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Veritable Quandry

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Everything posted by Veritable Quandry

  1. Of the ones you listed, I would avoid the Asus A52JK. The ATI 5145 is a rebadged 4000 series, and the weakest dedicated GPU on your list. Also scratch the Asus K70ID, as it uses an integrated graphics chip. I like Asus as a brand (I have a G51), but those are not strong GPUs. All things being equal, the ATI 5650 should perform better than the Nvidia GT 240m. You might want to check for an Asus N61/N71. These have stronger graphics than the others you were looking at, and Asus is very reliable and has an excellent warranty. The G series (G51/G60/G71-3) start at the top end of your price range, but are the best value for a gaming laptop. If you look around you might be a able to find one on sale that fits your budget. They all have strong GPUs (the new line have either a GTS 360m, a GTX 260m, or the ATI 5870).
  2. The best GPU available for laptops today is the ATI 5870. In a short time, the Nvidia GTX 480 will be out (Clevo has one in the works, Alienware will follow shortly, and Asus may try one for bragging rights, but their cooling may not be up to the 100-watt card). Several options from those makers have the Nvidia GTX 260m, which is a very good card. In general, I'd consider any or the Nvidia 100/200/300 cards with a second digit 3 or better to be acceptable, with the GTX cards giving the best performance. For ATI 4000/5000 cards, look for 6 or better in the second digit. It would help if you could provide a few details about what you want to buy: 1. What country will you be purchasing in? 2. What screen size are you looking for, and how mobile do you want to be? 3. How much money do you have to spend? 4. What level of performance do you want to see in SL? If you have $800 or more, there are a few options that will get you decent performance, including refurbished Asus G series that will run SL on ultra with a proper cooling pad. Under $800, reconsider if you need a laptop, or save a bit more. A good desktop can be had for $500-750 that will outperform laptops at twice the pricetag. $1200+ USD is a reasonable budget for an SL notebook. Notebookcheck is probably the most comprehensive review of laptop GPUs. Their rankings need to be taken with a grain of salt (especially for cards that are closely ranked: factors like CPU and amount of RAM will impact the benchmarks, and benchmarks are not games: real world performance will differ), but they are a good source for info.
  3. You're welcome. I'm using a G51, and the GTX 260m looks great. The GTS 360m should be almost as powerful (has less cores and a 128-bit memory bus v. 256 in the GTX card, but uses faster GDDR5 memory) and will run much cooler than the GTX 260m.
  4. For the same price as that Toshiba, Best Buy has an Asus G60 with the Nvidia GTS 360m. Add $100 and you can get a G72 with the GTX 260m. Either will outperform the Toshiba.
  5. It is a much better card. The 7150m has 2 pipelines and no memory. The 310m has 16 cores and dedicated memory, as well as being several generations newer.
  6. Both are below what I would recommend, but not impossible to run SecondLife at low framerates. There is not a lot of difference between the two in theory. Notebookcheck.com lists the 4570 near the bottom of class 2 and the 310 near the top of class 3, but that's an arbitrary cutoff. They also show the 310 as having better benchmark scores than the 4570. The difference between the two will depend on what type of memory the notebook manufacturer used. The Nvidia 310m can use DDR3 or GDDR3. The ATI 5470 can use DDR2, DDR3, or GDDR3. It may be possible to track that down based on the laptop model numbers. The GDDR3 variants will be faster and use less power than the DDR2/3 versions. The 310 should use less power overall. All things being equal, I would tend towards the Nvidia 310m, but would not expect to see much difference in performance. If you are willing to buy online, and can give your location, budget, and prefered screen size, we might be able to point you towards something with a better GPU (230/330 or above).
  7. Glad to help. Sounds like you found the right machine.
  8. You should be able to get medium-high settings with that laptop. Make sure to get a laptop cooler with it (one with active fans).
  9. Get one with active fans. Gel coolers can block air from the vents on some laptops, and they only work until the surface of the pad is as hot as the surface of the laptop. After that, they trap heat instead of drawing it away.
  10. That's a decent mid-level graphics card. It should give you good performance in SL, but be sure to invest in a laptop cooler as well. If you can add more RAM, you will get better performance as well.
  11. You get what you pay for. Better components, and a cooling system that can handle them. Don't forget to buy a cooler for the new laptop. It will improve performance and prolong the life of your system. I'd second that recommendation for Compusa...they have a G51vx-RX05 for $749.97 or a G60vx-RBBX05 for $799.97. Buy.com also has a G51vx-RX05 for $729.99.
  12. As a rule of thumb, I would suggest looking for a 130/230/330 or better number from Nvidia (9500 or better if you run into older series), or a 4600/5600 or better from ATI. On Notebookcheck, you'll see those as the upper half of the Class 2 GPUs. Anything in the Class 2 or better will be OK, but SL is very demanding on a GPU, so higher is better. The ratings may be a bit off comparing two close cards on Notebook check, but its the best resource for a comprehensive list of GPUs and their relative performance.
  13. Buy.com has a refurbished Asus G50 for $589. Look around for a refurbished G series, if you keep an eye out you might get lucky. After a quick look at Newegg, medium settings and low lag starts at $799. A quick look at the "Gaming" laptops listed at Best Buy shows 2 at about $800. One has an Nvidia 310m, which is an entry-level GPU. The other has a mid-range GT 330m. Not exactly gaming machines.
  14. Use search to look up Radeon 3200 in the SL forums. It is a low quality integrated video chipset. I would not recommend it. It will "work" on low settings, and probably overheat and die.
  15. Most of the above is not possible. The 7300 has a 128-bit bus, not 256. GDDR2 on the card. Plain old DDR on the motherboard. And you're suggesting a mobile CPU when the OP has a P4 system. As for ATI v. Nvidia, I have been told that ATI does not officially support the 3000/4000 series on AGP, so driver support will be problematic for the other cards available. At least the Nvidia 6000/7000 series had AGP versions, so the drivers should support them.
  16. I just did a little checking...you are right about the 7300 being a low-end GPU. It will give you double the pipelines of the Radeon 9600 you are running now. However, it calls for a minimum 350 watt PSU, and you have 250 Watts according to Dell's spec sheet. You will see some improvement, but not much. I would say the RAM upgrade is cost effective, but looking at adding a GPU and PSU to an older Dell, this may be one of those situations where you are better off putting your money in a safe place towards a new computer. (And I am not familair with that particular model, but many Dell computers use a non-standard pin layout on the motherboard which makes replacing the power supply difficult.)
  17. Daria.Afterthought wrote: Can people PLEASE figure out that there is no such thing as a "good SL capable laptop" There is such a thing. It just ain't cheap.
  18. So your avatar can log in from another computer, and other avatars can log in from your computer? Try manually deleting your cache folder: Clearing the Cache from Outside Second Life If you're sure of what you're doing, you can also clear your cache manually. With Second Life closed, go to the appropriate pathway and delete all the files inside the "cache" folder. On Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\\Application Data\SecondLife\cache Alternatively, you may use the environment variable %APPDATA%, to shorten this path to: %APPDATA%/SecondLife/cache On Windows Vista: C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\cache On a Mac: /Users//Library/Application Support/SecondLife/cache
  19. You can try a lightweight viewer, like Boy Lane's Rainbow viewer. I would also run the Furmark test that Kokoro mentions, as well as a couple of other tests. If you download HWMonitor, it will give detailed system temperatures. Also download Orthos and try running it. There are several test option, and I would try the memory test first, then a CPU test, and then the blended test. Give them each about 20 minutes to run, and watch temps with HW monitor while you ruin the test. Also, look in Control Panel>Adminstrative Tools>Event Viewer to see if there are any Application or System errors when you crash.
  20. There is a list of current Nvidia mobile GPUs here. For SL, avoid the Value and Mainstream GPUs. The Performance GPUs will give medium settings in SL. High Performance will give better visuals, while the Enthusiast cards will give high-ultra performance. The Nvidia Quadro cards are not officially supported, but should run SL a little better than the Geforce cards they are based on. The difference is a combination of better components and firmware that is tuned for best OpenGL performance, especially in applications that are designed to work with these specific cards...mostly CAD and other intensive 3D applications. They are designed for workstations, and don't often show up in consumer models. On the CPU front, SL is not very good at using multi-core CPUs, but that does not mean you won't see an advantage from having one. Enabling multi-threading in the Advanced menu allows SL to use two cores. On a quad, that means SL can take two, and the OS and other apps can run on the others. Intel's new CPU series is a bit confusing, but essentially all of the Core i3 and i5 CPUs, as well as the Core i7s with a 600 number, are dual core with hyperthreading, while the remaining core i7 CPUs are quad core with hyperthreading (the OS sees each physical core as two cores, so they act as quad or octocore CPUs). The i5 and i7 CPUs have turboboost, which allows them to shut down unused cores and speed up the ones in use. This helps when you are changing between applications like SL that only use one or two cores, and applications that are able to use multiple cores effectively. The Core 2 series do not have hyperthreading, and they can reduce speed to save power but they do not shift cores to speed up applications. Right now, I would look for a Core 2 Quad or a Core i5 in a mid-range laptop. That will give you good performance and multitasking, and should hold up better as more programs take advantage of multicore systems. Newegg has a good selection in your price range. This link is sorted for anything with a mid-range or better GPU, including both ATI and Nvidia. If you play video games, then consider the ATI 5000 series GPU...it is the only DX11 chipset on the market right now. If you do not game, and SL is your main use, an Nvidia GPU will do well. My personal experience with Asus has been good, and they are well rated for reliability. Their G series laptops are among the best value in gaming notebooks (I have a G51 with a Core 2 Quad overclocked to 2.4 GHz and the GTX 260m: this laptop is amazing in SL). My personal experience with HP is not good, I will never buy from them again. Your mileage may vary. With the Dell EPP, you can look for a good deal on an Alienware m15x. It is a well designed machine, and has an excellent cooling system. If you are happy with your Toshiba, they have a couple of good models in your price range. Gateway also has some good entry-level gaming systems, but if you want to avoid Acer, that rules them out. Whatever you buy, get a good laptop cooler to go with it. It will prolong the live of your laptop, and give you a much better experience in SL.
  21. That's probably your best long-term solution. You can make it work now to see how you like SL, but you will not be getting the full graphic impact. I went from using a laptop with a GMA 915 chipset to using a much more powerful GTX 260m, and the difference was night and day. Even a mid-range discrete card will add reflections, cloud effects, and water effects that you won't see with an integrated graphics solution. If you decide to stay with SL, you should upgrade to get the full effects, and to help reduce the impact on your motherboard.
  22. Not much you can do. Try Boy Lane's Rainbow viewer, and keep draw distance down, as well as turning down or off as many effects as possible.
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