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tyreth
11-05-02, 05:25 PM
I'm thinkinng of grabbing a laptop soon. I'm willing to spend a fair bit of money to try and get one to replace my desktop. Then I could use it for everything from work, to games, music, etc. It would be perfect for when I go to a LAN, and I also work between 5 different clients, so it would be perfect.

However, I'm a bit concerned about it as a gaming rig. I want something modern that will last for a few years. The bit I am most concerned about is the graphics card. What I hope to get, roughly, is the following:

P4 2.2ghz, 512mb ram, Dell UltraSharp UXGA screen, Geforce 4 460 Go.

What do you guys think about this? Going to last, or is there no hope for a laptop as a gaming machine?

Raptorman
11-05-02, 05:34 PM
I would prefer the Radeon 9000, as it has a few more features.

But if you're planning on hardcore gaming then don't count on a laptop imo.

tyreth
11-05-02, 05:36 PM
Oh yeah, forgot to mention this will be with Linux, so NVIDIA is my only option

thcdru2k
11-05-02, 05:45 PM
than what are you waiting for , thats pretty much as top of the line for a linux laptop.

tyreth
11-05-02, 05:48 PM
Yeah, I know it's top of the line atm for Linux :) But I'm just wondering if it will last for long? Desktop graphics cards, as far as I can tell, are already far ahead of these laptop ones. I mean, could this machine, for example, run UT2k3 at a nice high detail smoothly?

Or would it already be limited on it's performance with todays games?

I tend to have upgrades for my computer every few years, and with a laptop upgrades are almost impossible (am I understanding wrong? Would it be possible to upgrade the video card component of my laptop later?), so I'll be stuck with what I buy for a while.

Lezmaka
11-05-02, 08:11 PM
There's a comparison Tom's Hardware did when the Mobility 9000 came out. He compared the GF4Go 440 and 460 to the Mobility 7500 & 9000. It wasn't very comprehensive, he tested only 2 resolutions and no AA or AF. But if the native resolution of the screen is 1600x1200, you aren't gonna be very happy with the performance unless you're playing Quake3. In most games, the cards struggled to get past 30fps, and sometimes even 20fps at that resolution.

Here's where the benchmarks start
http://www6.tomshardware.com/mobile/02q3/020829/radeon9000-03.html

Here's something to think about, whether or not it's just speculation on Tom's part. Who knows if its gonna happen or not
NVIDIA will try its best to catch up soon. It won't take long for NV18M's release, something like GeForce4 Go460 with AGP 8x support. Only a short while later, and probably before the end of this year, there will be NV28M, a mobile derivative of GeForce4 Ti 4200, which will probably beat Mobility Radeon 9000 in 3D performance, but lag behind it in terms of power consumption. What NVIDIA is really waiting for is the NV3x family of chips. In the Spring of next year we will see a notebook chip in 0.13 micron process with DirectX 9 support. Until then, NVIDIA will have a hard time to compete with ATi in the notebook arena.

saturnotaku
11-05-02, 08:33 PM
I said it in the other thread you created and I'm going to say it here, you're going to have a tough time getting UT2003 to run smoothly at high detail on a GF4 440 Go. Again, the mobile GF4 is nothing more than a GF4 MX, which is nothing more than a glorified GeForce2.

Even a 2+ GHz CPU is going to get bottlenecked by that video card. Since you're going to be running Linux, odds are better you'll get higher performance out of the game, but don't count on smooth performance even at 1024x748 with maximum detail.

If you want a gaming rig, you're better off purchasing a desktop system with an AtlonXP and GF4 Ti4200 and using that money to purchase a laptop that may not be completely adept at gaming.

tyreth
11-05-02, 08:36 PM
Lezmako, thanks for the Tom's hardware info, that was useful.

saturnotaku, sorry about that, I must have missed that bit in the last forum.

wb22gprix
11-06-02, 03:57 PM
If you want a gaming rig, you're better off purchasing a desktop system with an AtlonXP and GF4 Ti4200 and using that money to purchase a laptop that may not be completely adept at gaming.

Well, not necessarily...most present day laptops are capable of running today's games. Next generation games will be a different story.

I have an Inspiron 8200 (2.0Ghz P4-M, 64MB Geforce4 440 Go, 512MB PC2100 DDR, 15.1" Dell UltraSharp screen, 60GB HDD). UT2K3, at all max details (the HOLY SH!T settings) at 1024*768 I get anywhere from 20-50fps in indoor maps, and around 20-30 on outdoor maps. The good thing about UT2K3 is that it is VERY playable at low frame rates (even though I don't particularly like the game)

Soldier of Fortune 2, I can play at max details and Quincinux Antialiasing 1024*768 and get a pretty constant 50-75fps or so.

3dmark2k1 (Geforce4 440 Go @ 290/560Mhz), my highest score is 6341 marks.

The GOOD thing about Dell notebooks is that the graphics card is NOT built into the motherboard and IS able to be upgraded (hence how Dell can use the same motherboard in their notebooks and have Radeon 9000's/Geforce4's), and the processor is also able to be upgraded. I'm not sure where exactly you can find mobile graphics cards or processors (Newegg sells AMD mobile AthlonXP's, but not mobile Pentium4's), so that's up to you. :p If you want a mobile solution for today's games, then that notebook *should* fit your needs, but don't expect to play many of the newer games that will be coming out in the next year, atleast not at decent frame rates.

Another good thing is that Dell has a nice cooling solution in their notebooks. I can hit 290/560Mhz on the graphics card, which I don't think is too shabby for a mobile graphics chip :), and the temperature stays about the same as when it's at default speed, in a cool environment as low as 40C, or in a warm environment around 50C (not under load, while gaming it'll go up to around 65C, as will the processor).

Overall, as I've said, I believe that current laptops are good for play the games of today, but not the games of tomorrow. If you could wait until the end of the year, you could see if NVIDIA brings out that variant of the Ti4200 as a mobile solution, or you could grab one now and see if there's any possibility that you could find a mobile graphics card in the future that you can upgrade to.

It seems that both NVIDIA & ATI are realizing that consumers are wanting more and more power out of their mobile computers, and in the next year or two, we should be seeing faster and faster processor speeds (Intel's Banias, AMD's mobile Hammer), and mobile graphics that are nearly up to par with their desktop kin (mobile NV3x, mobile R3xx {not the Mobile 9000, but ATI's next generation of mobile solutions})

I have to say that I simply love my laptop right now, while I'm waiting on the Abit NF7-S to complete my desktop. The Inspiron 8200 is a great line, they're very durable, I carry mine almost everywhere I go, the battery life is adequate when it comes to a high performance laptop (about 2-2.5 hours, but you can add a 2nd battery) For the gaming that I do (which is quite a bit) and being able to carry it back and forth to school, on trips, etc, it simply does an astounding job.

tyreth
11-06-02, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by wb22gprix

The GOOD thing about Dell notebooks is that the graphics card is NOT built into the motherboard and IS able to be upgraded (hence how Dell can use the same motherboard in their notebooks and have Radeon 9000's/Geforce4's), and the processor is also able to be upgraded. I'm not sure where exactly you can find mobile graphics cards or processors (Newegg sells AMD mobile AthlonXP's, but not mobile Pentium4's), so that's up to you. :p If you want a mobile solution for today's games, then that notebook *should* fit your needs, but don't expect to play many of the newer games that will be coming out in the next year, atleast not at decent frame rates.


Thanks for all the info. I just called dell asking them about upgrading the graphics card at a later date, and they said that only at the point of sale - not afterwards :(

wb22gprix
11-06-02, 06:44 PM
Well, atleast they ARE upgradable...I'm not sure how one would go about getting a mobile graphics card though.

tyreth
11-06-02, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by wb22gprix
Well, atleast they ARE upgradable...I'm not sure how one would go about getting a mobile graphics card though.

It is certainly worth investigating further. I'll see what I can find out. Would the card have to be designed specifically by dell?

wb22gprix
11-06-02, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by tyreth
It is certainly worth investigating further. I'll see what I can find out. Would the card have to be designed specifically by dell?

I wish I could give you a positive answer on that, but alas, I cannot.

From what I understand, it's like a mini-AGP slot...I'm not sure if there are manufacturers other than Dell that have this slot. The only manufacturer that I can think of right offhand that does NOT utilize a mini-AGP slot is Alienware, since I contacted them a couple weeks back with that question.