Confused about graphics

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I'm looking to buy a laptop, which will be used net surfing, email, desktop
app (e.g. MS Office) type tasks.

  When travelling in our caravan I plan to use it a lot to play DVD movies
and also as a TV replacement - via a TV Tuner card and one of those digital
aerial things you can get nowadays.

  Where I'm confused is whether I need to find the extra cash for a
dedicated graphics card (like the ATI X600) or if the basic much cheaper
integrated/shared memory graphics will be just fine for my needs.

Re: Confused about graphics

For those applications, the integrated video would be fine.  Displaying
movies and TV is not demanding.  In doint those tasks, the video card is
not being asked to create the picture, but merely to display it.  The
situation in which you need a high end video card is when the video card
is involved in the creation of the image to be displayed.  This happens
when the program is generating 3D transformations with textures.  This
happens in games and CAD software, but not in movies and DVD playback
(DVD playback does involve MPEG decoding, but in terms of today's
processors and video chips, this no longer falls into the "challenging"
category and, in fact, is very easily done by today's processors purely
in software, if necessary).

cranky wrote:
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Re: Confused about graphics

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All depends on what you intend to use the machine for. For 2D stuff, like
surfing, emails, word processing, watching DVD's and TV tuner then
intergrated graphics (with at least 512MB system ram) will be fine.

If you wish to play games or do video editing - then you need a modern
dedicated graphics chip in there.

Laptops with dedicated graphics do use alot more juice - and so battery
performance will suffer - so if portability is important, then consider
intergrated graphics. Also dedicated graphics create more heat - often too
hot to use 'on lap' after a time.

You cannot upgrade the graphics later (unlike a desktop) so you will be
stuck with whatever you buy.

Centrino CPU are also very good at keeping the heat down and good battery

So for basic uses:

Centrino CPU + Intergrated GPU (512MB System RAM)

For serious gaming, video editing and future proofing:

AMD 64/P4 + Dedicated 256MB GPU.

If you intend to use it to record TV from the tuner - then you will need the
biggest HDD possible - at least 100GB - or some bigger external HDD 250MB+

Alot of the cheaper laptops only come with 256MB system memory, but don't be
put off this as you can usually upgrade this yourself by adding another
256MB stick of RAM from Crucial or Kingston, often much cheaper then the
manufacturers upgrades.


Re: Confused about graphics

You need to find the extra cash for a
dedicated graphics card. The basic much cheaper
integrated/shared memory graphics is a compromise made by the manufacturers
to get the price down to bring in consumers who can't afford all the bells
and whistles. Shared RAM and graphics memory will compromise the performance
of the entire system. This is one purchase where you do not want to make the
decision purely on price alone.

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Re: Confused about graphics

For HIS APPLICATION (playing DVDs and watching TV, also for web surfing
and "office applications" (word and excel)), the integrated video is
fine and he would see no benefit from a high-end video card.

Blondie wrote:

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Re: Confused about graphics

Hi, there is no such thing as a Centrino CPU, Centrino Mobile Technology is
based on several components, see here
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