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On making a portable Athlon

Ronald Hanaki
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“Tiger, tiger, burning bright…” Iron Chef Wesley Chung has cooked up another recipe.

I had a dream. I dreamt there would be a portable computer that was just as good or better in terms of all areas of performance compared to a real desktop system. Sure, we’ve seen many state-of-the-art notebook computers that touts themselves as ‘desktop replacements’. I do not doubt they would indeed be a desktop replacement in business sector, as the high-end spectrum of these machines sport components that challenge many mid-to-high performance desktop models, such as mobile 1GHz CPU.

However, there are shortcomings. Lots of them, actually. First of all, the prices go shooting up the stratosphere, in a much bigger proportion than a normal desktop version, as you add features, be it for usability or performance. Also, to make it compact, notebook computers sacrifice performance and it cannot outperform desktop counterpart even if similarly equipped. The most notable area of this would be 3D acceleration, as today’s 3D enabled video chips require too much power compared to a ‘normal’ notebook video chip, which hindered the release of powerful 3D enabled notebook video chips. Yes, there has been releases of GeForce Go and mobile Radeon chips which claims to come close to their famed desktop counterparts, but notebook units that use these chips are still hard to find.

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