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Nvidia 8600M GS or Ati 2600HD Notebook

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February 7, 2008 11:37:06 PM

Hey guys. Looking at buying a gaming laptop (secondary machine..have a main gaming desktop) Im stuck between two Asus laptops. Have exact same specs except for one has the 8600M GS (256mb dedicated) vs ATI 2600HD Notebook with 512mb dedicated. Which would do you think is the better card as I cant find any benchmarks between the two. And if the Nvidia one is better is it $300 better because the one with the Nvidia is $300 more.
February 7, 2008 11:57:59 PM

Heya, im running with an Asus F3ka (Hd2600) I will vouch that it is pretty good(certainly defiling an 8600gs, and overclockable). One MAJOR annoyance is hyper memory cannot be turned off. You also get a boost of performance by modding the latest ati cata drivers for the 2600 :p 
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February 8, 2008 1:32:52 AM

Basically Im between this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... Both will get the necessary 2gb mem upgrade. Should play just about everything on the market right now at full detail other than crysis. Im definately leaning towards the second option...cheaper and from the sounds of it would be faster. The only perks of it is the updated display on the first laptop.

**EDIT**Second link wont work for me but newegg part number is N82E16834220231
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2008 6:02:01 AM

General performance GF8600MGS < MHD2600 < GF8600MGT=MHD2600XT < GF8700MGT

The HD2600 is ok for gaming just finished Crysis on medium to high settings with 1024x768/600 resolution, it was very playable with only a few noticeable slow points throughout the game.

The thing is though if you're interested mostly in gaming, I'd suggest you look for the crop of laptops like Gateway's that are appearing with the GF8800M GTS, Best Buy was selling it for $1250 just over a week ago, that would be better for gaming, but be sure it's married to capable CPU.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2008 6:15:23 AM

xerohour said:
One MAJOR annoyance is hyper memory cannot be turned off.


Why would that be an annoyance?

It doesn't reserve the memory like a shared solution. It can dynamically access the memory if needed, but it still favours that memory being accessible to the CPU, so it's better to have it when you need it than to not have it.

Sure it would be better to have more VRAM than HyperMemory, but if you have more than enough for the host like most of us do, then why not access it via a single fast PCIe lane bypassing the CPU? If there isn't enough memory in the VRAM or Hypermemory then the computer will have to do the even worse shunting from hard drive to cpu to memory.

Not sure what the issue is other than people confusing Hypermemory numbers with dedicated numbers.
February 8, 2008 3:15:06 PM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
Why would that be an annoyance?

It doesn't reserve the memory like a shared solution. It can dynamically access the memory if needed, but it still favours that memory being accessible to the CPU, so it's better to have it when you need it than to not have it.

Sure it would be better to have more VRAM than HyperMemory, but if you have more than enough for the host like most of us do, then why not access it via a single fast PCIe lane bypassing the CPU? If there isn't enough memory in the VRAM or Hypermemory then the computer will have to do the even worse shunting from hard drive to cpu to memory.

Not sure what the issue is other than people confusing Hypermemory numbers with dedicated numbers.


The reason im calling it an annoyance, is because its unnecessary. The 512 of slow gddr2 memory will almost never be used completely. In the mean time, while doing benchmarks with a 32 bit OS (that will be ram choked to a certain extent) the results will be a bit skewed.
February 8, 2008 3:47:28 PM

I agree that these are not the best mobile GPU's for gaming. Though the HD2600 is likely the better chip. If you were looking at an 8800M chip, then I would go with that, but seeing as its between 8600M and HD2600M (M=mobile), go with the Radeon for this one. I wouldn't try running Crysis on this, its not gonna look to good.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2008 4:35:09 PM

xerohour said:
The reason im calling it an annoyance, is because its unnecessary. The 512 of slow gddr2 memory will almost never be used completely. In the mean time, while doing benchmarks with a 32 bit OS (that will be ram choked to a certain extent) the results will be a bit skewed.


Huh!?!

First of all when you are RAM limited it uses less, when you have more it uses more, it doesn't choke the ram, as like I said it's not set aside unlike shared, it's like an overflow rarely used, and when it is used it's better than swapping out with the HDD.

And while your slow DDRII memory might never be used in the apps you use, then it's not doing anything with that hypermemory then is it? For me with 256MB of fast GDDR3, I'm happy to have the option to have as much memory as it will give (currently VRAM+Hypermemory is 1.3GB) should it require more frame buffer space for whatever app. I Still have access to the full 3.3 GB of memory for apps, but when I'm gaming there aren't many apps that see a need for anything above 2GB including Crysis. But even if I only had 1GB, the system would still devote all of that to the CPU and DMA, and nothing to Hypermemory, and instead swap between VRAM and the CPU/RAM/HDD, which is also slow, but not as slow as if it reserved a chuck of that 1GB for shared memory.

Seriously your complaint is like complaining about the free case that came with your SD card, it's free bonus that doesn't take away from the rest of the functions.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2008 4:43:50 PM

sprucebr1 said:
I wouldn't try running Crysis on this, its not gonna look to good.


Crysis looks fine on it, and is actually playable at 800x480 in DX10 with occasional hiccups, play the the same DX9 mods as everyone else here and it plays just fine at a good resolution.

It's not the best and there are better, but it'll play it just fine and looks good because the game scales well, and you can easily use mid setting with some things boosted to high.

The reality is the M-HD2600 & GF8600M probably play it as well or better than likely half of the gamers out there, most of whom are on older mid-high hardware like a GF6600-6800 or X800 or X1600 or G7600GT if that. It's nowhere near the top, but it is easily capable of playing any game out there comfortably.
February 8, 2008 4:57:56 PM

If you can wait, you may want to wait.

There are some new Laptops coming out that will support Hybrid Graphics. On these Laptops you will get the power of both cards and the add-on card will not be running when not gaming.

This can help fix the problem of relatively poor battery life when not gaming. It will make the Laptop more of a real Laptop when needed.

Most of my gaming is on laptops because I enjoy lounging on the couch while playing. As a result, My laptop is closer to a portable PC than a Laptop. It blows for traveling. But I have other laptops I use for travelling. I would be great if I had one that was good for both.

In addition, the Hybrid solution should help frame-rates a bit in gaming w/o adding too much to the cost.
February 8, 2008 5:51:14 PM

Your option with a 8600M GS = $1300.
A gateway with an 8800M GTS = $1349. (MSRP, as great ape said are available at Best Buy, yours may sell them at less then MSRP).
http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529667881.php

A gateway with a faster processor and a 8800M GTS = $1599. (but you have to wait till march 6th)
http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529667905.php
(uncheck all the add ons to get $1599)

A quick reveiw of the 8800M GTS and why it pwns the 8600M GS
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-8800M-GTS.6...
Oh and according to the site, the HD 2600 is better then the 8600M GS
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2008 7:32:56 PM

zenmaster said:

There are some new Laptops coming out that will support Hybrid Graphics. On these Laptops you will get the power of both cards and the add-on card will not be running when not gaming.

This can help fix the problem of relatively poor battery life when not gaming. It will make the Laptop more of a real Laptop when needed.


Actually that's not really true for the last 2 generations of ATi and this generation of nVidia's mobile solutions.

Both underclock the cores greatly in 2D and battery mode, and they even disable all but one PCIe lane reducing power consumption greatly. I doubt you'd see much more than a 5 minute difference if they added another VPU onboard. The best advantage would be the display options available, since right now you cannot have an HDMI connection at the same time as a the main display and then have a DVI connection as well, unless you have multi chips. There's only 2 RAMDACs and 2 sets of TMDS per chip.

Quote:
In addition, the Hybrid solution should help frame-rates a bit in gaming w/o adding too much to the cost.


Maybe, but I'd like to see that diff, versus faster CPUs, better HDDs or more/faster memory.
a b D Laptop
February 8, 2008 9:00:36 PM

skywalker9952 said:
A quick reveiw of the 8800M GTS and why it pwns the 8600M GS
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-8800M-GTS.6...
Oh and according to the site, the HD 2600 is better then the 8600M GS


I don't trust their numbers for the most part. They show that SLI 8700's beat SLI 7950's and that's just not true. They show the SLI 7950's getting about 7K in 06 when they should be getting closer to 8 or 9K. My single card gets 5400.
a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
February 8, 2008 9:11:43 PM

Yeah they're sketchy, you want an overall picture.

It depends alot on the game, I'd say probably in Oblivion the SLi'ed GF8700Ms would win out, but I'd agree the majority of the time the SLi'd GFGO7950s would win.
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