalyst 10.3
ChipsetIntel INF 9.1.1.1020

Since our previous Mobility Radeon HD 5870 system used a slower CPU, we tested the current system in both CrossFire and non-CrossFire configurations. We physically removed the second graphics module for non-CrossFire mode to better-evaluate power consumption.

In addition to the new notebook performance data, we retained the desktop performance data from our first Mobility Radeon 5870 review to see if an extreme notebook can yet match the performance expectations of mainstream gamers. The platform is based on a Core i7-920 CPU, Radeon HD 5850, and 6 GB of DDR3-1333 CAS 7.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS) Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Very High Quality, 4x AA
DiRT 2Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml Test Set 1: High Quality Preset, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version Test Set 1: High Preset, DX11 EFDL, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, 4x MSAA
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunesVersion:9.0.2.25 x64 Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min Default format AAC
Handbrake 0.9.4Version 0.9.4, convert first .vob file from The Last Samurai (1 GB) to .mp4, High Profile
TMPEGEnc 4.0 XPressVersion: 4.7.3.292 Import File: Terminator 2 SE DVD (5 Minutes) Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX Codec 6.9.1Encoding mode: Insane Quality Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4 Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4Version: 11.0 x64, Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0 x64, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 9.0Version: 9.0.663, Virus base: 270.14.1/2407, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
7-ZipVersion 4.65: Format=Zip, Compression=Ultra, Method=Deflate, Dictionary Size=32 KB, Word Size=128, Threads=8 Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1.0 x64, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2010Version 2010.1.16.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • lashton
    the fermio acrh. cant compete against ATI in the mobile market simply because of design implementations, its physically larger, its an OK review if the nVidia card was faster there would have been more review about it
    Reply
  • lunyone
    Shocker here! NOT! This wasn't anything new, but it's nice to see it all spelled out and on paper (benchmarks). Just think you can have a single 5870 (mobile) chip that produces about 90-95% of the 480 GPU for about 70% of the price?? I know where I'd put my $ if I had it to spend.
    Reply
  • tony singh
    The reason nvidia price is higher is because making geforces is more expensive than making radeons, nvidia needs more transistors to reach or beat amd level, hence we can say that hd 5xxx is considerably more efficient than gtx400.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    tony singhThe reason nvidia price is higher is because making geforces is more expensive than making radeonsAnd we saw how that worked out in the auto industry for General Motors. A company must base its prices on worth, not cost.
    Reply
  • dEAne
    Nvidia is always an expensive video technology.
    Reply
  • "...but notebook manufactures can fit two of AMD’s top modules in in the same space."

    This affirms it, Fermi is a FAT joke...
    Reply
  • ggman
    nice review, nothing shocking though we all know the GTX480M is a downclocked GTX465 and the HD5870M is an underclocked 5770. thumbs up for Ati but lets see how will the new Mobile GPUs from nvidia hold up :)
    Reply
  • alidan
    CrashmanAnd we saw how that worked out in the auto industry for General Motors. A company must base its prices on worth, not cost.
    now correct me if im wrong, and i may as well be. but chips, as in the cpu, gpu, anything that takes massive r&d costs, cost almost noting to make, in the big picture.

    intel so long as they have the fastest processor with little to no competition, prices there products, that may cost in total materials and man hours, maybe 50$ at most, and sells them for 1000$ each to recup the plants cost to manufacture, and the r&d. and if any of the rummors during the femri are to be believed, they had ALLOT to recupe and they need to do it somewhere, with amd pricing lower than they do for close to if not better preforming cards (in the price range) desktop isn't making them there money back fast. so why not gaming laptop where you have less of a choice what goes in.

    thats just my opinion though
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    Yes, some more face time for te 5850!

    It just shows the true manufactoring win that AMD/ATi has accomplished in the past year with such a cool and low power GPU in the cypress and the rest of the radeon 5xxx class. With low heat and TDP requirments, AMD can also take the crown for mobile gaming. Im sure this also helps a tad in the battery life, however we have yet to see crazy gaming laptops hit the 2plus hour mark for movies and games. This is a shame because the first one that can lastat least 3 hours on its highest settings will be a true winner for those looking to spend a wad of cash on a mobile system that can rival midstream desktops.

    I cant help but laugh as my system is now a "mid-level" system and is comparable lthough not better than a laptop!

    Keep these reviews going as they are interesting hen comparing two products in different categories. Maybe we can also see those 12inch ion netbooks vs low end gaming laptops.

    guess crossfire on mobile platforms
    Reply
  • doron
    Always a pleasure to read your reviews Thomas :)
    Reply