ATI (now owned by AMD) talked to us for a bit today and we learned a lot of very insightful things that I don't think you'll hear about in press releases.
The first thing has to do with the power use in Windows Vista. The gotcha of the Aero UI is power user. In our benchmarks on Dell and Lenova laptops, having Aero running cost us between 20 and 45 minutes in battery life. That's huge. We'll be talking about that more soon. AMD says they are working on their drivers to address that as much as possible. They have a feature called "PowerPlay" that they are implementing to try to reduce power consumption.
The second thing that ATI confirmed to a direct question I asked on the subject is whether gamers can expect to eventually buy video cards that are external to the PC. I mean literally, a second box that you plug in to the wall that handles the graphics for your computer. This is something that would be available specificlaly for the high end user who wants the absolute best performance.
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