I am buying an i5 Lenovo E540 and have an option to include a NVIDEA GeForce NV14P-GV2 GT740M + 2 GBVRAM card.
Although I plan to use this for office and low-end multimedia (movies, music), is it worth investing in the GPU now to improve the longevity of the laptop? I plan to use it for 5-6 years? Some sources suggest that, with lower-end graphics use, the graphics card will barely run as the automatic graphics switching technology will only use the IGP - so the GPU will remain redundant.
Do people believe that future developments in lower-end multimedia (hi-res movies, hi-end visual interfaces, the streaming of large media content) over the next few years will create more & more need for dedicated GPUs, and will a GPU therefore add longevity to a machine?
(I am not interested in or referring to games here, by the way - I will not be using this machine for this.)
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To future proof your non-gaming laptop, i'd rather spend on a ssd. Your laptop won't be running 4k video or gpu intensive tasks if it's just regular information consumption.
Future proof is a misnomer for any computer especially a portable. The best you can do is buy the most powerful computer you can afford and hope for the best. Most portables become unserviceable within a couple of years anyway.