Specifications & Features
There are 4 Major differences between
the Mobility FireGL 7800 and the Mobility
- The target market
- Driver certification
- Manufacturer support
First off, as you would expect the Mobility FireGL 7800
is targeted at the highest-end laptops,
or “mobile workstations” as they are
billed. While the Mobility Radeon
7500 is targeted at a wide range of
laptops from budget to high-end, you
can expect machines sporting a Mobility
FireGL 7800 to have only the fastest
processors, largest screens, fastest
hard drives and loads of RAM.
ATI does not consider any graphics
chip/board sporting less than 64MB
ram to be "workstation class"
so you can expect the Mobility FireGL
7800 to always have a 128bit memory
interface and some of the fastest
ram available in notebooks.
Second, given the target market, the FireGL 7800 chips
will be noticeably more expensive
than its Mobility Radeon 7500 counterpart
for manufacturers to purchase in quantity.
While the cores of the two mobile
chips are essentially the same, there
are differences in drivers and support
which we'll get into shortly which
make the added cost well worth it
to manufacturers targeting the mobile
Driver certification is probably the single largest difference
between the Mobility FireGL 7800 and
a Mobility Radeon 7500 in a high-end
configuration. The drivers that
ship with the MFGL7800 will be certified
on major CAD/CAM packages as well
as with many other professional graphics
applications. Among them you
can likely expect certification for
3D Studio Max, Maya, and SoftImage,
though we were not told specific applications.
The drivers will be coded to a unique
ID in the Mobility FireGL 7800 so
the drivers will not run on the Mobility
Radeon 7500. The driver-hardware
link is similar to how the FireGL
8800 certified drivers will differ
from the Radeon 8500 drivers.
We will follow up on specific apps
in a future update to this article,
along with performance targets for
the chip in some of the major workstation
apps and benches.
The primary goal behind providing drivers certified
with major graphics applications is
to allow graphics professionals the
ability to take their work on the
road, and have the same level of compatibility
with their graphics applications on
their mobile workstation that they
do on their desktop workstation.
The amount of time certified drivers
and hardware saves from a productivity
and support standpoint far outweighs
the added cost of the hardware to
businesses and professionals.
The final major benefit of the Mobility FireGL 7800
chips is the added manufacturer support
provided by ATI, and ultimately to
the end users. Manufacturers
implementing the MFGL7800 receive
priority support from the standpoint
of system design and compatibility
with a direct contact at ATI to resolve
any issues that may crop up.
This in turn provides end-users with
1) A system guaranteed to be as stable
and compatible as possible while 2)
providing rapid turn around regarding
any issues they may encounter with
the product and the applications it
is designed for.
While a Mobility Radeon 7500 could be configured essentially
the same as the Mobility FireGL 7800,
the addition of certified drivers
allows manufacturers the ability to
create systems for a particular company
or market niche, and be able to guarantee
compatibility and stability on the
target software. This can save
significant time for the mobile graphics
professional, and time is money.
The added cost to the end user is
practically recovered the first time
the driver certification and manufacturer
support saves them from compatibility
or stability issues, and that is a
benefit that is a no-brainer from
any businesses perspective.