laptop video question

mjmcinerney
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Hi. I am planning on buying a laptop. I have a question to ask about my choice of video card. Please keep in mind price is a consideration. I can choose between a nvidia 32mb geoforce 4 or a ati radeon 64mb. I do plan on using the laptop for watching DVDs. As far has games go I am not really a gamer , although I might play occassionaly.
I guess what I am asking is, will the nvidia 32mb be good enough for games and dvd viewing? I do plan on getting the better scdreen, either the uxga or the ultrasharp [dell]screen. I am not sure about what to choose here either. the ultra sharp is nice, but for the extra money, I wonder if the difference between it and the uxga is that great. thanks in advance.
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Specialist 1
Commented:
Well the Video card is more of a choice factor.  In future programs and games and such, the memory might be a big factor.  Do you know which Radeon we are looking at?  I do know that the Geforce 4 is not too bad of a card...but only has 32mb, and the radeon I have worked with a lot on the desktop side and will do pretty much anything the lower geforce 4 cards will.  But with the 64mb memory that is a darn good added bonus for programs that require more video card memory.

The UXGA or Ultra sharp is also a preference thing.  The Ultrasharp is a better display.  As it is much brighter than the UXGA.  However battery life may suffer a tad bit more.  But if this is a primary machine and you have no secondary machine to work with.  In the long run the better monitor might be easier on the eyes and such.  Also think about the future.  Once you buy the components in a laptop there is not much else you can do to upgrade it...Especially the screen and Videocard.  

Author

Commented:
The radeon card is "ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON™ 9000 64MB DDR 4X AGP Graphics " The difference in price from the geoforce4 is 119.00

Author

Commented:
P.S This would be a secondary machine. I do have a desktop.
Thanks
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Commented:
Either of these chips will more than suffice for DVDs and casual gaming.  I suggest that if you are not a hard core gamer to save your money.  My laptop's GeForce2go is more than adequate for DVDs as well as 3D gaming up to Allied Assault and Alien vs Predator 2.

I have not seen the power consumption information for either chip, so if you plan on operating on battery a lot, that might be a good thing to check out.  High powered graphics chips need a lot of electricity.
WakeupSpecialist 1

Commented:
Since this is a secondary machine, then maybe you wont need to have the best of everything on this machine.  However if you want longer lasting and more usability in the future, you may want to go all out.  As I stated earlier, laptops are not very easily upgradeable; you wont get the chance to do so once it has been bought.

Commented:
I agree with wakeup,  you may get the lesser now, but then wish you spent the extra $$$ a year from now.  But if your absolutely positive, any of those will play DVD fine.  My laptop is a p3500 with no 3d video and 4MB of video ram, and it works fine for DVD.  However, different softwares had better performance than others.

Mike

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the comments. I was looking at a "desktop replacement" i.e inspiron 8200. A lot of reviews remark on how big and heavy it is and give the impression that it is not meant to be mobile. this sort of defeats the purpose of a notebook. Although I  do not really need to lug a laptop everywhere I go, I would like mobility. Does anybody have any experience with this. I will increase the points since this is really a seperate question. Thanks

Commented:
A good laptop really does replace your desktop.  A friend and I both got good laptops a year ago and our desktops collect dust now.  I haven't turned my on in several weeks, despite the laptop being "only" a P3-1Ghz and the desktop being an AthlonXP 1900+.  Unless you are a complete wimp, even big laptops are completely mobile.  Fold it up and away you go.

I advise getting one with good subsystems.  For example, a lot of laptops have SERIOUSLY lousy video chips; Trident, S3, etc.  Mine has a GeForce2go, and I recommend you either get the current mobile GeForce or ATI's mobile Radeon.  Also, ports are important.  Since the internals are relatively fixed, things like having both USB and FireWire ports are a must.  Built in 100Mbit LAN or even wireless are also important.

Also consider things like the combo DVD & CD-RW drives.  Those make laptops the ultimate desktop replacement.

Commented:
I bet they're quieter as well.

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