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Mobility & Go

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August 13, 2006 10:11:35 AM

Can someone briefly point me in the right direction for buying a gaming laptop?

From the research i've done so far - people say x700, x1400, x1600, 7300, 6800 are all rubbish and I need Go 7600 or x1800 to run any decent games,
What's the truth in this?

~thanks.

More about : mobility

August 13, 2006 12:38:27 PM

I've done a lot of googling, apparantly there aren't as many laptop graphics reviews out there as desktops.. bah.

Neverwinter nights 2 is my target. With games like guild wars, wow etc in reserve.

What does native resolution matter if you can change the resolution yourself in display properties?
August 13, 2006 12:40:31 PM

Fujitsu-Siemens AMILO Xi 1546

Processor : Intel Core Duo T2300E 1.66GHz
Memory : 1024MB (2 x 512MB) DDR2
Hard Disk Drive : 80GB SATA 5400RPM
Graphics Card : ATI mobility RADEON X1800 with 256MB video memory
Display : 17" WXGA widescreen crystalview (1440x900)


@ $1,700 is the best i've found so far, but i'm not too keen on the price. Have been looking around for better deals. Could the 7600 Go/x1600 handle what I want?
Related resources
August 13, 2006 3:59:40 PM

7600 could probably handle your games, although not at HIGHEST settings...
August 13, 2006 4:00:40 PM

How does the 7600 compare to ATIs line of things? Is its equal the x1600?
August 13, 2006 4:41:32 PM

Ultra High end
--------
7900GTXgo SLI = 24 pipes, 8 vertex units, 256 bit mem (500/600) *2 SM3
7800GTXgo SLI = 24 pipes, 8 vertex units, 256 bit mem (400/550) *2 SM3

High end
--------
7900GTXgo = 24 pipes, 8 vertex units, 256 bit mem (500/600) SM3
X1800 XT = 16 pipes, 8 vertex units, 256 bit mem (550/650) SM3
7800GTXgo = 24 pipes, 8 vertex units, 256 bit mem (400/550) SM3
X1800 = 16 pipes, 8 vertex units, 256 bit mem (450/500) SM3
7900GSgo = 20 pipes, 7 vertex units, 256 bit mem (375/500) SM3
7800go = 16 pipes, 6 vertex units, 256 bit mem (350/550) SM3

Mid-High end
--------
x800xt = 16 pipes, 6 vertex units, 256 bit mem (480/550)
6800U = 12 pipes, 5 vertex units, 256 bit mem (450/550) SM3
x800pro = 12 pipes, 6 vertex units, 256 bit mem (400/400)
6800 = 12 pipes, 5 vertex units, 256 bit mem (300/300) SM3

Mid range
--------
x1600 = 12 pipes, 5 vertex units, 128 bit mem (470/470) SM3
7600 = 8 pipes, 5 vertex units, 128 bit mem (~450/500) SM3
x700 = 8 pipes, 6 vertex units, 128 bit mem (350/300)
6600 = 8 pipes, 3 vertex units, 128 bit mem (300/300) SM3

Low end
--------
x1400 = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 128 bit mem (432/400) SM3
x1300 = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 128 bit mem (hyper mem) (400/325) SM3
7400 = 4 pipes, 3 vertex units, 64 bit mem (450/450) SM3
x600 = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 128 bit mem (400/250)
x600se = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 128bit mem (358/277)
9700 = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 128 bit mem (450/213)
9600 = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 128 bit mem (333/? (240 turbo))
6400 = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 64 bit mem (400/350) SM3
7300 = 4 pipes, 3 vertex units, 64 bit mem (350/350) SM3
x300 = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 64 bit mem (300/230)
6200 = 4 pipes, 2 vertex units, 64 bit mem (300/300) SM3

Ultra low end
--------
6150 = 2 pipes, 1 vertex unit, system memory only (475/N/A)** SM3
6100 = 2 pipes, 1 vertex unit, system memory only (425/N/A) ** SM3
xpress200 = 2 pipes, 2? vertex units, 128^ bit & 32* bit mem (300/ (SYS MEM & 350*))
5x00 = 4 pipes, (Array) vertex units, 128 bit/64 bit mem (%/%)
All other integrated solutions (GMA 900, 950 etc.)

*Dependant on memory attached to side port
** Performance of these two is identical
^system mem bus width
% Covers entire series, pretty awful due to high power consumption and generally poor arc, 5700go would rate a little higher but those above it perform much better in DX9 titles such as HL2 therefore they get stuck at the bottom.

-----------------------------


Just found that, a brilliant find. Decided to post it here so that if anybody else searches this, they will find it.
August 14, 2006 6:30:51 AM

the 7900 Go GTX destroys every other card available for serious gaming
August 14, 2006 10:09:47 AM

Costs a small fortune though in comparison though.
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2006 5:11:23 PM

The MRX1800 (non-XT) is much better than the GF7600, and would be between/even with the GF7900GS/GF7800.

From your original list only the MRX1600 would be wothy of getting along with the GFGO7600, and unlike the desktop range the X1600>7600, but even still they're pretty weak for gaming, better to go with the MRX18000/GFGO7800/7900 series for any real desire to game.

Native resolution matters for crispness in gaming, but it depends on what you prefer. I would rather have 1920x1200 LCD and some interpolation (heck if I want to game and interpolation is too muchof an issue hook up to external monitor), than try to view large amount of date on a 1280x720 monitor. Gimme big.

Anywhoo, simply put native resolution matter for sharp images, the way that AF sharpens textures and images, interpolation almost works in reverse slightly blurring images, but some do a better job than others.
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2006 6:10:27 PM

Actully the only thing that would concern me would be the CPU which is likely a little slow for single threaded games where it would just be a 1.66ghz Centrino basically.
August 14, 2006 6:41:10 PM

That's the only x1800 laptop i've found.. and no 7900's for a decent price.
The CPU would be a bit better if I had the option.. I don't think I want to overclock a laptop..
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2006 6:56:18 PM

Yeah ou don't want to OC a laptop much. Creates alot of heat. There are some times when it's OK to OC the VPU, but the CPU is a little more tricky because there is so much involved in OCing the FSB, and you end up with multiple stress points, and usually they don't allow enough options to do it well, unlike desktops.

It's too bad they don't give you the option for a 1.8 ghz as that would be best. The 1.66 is 'ok', but it will chug now and then.

IF you were adventuresome in the future you could upgrae yourself, but it's very tricky and not worth it to most people compared to selling your laptop and then upgrading again.
August 14, 2006 7:05:46 PM

If anyone can find a better gaming laptop than that for around £900-1000 i'd be most grateful. I've been searching all weekend..
August 14, 2006 7:09:50 PM

I have run FEAR, FarCry and others on a lappy w/ the single core 1.6 centrino and a 6800 go and they did "ok".

You could certainly tell the cpu was the bottleneck. Theoretically if you had the dual cores and the game was multithreaded you would see an improvement but I think GrapeApe is right to raise the concern.

It won't be bad, but you will see the hurt w/ games that do not deal w/ mutli-cores.
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2006 7:09:56 PM

Don't know much about the UK market other than the fact that I like ROCK's Notebooks.

http://www.rockdirect.com/consumer_notebooks.htm

But I know very little about UK pricing.

Although I do know the exchange rate, etc. I don't know what's a "good deal" because of the wonky premiums you guys (EU in general) seem to pay for stuff.
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2006 7:15:42 PM

Yeah I just know that even with my 1year old 1.73ghz P-M, that it kinda chugged at certain points in FartCry, D3 and Oblivion that were not remedied by a resolution chage or even resolution plus +25% core/mem GPU OC.

It all depends on the game, but there are definitely some cases where you're gonna hiccup a bit with a 1.66, heck even with a CoreDuo 2.3GHZ you get some choke points. One of the reasons I'm waiting for Merom (also because of editing where it'll kill many desktops).

With the old Dell with the P42.8HT I found it was great for video/audio editing and some other chunky work, but gaming it was little/no better than the 1.73ghz P-M I now use, hopefully the Merom will clobber both in both realms, and with a lot less power/heat than the P4 which truely was a portable space heater.
August 14, 2006 7:22:01 PM

Yeah I looked at Rock but their prices are a bit high.
The lowest they can offer for a 7800GTX laptop is around £1,300 while the lowest they can offer for a x1600 is around £1,200.
Compared to the £900 of that Fujitsu-Siemens model..


Oooh. Right as I say i've been searching all weekend.
http://www.laptopshop.co.uk/fujitsu_siemens-amilo_xi_15...
We have a winner?
I worry about the RAM speed though..
August 14, 2006 7:46:22 PM

that 2Ghz model looks good man, 200Gb drive to boot. Looks solid. Like the Ape said, even that 2Ghz may show some lag... much better then the 1.6 for sure though. and w/ a multithreaded game it would do very well. I would buy it, but I would really like to defer all total recomendations to GrapeApe as he is much more the mobile guru around here. ;) 
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2006 7:47:52 PM

RAM speed maters only mildly for gaming, and really it's the size that matters, and most importantly 512 vs 1GB.

1GB of 533 will do you for now, and you can upgrade later like myself. I got 2GB of 667 in anticipation of moving it to the Merom in the FALL. It's nice to have 2GB, but the difference from 1GB i minor if anything, but the diff between 512MB and 1GB is quite noticeable, whereas the difference between 533 and 667 would only show up in benchmarks and in practical day to day would be more like the diff between 1 vs 2 gb, minor at best.

The question you have to ask yourself is if the 2GHZ duo is worth the extra coin. It's alot of money and really the 1.83 is a nice leap from the 1.66 (although it doesn't sound like much), and enough to give you some more CPU breathing room. I would say it really depends on whether you'll use it elsewhere or not. Personally the way I look at it is the 2.0GHZ is cheaper than the 1.66 you WERE locking at, and much more powerful, if you didn't know the cheaper 1.83 existed you'd likely be exstatic, but of course now you have to consider the fact that you can save £150 which might better be spent on a second battery, external monitor, a few games, etc.

Personally I'd say consider it like this, if you're looking for a primarily travel laptop then the 1.83 is nice and doesn't sap much battery from the RAID, however if it's a computer to do all your work (ie only computer), then that extra few MHZ will come in handy, even for things like virus scanning while doing other things, and that 120GB extra in RAID will be very sweet (although for the £150 diff you could get a huge external drive to offload some of the space).

At this point in time, it's your call.
August 14, 2006 7:55:11 PM

the 2Ghz system also has the bigger hard drive yes? so that price is not just the cpu...

...unless I misread something there.
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2006 7:55:46 PM

Yeah the thing is for PURE GAMING the 2GHZ hands down (RAID won't do much for gaming IMO it's a stability risk for gaming, but in a minor way [as minor as the boost in gaming, so they cancel out IMO]).

For gaming the 2GHZ is an easy winner, for mobility I'd pick the 1.83 and spend the extra coin on a second battery (which it will use quickly if using full graphics power on the road).
August 14, 2006 7:56:52 PM

Quote:
for mobility I'd pick the 1.83 and spend the extra coin on a second battery (which it will use quickly if using full graphics power on the road).


good point.
a b U Graphics card
August 14, 2006 8:03:07 PM

Quote:
the 2Ghz system also has the bigger hard drive yes? so that price is not just the cpu...

...unless I misread something there.


No that's correct, that's why when I say that the other (2.0G) has the extra 120GB of space in RAID, that is offset by the fact that the 1.83 being £150 cheaper, you could buy a HUGE external drive to compliment the smaller 80GB on the 1.83, and likely still have some money left over for a second battery (160GB drives here are going for $100CDN, and an extra battery is usually $150-300 depending on size and the laptop mfr's price). So looking at it from that perspective for the mobile user the single 80GB HD will be lighter and consume slightly less power (and the 1.83 consume slightly less power than the 2.0), and the saving could buy the external 'dump' drive, and maybe a battery, making it the slightly better mobile choice for the same funds.

so it's like this;

1.83GHZ+80GB-£150 = Mobile Efficient Value Choice (with options to improve)
2.0GHZ + 200GB = Performance/Gaming choice with the best of everything for now and later (you can still buy additional batteries and such later).

Like I said they both have attractive benefits.
August 14, 2006 8:12:02 PM

gotcha, I just missunderstood what you were getting at man. makes sense now. ;) 
August 14, 2006 11:43:14 PM

To be honest i'm also building a E6600/2gb DDR2-800/7900GTX desktop..
This laptop is for taking to lessons, and so that my girlfriend can play games like neverwinter nights 2, wow, gw, the occasional fps game with me.
Of course i'm sure i'll find myself playing games on it, possibly taking it to lan parties if my desktop doesn't feel like the move.

I'm not too bothered about storage tbh, my desktop is likely to have at least half a TB of storage, which is where i'll keep most of my work.
It's the CPU that matters to me, and i'm not quite sure it warrants the extra £150.

Hell fo £150 more I may as well be looking at 7900/7800 laptop builds.


The two options I have atm:

1.86GHz, X1800, 1024mb DDR2-533, 80gb HDD
@$1,697.42

2GHz, X1800, 1024mb DDR2-533, 200gb HDD RAID
@$1,996.96


I'm starting to become more inclined towards the first, since storage is not applicable to me, and .13GHz isn't worth £150..
August 15, 2006 3:03:19 AM

Quote:
I'm starting to become more inclined towards the first, since storage is not applicable to me, and .13GHz isn't worth £150..


I think you are right on track man. After re-understanding GrapeApe's stuff and seeing what you really want to do w/ it I would also lean towards the cheaper of the two. w/ that 1800 you will be gaming aplenty w/ everything current and many new games. That cpu will do fine.

rock on.
August 15, 2006 3:56:02 AM

I have a been happy with my Dell Inspiron 9300. It has been replace by a newer model but you might consider either an XPS with a 7900GTX or 79000GS. A cheaper solution that would be almost as good is an Inspiron E1705 which you can get with a 7900GS. If you look around you can sometimes find coupons for Dell that will give you a pretty good deal.

I mostly play CS:S with a little BF2 and my laptop handles both games like nobody's business. I have a 2.13GHz Pentium M with 1GB or RAM and a Go6800. I have to keep the textures on medium for BF2 because I don't have 2GB of RAM but everything else is on high.

I think I saw something about the native resolution. The image will look the best on the display's native resolution. If you use a different resolution, either the picture will be distorted to fit the screen (most high end laptops have widescreen displays) and look pixelated or the image will be smaller and harder to see.
a b U Graphics card
August 15, 2006 4:00:35 AM

Yeah after seeing what you're using it for the 1.83GHZ would be my choice.
August 15, 2006 11:02:16 AM

Thanks guys :) 
!