mobility graphics cards..

wviperw

Senior member
Aug 5, 2000
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I'm currently looking to buy a laptop, and it seems that in my price range there are 3 different graphics cards I could possibly get, depending on the laptop I decide to buy. Here they are:

ProSavage/Savage4 32mb shared
ATI Mobility Radeon 16mb dedicated
SIS 650/315 64mb shared

Now, I've found a little info on the Savage card and the Radeon card, but I haven't found anything on the SIS card. It looks like its got the most memory, but does that mean it will perform better than the others? I'm guessing not. Anybody have any more info on these cards? Which one should I go for?

BTW, i'm talking about low-res 3D capabilities here for not-so-new-games such as Quake3, etc. And yes, I know about the GF2Go/GF4Go, but the lappies those are in are out of my price range.

Thanks!
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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;) IMHO Radeon is by FAR the best option, and only a smidge slower than GF2 o/b gfx. Savage have a lot of probs, although they are decently fast while SiS are okay. Here 3Dmark should illustrate the diff using an Athlon 1.2ghz CPU (card: total, games1-3 LOW detail FPS):

1024x768x32:
SiS315: 1800, 32, 25, 33
GF2o/b: 1800, 31, 30, 27
Radeon: 2000, 35, 31, 37
Sav4pro: 500, 7, 10, 10

:) Assuming the Radeon is effectively a RadeonVE and the Savage is effectively the Savage4pro. Dedicated RAM is much better, 16MB is not great, but to be honest with such low range gfx it really matters very little. I would choose Radeon myself, but SiS aren't that far behind.
 

wviperw

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Aug 5, 2000
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hey, thanks for the informative post AnAndAustin. I too was thinking the Radeon is probably the best. However, I did e-mail the company of the laptops I'm looking at (NetLux.com) and they told me the SiS 64mb video card was the best of the 3. ?!? It makes sense that a 64mb vid card would be better, although it is Shared memory. Could it possibly be a newer SiS card than the one that you mentioned in your post?
 

Peter

Elite Member
Oct 15, 1999
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The Mobility Radeon is basically a 7000 core with some RAM on the same chip carrier, with the same kind of performance as the desktop cards. The other two are chipset integrated solutions borrowing system RAM. ProSavage4 graphics are found in VIA's older SDRAM chipsets, while SiS 650 and 740 are current DDR chipsets. The latter have pretty good 3D performance (using the halfway recent SiS 315 graphics core), well in the Radeon 7000's ballpark ... if the notebook OEM didn't choose to combine the chipset with SDRAM. Consider especially that the Mobility Radeon has only 16 MB and has to go through AGP to borrow more, while the SiS core is assigned up to 64 MBytes directly, and can borrow more through pseudo-AGP at almost the same speed because it has a direct chipset internal access path to system RAM anyway. ProSavage chipsets have the same advantage, but are still using the ancient Savage4 3D engine, which sucked considerably as a separate entity when it had its own RAM, and is of course no better on shared RAM.

 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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:) In the above comparison, Rad7000: 4000, 64, 66, 73

:eek: Well the figures I quoted were most likely the standard AGP versions with their own 32/64MB dedicated RAM (3Dmark doesn't stipulate), for the gfx cards using shared system RAM the perf hit would noticabley degrade their perf. I quoted the RadeonVE (uses 64bit DDR), slower than the Rad7000 (128bit DDR, twice the bandwidth). The dedicated RAM on the Radeon solution should run at 333mhz and only take a 10%ish hit when it needs to call on the system RAM. The shared system RAM solutions while sporting up to 64MB of shared RAM won't need to call on the assigned system RAM as the 64MB is far less likely to be breached, however this 64MB is not only running at the system RAM speed (probably 266mhz) BUT also has to share this bandwidth with the system which will really hit perf.
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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;) I would definitely choose the Radeon solution, but the SiS is the next best alternative. 16MB dedicated on an AGP card will easily outperform 64MB of shared RAM on an AGP card, no question in my mind. Just think of the perf diff between a GF2MX200 64MB and a GF2TI 32MB. Capacity is nothing without speed. The Radeons will be much better for things like image quality, DVD playback, TVout, dual monitor support than any other o/b solution.
 

AnAndAustin

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Apr 15, 2002
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;) In fact here's a case in point:

GF3TI200 128MB: 7300, 113, 108, 117, 42 Show
GF4TI4200 64MB: 9300, 134, 169, 125, 55 Show

GF2MX200 64MB: 2000, 33, 35, 30 Show
GF2Pro/TI 32MB: 4700, 88, 85, 86 Show
 

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