Laptop graphics cards

sviboky

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I'm doing some research before buying a laptop computer and there's one thing I can't seem to find a lot of info on: the graphics cards. Computer will be used to replace my venerable desktop (an elderly PII/450 with Matrox G200 gfx, seems like almost antique these days but it still serves me well).

I'll use my computer for office applications, email, surfing, IM, programming and a casual game now and then(*). I'm looking for a graphics card that should be at least on par with my wifes ATI X800PRO (256MB).

(*) HL2 (and even the original HL now and then), GTA-SA, Oblivion would be nice but not a must-have

Easily available options are:
* integrated graphics (Intel GMA950)
* ATI X1400 mobility
* ATI X1600 mobility
* ATI X1800 mobility
* nVidia GeForce 7600 Go
* nVidia GeForce 7900 GS Go may be an option if someone could suggest a budget friendly laptop that uses it and is available in Europe


Comments please ?
 

3Ball

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I would go for the X1800 Mobility. I have the X1600 Mobility in my laptop and the thing runs everything that I through at it, so im sure that it would be very close to par if not better than you X800Pro.

Best,

3Ball
 

Eurasianman

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I don't remember where, but I saw an article saying that the GeForce 7900 GS outperforms the ATI X1800s. Then I also read somewhere else that ATI will be releasing their ATI X1900s for laptops, but I don't see why. Around summer time, nVidia will be releasing DX 10 graphics cards for laptops which will be great since they'll mostly have Windows Vista on them by then.

If you can, wait it out. I just sold my laptop to my parents and am impatiently waiting for DX 10 cards to come to laptops.
 

big_tuna

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if you want to do any real gaming stay away from the integrated graphics from intel (gma 950 ).i have that in my laptop and its only realy good for older games and kid's games (101 dalmations ).i mainly got this for the wife to surf the net and to keep her from using my primary rig so i can do my thing(gaming, videos etc).laptop has 1.66 core duo cpu and 2 gigs memory with gma 950,i wanted to get a graphics card in it but when i ordered it they didnt offer 1
 

bunkgoats

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If my memory is correct, asus is launching an outside gpu box for laptops. I have no more details. Perhaps one of our fellow forum members can further enlighten us.
 

sirrobin4ever

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I would not suggest any of ATI's graphics solutions at this time. Unless there is a significant price savings, the Nvidia cards are somewhat better. In the middle price range (X1600/7600), there is very little difference. However, at the high end the 7900 is vastly superior. The X1800 was made to compete with Nvidia's 7800, a now obsolete chip. When Nvidia made the 7900 they actually lowered power consumption, thus increasing battery life.

I have a Dell XPS M1710 that has a 7900 Gs, and it will run any game that is out today. Oblivion will run (almost) all the way up. Its a great computer, albeit a little heavy. Its not budget friendly, although through an academic discount, it was about 35% off.

If the 7900 is too expensive, I highly suggest the 7600, which would also run Oblivion at a playable frame rate.

Best of Luck
 

crualtortus

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If my memory is correct, asus is launching an outside gpu box for laptops. I have no more details. Perhaps one of our fellow forum members can further enlighten us.
how many gigs you have?! :p if your right then i guess 2 :p
 

bLAKEpERKINS

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For a ATI cards look Here.

For a Nvidia Cards look here

I also happen to be in the market for a notebook. I am looking into a ASUS F3JP (best for my budget... in Australia). It looks fairly good, the mobility x1700 as i understand is just a die shrink of the x1600 variant, so it would help the battery life a bit. However you could also try over clocking it to the desktop versions of these cards, as it uses strained silicon (think that means it can operate 35% more effecently, see the wiki site here)

remember, if you are planning on using a 64bit os, you can't get a core duo/solo proc.

Also all new laptops should be coming with a vista express upgrade option, so you'd wanna make sure you where getting at lest 1 gig with it (if you want to move to vista when it comes out).

bLAKE
 

The_Abyss

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If my memory is correct, asus is launching an outside gpu box for laptops. I have no more details. Perhaps one of our fellow forum members can further enlighten us.
That was for display on another monitor though, not back to the notebook screen.
 

bLAKEpERKINS

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Yeah, ASUS is releasing a product like that: the "XG Station"

As Abyss said it is for use on a external screen and sound system (has 5.1 capabilities). It arrives with a 7900GS inside and a price is yet to be decided, however it should have a price tag soon as it is due for a Q 2 release this year.

My guess for price is in the AUD300-400 area, or around 200 USD.

bLAKE
 
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I don't remember where, but I saw an article saying that the GeForce 7900 GS outperforms the ATI X1800s. Then I also read somewhere else that ATI will be releasing their ATI X1900s for laptops, but I don't see why. Around summer time, nVidia will be releasing DX 10 graphics cards for laptops which will be great since they'll mostly have Windows Vista on them by then.

If you can, wait it out. I just sold my laptop to my parents and am impatiently waiting for DX 10 cards to come to laptops.

He said budget, not the latest and greatest.
 

bLAKEpERKINS

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that's why the x1700 is a good bet, only marginaly more, but it can be overclocked, but if you don't want to do this or have the option of doing this, got with the 7600 or the x1600.
 

Parge

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If my memory is correct, asus is launching an outside gpu box for laptops. I have no more details. Perhaps one of our fellow forum members can further enlighten us.
That was for display on another monitor though, not back to the notebook screen.

Is this correct?
 
I don't remember where, but I saw an article saying that the GeForce 7900 GS outperforms the ATI X1800s.
Maybe at nVNews? I'd love to see that review.
For the games he mentioned the X1800 would be best of the selection he provided.

Something to consider depending on if he can find one is the GF7700 which has great performance and good battery useage, and is noticeably faster than the X1700.

I also read somewhere else that ATI will be releasing their ATI X1900s for laptops, but I don't see why.
Well it's actually been out for a while already, but it's a question of suppliers selling them in some recent systems, like the Alienware. Just like nV's refresh of the GF7950 line for laptops, seems unnecessary, but people will buy if it's available, especially if the replacement isn't here for 4-6months. Also the GF8 and R6 series laptops will be slow in coming in vollume, and even the mid-range likely won't be cheap initially (expect there to also be a sell-off of the last generation too).

He said budget, not the latest and greatest.
Yeah but then again he did include the X1800 and GF7900GS both of which are the top of some lines, and if a big vendor like DELL, then often a cheaper/better solution can be had from a smaller builder.

I think it's the worst time to buy a laptop (similar to last spring) as there's some new cores coming out, new HDs, new Graphics, and Vista Mobile is still an unknown quantity for the most part. Waiting for SantaRosa, Hybrid Drives, DX10 cards, and Vista Launch makes alot of sense IMO.
 
Yes, thankfully the temptation of Boxing Day sales were out of reach while I was out of country. I might otherwise have been tempted to buy a new one.

A Friend at BestBuy/FutureShop in Canada said he'd order it directly from HP or Gateway if I know what I want, that way I can get it fitted with what I want not the normal kit. Win-win.

At least now I don't have as much temptation, but come February when all the launching is going on that'swhen I'll have to be strong and resist the temptation to jump at the first slightly good option.
 

HardWareBoss

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Stay the corse. Yoy want to wait till all the bugs are fixed in Vista and 10X. So 6 to 9 months from now who the heck knows whats going to be out. I know Seagate has a new 15,000 HD 2.5. Now if they can fit one in a Lappy. That does not throw out to much heat to fry egggs on. But at only 72 gigs for now. We need more HD space. I Tera. or more.
 
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Stay the coarse. You want to wait till all the bugs are fixed in Vista and 10X. So 6 to 9 months from now who the heck knows whats going to be out. I know Seagate has a new 15,000 HD 2.5. Now if they can fit one in a Lappy. That does not throw out to much heat to fry eggs on. But at only 72 gigs for now. We need more HD space. I Tera. or more.
Seriously you don't need a whole lot of space on a laptop since external storage is so mainstream and affordable now roughly 80G+ is plenty on a laptop.
 
I think he was talking extemporaneously about it being 'NICE', who wants external if you don't have to? I have 3 external drives for my laptop, yet I'd prefer if they all fit nicely, efficently and cooly into my laptop, so that when I travel I'd have everything with me.

It's a nice dream, but of coure after 100GB it's about balance. Sure I want more but not a 20 times the price.
 
Exactly.

I use external because I have 2 left over from my editing rig anyways, and then adding a networked one for my old HDD just made sense.

I really like the network drive and if wirless access were cheap and plentifu I wouldn't care the size of my local drive beyond the basic 80-120GB because I could host all the stuff I might ever need on the road.
 

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