A recent review sample of Alienware's Area-51m Extreme laptop afforded me the chance to test out a couple of competing mobile graphics solutions. With its swappable graphics modules, the Area51-m Extreme is close to the perfect test platform for evaluating mobile graphics. With a very capable processor and plenty of memory, removing them as much as possible from the possible sphere of performance influence, it does a decent job of hosting today's shootout.
Alienware were kind enough to send two swappable cores with the sample: ATI's Mobility Radeon 9600 and NVIDIA's GeForce FX Go5700. Evaluating mobile graphics parts is slightly more involved than evaluating desktop hardware, due to imposed form factor limitations. For instance, taking into account power saving schemes available in each driver is prudent, but something never exposed or tested in a desktop accelerator.
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