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Am I overvaluing dedicated video memory?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 25, 2013 9:27:41 PM

I need to buy, within the next day or two, a laptop for school. My price range is in the ballpark of $700, and for that money I would be very disappointed if my machine was unable to run new games. The issue I am running into is that, whenever I see shared video memory (and the intel hd 4000 chip seems to be very popular), I scream and run. Consequently, I am having difficulty finding good deals. Should I consider shared memory? Or am I correct in thinking that dedicated video memory is too important to sacrifice?
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August 25, 2013 9:58:31 PM

Well $700 for a gaming laptop is very very cheap. For that money you are going to get a intel HD 4000 that will not play modern games at least not games like BF3 and such. Since you did not state what games it is hard to guess.

In any case if you are thinking you can get a gaming laptop for $700 you would dead wrong for that you are looking at $1500 or more. $700 may get you a i5 with a HD 4000 and that igpu is not gaming class.
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August 25, 2013 10:00:24 PM

If the laptop is for school work, then an integrated GPU is fine. The integrated GPU all use shared memory. And with the HD 4000 line and newer, they can even handle a little light gaming.

Discrete cards, with their own vram, are mostly needed for gaming and some professional work, and you'll also want to make sure it is the type of card for your needs.
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August 25, 2013 10:14:01 PM

NonfatJewfro said:
I need to buy, within the next day or two, a laptop for school. My price range is in the ballpark of $700, and for that money I would be very disappointed if my machine was unable to run new games. The issue I am running into is that, whenever I see shared video memory (and the intel hd 4000 chip seems to be very popular), I scream and run. Consequently, I am having difficulty finding good deals. Should I consider shared memory? Or am I correct in thinking that dedicated video memory is too important to sacrifice?


No, you're correct in thinking that it's important if you're gaming. Outside video memory, the Intel HD-ANYTHING is god awful for gaming. But even if Intel actually made high performance graphics, video memory is still important. Video memory is a pool of data that can hold a lot of textures, buffers, and a number of other things which basically means that yes, it's quite important. It's realistic importance comes into play with resolution and Anti-aliasing. If you expect to game at resolutions such as 1366x768 or something close to that, 1 GB of dedicated VRAM is quite good. If you expect to game at 1920x1080, then you'll probably want your GPU to be equipped with 2 GB of dedicated VRAM.

As for a good gaming laptop, this is quite excellent if you can stretch your money to $900:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I hear great things about the GTX 760M.

However, if you really want to stay in that range, then this also has surprisingly decent specs with a GT 740m:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, I'd HIGHLY recommend the more expensive one if you can stretch it. It'll play a lot more games a lot more smoothly than if you went with the 2nd one. Though you can check benchmarks for both of their respective GPUs here; the benchmarks are at the bottom:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-760M.92... - GTX 760m
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-740M.899... - GT 740m
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August 25, 2013 10:14:36 PM

I wouldn't say $700 is very very cheap. $700 with a hd 4000 will have a quad core i7. For $580 you can get an i5 (though u version) and a 740m which will play med on most games. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd have to look around more, there should be better deals for 7000 or 600 series but newegg doesn't really seem to hold them anymore.
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August 25, 2013 10:30:04 PM

k1114 said:
I wouldn't say $700 is very very cheap. $700 with a hd 4000 will have a quad core i7. For $580 you can get an i5 (though u version) and a 740m which will play med on most games. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd have to look around more, there should be better deals for 7000 or 600 series but newegg doesn't really seem to hold them anymore.


Damn, it seems you found the exact same Toshiba as the one I did, just priced better haha. That and a smaller HDD and RAM but those aren't big deals. He should know however, that both only have 2 GB of DDR3 RAM vs 1 GB of GDDR5 RAM, meaning that he's going to have somewhat sloppy game performance. But again, the initial laptop I recommended is a very well priced $900 laptop for gaming.
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