Over the past few years computer gaming has become as mainstream as bread and butter - well almost. We no longer just use our computers for what they were originally intended, in its chronological order - processing mathematical equations, office applications in its broadest sense, then of course - the exciting entertainment realm of 3D computer-based gaming which has been with us for 10 years or more now since ID Software braced the small new gaming community with Wolfenstein 3D, the game none of us will ever forget.
As its popularity grew, this realm, as we call it, has helped pushed industry standards of performance and quality to the extreme levels that we're at today, which we wouldn't have been if it was not for today's gaming developers and publishers. Although, not all credit can be attributed to gaming companies...hardware manufactures deserve an equal amount of credit in the collaboration - You have gaming companies developing impressive new coding (like enhanced pixel and texel shaders, for example) to take advantage of the powerful hardware with guidance from DirectX and OpenGL, hardware companies keeping up (or getting in front - or whatever way you wish to look at it) with faster and more efficient technology and then back to gaming companies who are busily working on new technologies to amaze us more each year with the newly developed hardware technologies, and so the cycle continues...For a practical analogy, it is kind of like those vehicle tug-of-war ads you see on television, now and again - One four wheel drive vehicle is pulling one way and the competing company four wheel vehicle the other, to prove the muscle of each. Just imagine if this situation was reversed and they both started pulling in the same direction...Like, one four wheel drive helps the other out of a tough situation, say being bogged or stuck, working together to overcome the dilemma. At least to a certain degree, this is how the computing industry works today - just one vehicle being the gaming side and the other being the hardware side, of course.
Traditionally, gamers have only looked at desktop computers as a true hardware core platform for the latest PC games to hit the market - You might even be looked down on if you were to turn up to a LAN party with anything but. Though, as mobile GPU technology improves, due to increases in gaming popularity, it has become apparent to us that the desktop should defiantly not be the only platform considered for gamers. With graphics companies such as nVidia and ATI working very hard on their mobile solutions, in both performance and power consumption aspects, consumers should keep an open-mind when considering their newest purchase.
After receiving a Dell Inspiron 8200 notebook with ATI Mobility 9000 graphics earlier this week, I thought it might be interesting to do a little investigation comparing the notebook, in terms of gaming performance, to my desktop computer system installed with nVidia GeForce4 Ti4200 graphics card. Be sure to read on, you might just be surprised by my benchmark result findings over the next few pages!