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Laptop integrated graphics card Understanding

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 23, 2010 12:59:56 PM

We are looking to buy a laptop as a gift. The person getting the laptop, says they would like to be able to play "First Person Shooter Games" on it. However, in our search we can't figure out what "integrated graphics cards" exactly means.
I.E. how do you tell which one is better than the next and which ones would be able to play "First Person Shooter" games?

Is there a chart that ranks integrated graphics cards, so that we could get an idea of which one is better compared with another one?

Thanks
January 23, 2010 1:06:29 PM

it will be always better to get a pc than a laptop for a gaming. integrated graphics card cannot play high end First person shooting games.you can play games but expect it to be laggy. i recommend you just to buy a PC for gaming purposes.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
January 23, 2010 2:55:40 PM

Just stay away from Intel GMA xxxx integrated graphic card.
Integrated card is weak, depend on it's type, it maybe can play some games with low setting.
It will be much easier for us if u just list here all of the options that u have(laptop=brand,cpu,ram,etc)...
:) 
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a c 189 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 4:18:06 AM

Okay, with only Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500, u cannot play any games recently, it's a very weak gpu. Maybe u can play Counter Strike on that laptop...
Don't expect anything on that laptop.
U will be okay if u only watching video or working some docs... :) 
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a b U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
January 26, 2010 4:28:07 AM

As wa1 said - not a good choice for gaming - The Intel chipsets (with a few exceptions for the newest products) lack support for Hardware Transform and lighting which most newer games require (Intel still insists on trying to do that in software instead of Hardware and most new games will not run if the check for hardware capability does not pass they instead just thow up an error message and shut down the game :

From the Intel Website :

Quote:
The following Intel® integrated graphics controllers support hardware Transform and Lighting (T&L):

* The integrated graphics controller of the Intel® G35, G41, G43, G45, G965, GL40, GL960, GM45, GM965, and GS45 Express Chipsets
* Intel® HD Graphics

All other Intel® graphics products do not have hardware support for T&L. In most games, transform and lighting calculations can be performed on the processor with acceptable performance. A small number of games that specifically check for hardware T&L support may fail to run.

So unless it is one of those specifically listed avoid INTEL chipset graphics if you want to run games - as there definition of a small number of games is understated ! - and the games that will run with it emulated in software will run worse because the CPU is using alot of it's processing power to run the emulated T&L support slowing the gameplay to a crawl.
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January 26, 2010 6:50:33 PM

Thanks for the information.
Is there a website or chart, that shows which integrated graphics cards can run, which games, and how well they will run those games?
The person we are buying this for says they would like to play COD Modern Warfare 2 and the New battlefield game when it comes out? We were hoping to spend $600-800?
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a b U Graphics card
a b D Laptop
January 26, 2010 7:15:58 PM

Here is a listing of the various mobile GPU chips and their performance under various benchmarks ( http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benc... ) - as you can see the intel chips are mostly very low performers !

For most modern games you will want something that scores at least around 7000 on the 3dmark06 benchmark (of course the higher the better but around 7000 will play most newer games on low to mid settings) anything scoring much below that will struggle to play most newer games

IF you click on a certain chips it will bring up more details of that chip and along the right side if you scroll dopwn it lists some of the game benchmarks for various laptops using that chip and how they perform in several games - which should give you an idea of the performance.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:16:46 PM

hassinator said:
Thanks for the information.
Is there a website or chart, that shows which integrated graphics cards can run, which games, and how well they will run those games?
The person we are buying this for says they would like to play COD Modern Warfare 2 and the New battlefield game when it comes out? We were hoping to spend $600-800?

You probably saved yourself ALOT of headache by asking this question here, to be honest. We see alot of people come through here AFTER the fact and are upset with their purchase. Second, gaming laptops are NOT cheap no matter how you slice it. $800 is probably the absolute minimum you will get one for, it you find a deal. Right now the i3 CPU's are hitting the laptop sector, so you can probably get a gaming laptop with a core2 for a discount, as I will link below. My suggestion, as well as EVERYONE else, will say to get a desktop for gaming. In the long run they are cheaper, faster, and easier to upgrade along the way. You can not upgrade the graphics in a laptop, so what you buy is what you get for the duration. With that said, here are my suggestions.

Asus laptop Core2 P7450 w/ Nvidia 260M graphics (one of the better gaming cards in notebooks) $900 (was $1000): http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+with+Intel%26...

Asus P8700 w/ Nvidia 260M $1000: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+Laptop+with+Intel%26...

Gateway core2 8700 w/Nvidia 260M $1050: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Gateway+-+FX+Edition+Laptop...
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a c 147 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 7:21:07 PM

If you notice above my selections all have the Nvidia GTX260M, which is probably the most favored mobile card for gaming right now. ATI has their 5xxx hitting the shelves soon but they will be paired with i3 and i5 CPUs and will carry a premium price. A Core2 and 260M can be had for a great deal right now. $1000 for a gaming laptop is good. I have friend who have paid upwards of $2000 for a gaming laptop. And to put it in comparison, that $2000 laptop can not outperform a home built $800 desktop. That is the cost of mobile gaming.

I would highly recommend not going with anything below the 260M for gaming. My parents recently purchased a new laptop and I was able to swing them a deal that included a mobile ATI 4650. I've loaded Modern Warefare 2 on this machine and it is "playable" with many settings turned down. As a gaming this is fine for my frequent visits, but I would be unhappy with this as an actual gaming machine. A GTX 260M completely outperforms the 4650, but there isn't much of a choice in between them as far as performance goes. The 4650 itself was a $200 add in.
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a c 189 U Graphics card
January 26, 2010 11:05:04 PM

^+2
:) 
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January 31, 2010 2:42:09 AM

We have realized that we will have to spend more than we originally planned. We figured if we are going to do this, we should do it right and pay more now, versus paying more later.
Of the 3 laptops highlighted at Best Buy, any thoughts as to which one would be the best bang for your buck overall?
Thanks
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a c 147 U Graphics card
January 31, 2010 2:24:11 PM

The $999 laptop has a number of upgrades from the $899 laptop. But honestly either one will play games nicely.
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