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Difference Between ATI Radeon 4100 and Radeon 4200

atiATI Radeon 4100 vs Radeon 4200

The Radeon 4100 and 4200 are the two latest video processing units from ATI, which has now become a part of AMD. Unlike most video cards which are discreet components that you pick and install on your system, both the 4100 and 4200 are under the mobility series and are on-board video processing units for laptops. The 4200 is the high end model that performs better while the 4100 is a slower but cheaper version of the same.

To create the two versions without having to develop two different cards, ATI just took the Radeon 4200 and crippled it a little bit to produce the 4100. The Radeon 4200 is clocked at 500Mhz while the Radeon 4100 is clocked at a mere 350Mhz. Despite being almost identical to the Radeon 4200, the crippled Radeon 4100 has some problems in rendering the more complex images that are common in the more recent 3D video games for the PC. The Radeon 4200 performs a lot better than the Radeon 4100 but is still no match for the discreet video cards that can be installed on desktops and even on some laptops.

A big part of the inferiority of both the Radeon 4200 and Radeon 4100 comes from the fact they utilize a part of the system memory or ‘shared memory’. This cuts the cost of production but impairs the VPU greatly because the data needs to travel a lot farther to move from VPU to memory compared to graphics card with dedicated memory on it. The VPU also needs to compete with the system for the limited bandwidth of the system memory, which is a double whammy for heavy games that taxes both the system and the VPU heavily.

The primary addition to the Radeon 4100 and 4200 compared to the older mobility VPUs is the addition of DirectX 10.1. This is not really something that improves the performance of both VPUs by much but simply keeps it up to date with the improvements of technology. The Radeon 4100 and 4200 are less likely to encounter problems with newer softwares that use later versions of DirectX than the older VPUs like the Radeon 3100 and 3200.


1. The ATI Radeon 4100 is clocked at 350Mhz while the Radeon 4200 is clocked at 500Mhz.

2. The Radeon 4200 performs better compared to the Radeon 4100 when it comes to more recent video games.

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