I'm trying to get a decent laptop for as close to AUD$1500 as I can, and my two options for graphics cards are the GeForce 9600M GT (512MB) and the Quadro NVS 160M (256MB). (One will come in an HP dv5 1138 with 2GB RAM @ 1066MHz and the other in a Dell E6400 with 2GB RAM @ 800 MHz) I'm limited to these two by my IT department who are doing the purchasing.
I can't find any reviews comparing the two, even on Nvidia's website as they are in different product lines.
Is their performance markedly different, or will I not notice?
Does one suck a lot more power than the other?
The 9600gt is more of a gaming card and the Quadro will be more of a workstation type of card, meaning if you do like autocad and stuff like that, the quadro is better. But if games and multimedia is your thing, get the one with the 9600gt.
I'm doing research in physics, and the laptop will probably get used for some modelling (but this would mainly be using the CPU and RAM) but the main reason for the graphics card is so that I can put together graphic images of thousands of atoms in 3D and be able to rotate the molecule/system at will to get the best perspective on it.
I don't use autocad at present; I mainly use research codes which simply create, invert and diagonalise many large matrices and/or compute FFTs.
Sounds like you want the quadro then. Like I said, if you intend to game, the 9600 is a good card. However, the Quadro is made for more accuracy on modeling and things like that. I know this because I had to research this for my job and that was what the research eventually seemed to bear out.
I have to disagree. It sounds like your work will be CPU intensive, few programs are designed for GPGPU. Even if it is GPGPU, the 9600 is a far more powerful card (32 Stream Processors in the 9600, 8 in the 160M) as well, which should offset the driver advantages the 160M might have. Heck, you can often hack Quadro drivers to work on non-quadro cards. Choose the one with the best CPU, and if they are equal (or close) take the 9600
Maybe, but I know when I did my research, what we found is that sometimes there would be instabilities on the geforce cards when trying to do modeling and what not. Also, one of our people went to a class, and they even spoke about using these cards, saying that sometimes like the gamer cards may not render the things properly, so you would have to keep refreshing the image more often to show the details.
HELO MAN I BY MYSELF USING VAIO AW SERIES LAPTOP .....SO ITS HAS BUILTEN NVIDIA GEFORCE 9600 GT GRAPHIX CARD 512 MB WHICH IS AMZING .....ITS AMAZING BCZ NW I M PLAYING ALL MY PS3 GAMES ON MY LAPTOP INSTEAD OF PS3 .....