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Graphics cards that require up to 225W Vidock Please help!

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April 21, 2011 2:36:40 PM

Hello, I am a college student that like to a little light gaming. Being a college student, I am watching my money. I have recently looked into buying a "Vidock 4 Plus" because I have a 1st Gen macbook pro that is unable to handle many games that I would like to play ex: Total War Franchise, and similar games. My first question is has anyone had any experience with the Vidock? If so, what was your experience. My second question is the "Vidock 4 Plus" states "ViDock 4 Plus adds a second 2 x 3 pin power connector to accommodate graphics cards that require up to 225W." With this said, What graphics card do you recommend keeping in mind my needs. I will be buying a new monitor so I am unsure of the resolution that I will be playing at. Thank you for all of the advice. Just another college student trying to game. :hello: 
a c 158 U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 3:21:35 PM

For the price of the Vidock and a video card you can buy a full PC that will handle games better than your macbook. You can put together a gaming PC for $500 or even less if you start out with a used dual-core PC. Plus mac and gaming are not the best of friends, unless you dual-boot the thing to Windows.

My advice, take the cash you are about to drop on a dead-end tech and get a PC for gaming. If you are worried about space, you can get a case like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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April 21, 2011 5:47:11 PM

I was planning on dual booting. I may be forced to use the Vidock because it was my father's idea. And the bulk of my money is his. Is it really that bad of an idea? Wouldn't I be able to buy a better GPU and use the Vidock opposed to start from the ground up and build a new computer? Thanks again for the input. :hello: 
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a c 158 U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 6:55:56 PM

What are the specs on the laptop? Model?
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April 21, 2011 7:21:18 PM

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro4,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Hope this helps
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a c 177 U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 9:15:09 PM

A vidock 4+ is $280, for that price you could get a quad core, mobo, and 4gb ram. If you're really set on an external gpu, a diy solution is ~$120 which is exactly like a vidock but no nice metal box. Both setups still need a gpu which will be ~$150. $300-400 just to play games on a low spec macbook doesn't seem to be a good idea to me. The only way an external gpu is a good idea is if you could find some really cheap used parts.
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April 21, 2011 9:20:47 PM

For $280 can I really get the majority of the components I need for the build?
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a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 9:28:09 PM

jmfranklin164 said:
For $280 can I really get the majority of the components I need for the build?

I thought about doing this myself for a wile. The point is you end up spending all this cash on this vidock and an GPU and the results you get are not that great. So I would suggest a better solution..... Take the $400 and buy a new laptop. I have a 2year old gateway I got for $500 it will play the total war games just fine. So 2 years later im sure you can get something in the $400 range that plays those games. Unless there are some power power hungry games you want to play I think you should at least look into that. And as other have said, keep in mind for about $500 you could have a gaming desktop that would beat the pants off of the $400 laptop or your macbook/ViDock combo.
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April 21, 2011 9:48:40 PM

cburke82 said:
I thought about doing this myself for a wile. The point is you end up spending all this cash on this vidock and an GPU and the results you get are not that great. So I would suggest a better solution..... Take the $400 and buy a new laptop. I have a 2year old gateway I got for $500 it will play the total war games just fine. So 2 years later im sure you can get something in the $400 range that plays those games. Unless there are some power power hungry games you want to play I think you should at least look into that. And as other have said, keep in mind for about $500 you could have a gaming desktop that would beat the pants off of the $400 laptop or your macbook/ViDock combo.
hmmm, I haven't seen any $500 laptops that had anything other than built in Intel crappy graphics cards? Unless you are talking about a used laptop with like at least a 9800m, 555m, 4860 or higher, then yes he may find a $500 laptop that would work.
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a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 9:53:52 PM

warezme said:
hmmm, I haven't seen any $500 laptops that had anything other than built in Intel crappy graphics cards? Unless you are talking about a used laptop with like at least a 9800m, 555m, 4860 or higher, then yes he may find a $500 laptop that would work.

My gateway had on board ATI 3200 for $500. Intels onboard stuff is weak but AMD's can run some games at low settings. Im more than sure you could find a $500 laptop with some version of the new 6XXX on board stuff. That should run total war on lower settings just fine being the 3200 ran it for me was well was WoW.
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April 21, 2011 9:56:23 PM

For the time being, I will be keeping my mac. I am going to buy a netbook in the near future for class but other than that I doubt I will be buying a computer. I am open to build one I just need to find one for the right price. This may be a dumb question and I am sorry if it is but would this netbook play Total War (even shogun 2)? Or do you know of a netbook that is very nice, light and can play games?

http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=30dqaE10a0LUo9XJ
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a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 9:58:23 PM

k1114 said:
Here's an idea of what you can get for $500, forgot to post it in my earlier post. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/budget-gaming-pc-ph...

that would be a $500 system in one of 2 ways.

1. He has a copy of windows. Being he has a mac im thinking thats not the case.

2. He runs linux and thats free.

Otherwise it would be a $600 system plus tax after he gets windows.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 9:58:49 PM

It would be a better idea to get a desktop with higher specs at the same price of a laptop and keep the macbook for mobility.

Edit: Some reason my page didnt refresh. It was just an idea of what he could get, of course to make it $500 for him he'd drop down to dual or tri core and probably a 5770. It's still better than macbook+vidock. My main point was the cpu, mobo and ram was the same price of the vidock (although quad core).
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a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 10:00:37 PM

jmfranklin164 said:
For the time being, I will be keeping my mac. I am going to buy a netbook in the near future for class but other than that I doubt I will be buying a computer. I am open to build one I just need to find one for the right price. This may be a dumb question and I am sorry if it is but would this netbook play Total War (even shogun 2)? Or do you know of a netbook that is very nice, light and can play games?

http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=30dqaE10a0LUo9XJ

Maybe this is a dumb questin. If your going to spen money on a netbook soon and then this ViDock why would you not just wait and get a laptop that will run what you need. They do make small size laptops that arnt much bigger than a net book dontcha know.
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April 21, 2011 10:11:04 PM

No, not a dumb question at all. The plan you just mentioned was my father's(aka. the one who pays for most of the goods while i'm in college). He was very hesitant about me getting a new laptop but he said that he would be ok about a netbook. I know there is not much of a difference besides weight. So is there a laptop/netbook that I could pass off for a very lightweight netbook for the next two years? Also being a college student, money matters so it can't be too hard on the bank account. Is the netbook I mentioned above not a good one? Thanks again for all the help.
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a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 10:20:48 PM

jmfranklin164 said:
No, not a dumb question at all. The plan you just mentioned was my father's(aka. the one who pays for most of the goods while i'm in college). He was very hesitant about me getting a new laptop but he said that he would be ok about a netbook. I know there is not much of a difference besides weight. So is there a laptop/netbook that I could pass off for a very lightweight netbook for the next two years? Also being a college student, money matters so it can't be too hard on the bank account. Is the netbook I mentioned above not a good one? Thanks again for all the help.

this is not to small but for the price im willing to bet it will handle total war type games

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this is a little smaller but not sure about Nvida on board GPU as I have no exp with them.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this one is at best buy has on board 4250 again I know for 100% sure the 3200 series of onboard graphics play total war just fine not sure about the new stuff but I dont see why they would go backwards know what i mean.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+Laptop+/+AMD+Athlon%26...


Is your dad not wanting you to get anything bigger than a netbook? If so has he given you any reason as to why? You dont save much by going netbook so other than just plain needing something small I can see why he would be aggenst you getting a small laptop.
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a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 10:37:52 PM

curve ball here

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I know that would play total war. Because I had it for a short wile :) .

You could keep your mac for portability. As long as you have some space for a desktop that system would give you much more utility than any netbook when you consider the combo of your macbbook and that desktop. Also would be better to get the desk top and a new net book rather than getting a ViDock and and a net book as far as what you get for your money.

This computer also has a PCI X16 slot. So in the futue you could upgrade it buy getting a GPU and swapping out the powersupply. Befor I returned it I swapped out the PSU and installed a 6870. Was playing crysis lol. So total war would be easy peasy. But the 3200 would play total war without any upgrades.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 11:07:09 PM
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a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 11:13:29 PM
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2011 11:36:57 PM

Through college I get Windows/Office/etc. for free. I don't suppose that applies to you jmfranklin164 does it?
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a c 177 U Graphics card
April 22, 2011 12:57:39 AM

All you need is a student email, so your friend could buy it with his email and give it to you, no problems. Some colleges have deals with microsoft, I can get pro for free but its only 1 per student, and the student store has ultimate for $30. Otherwise get it off the microsoft website. http://www.microsoft.com/student/en/us/windows/buynow/d... It used to be home premium, now its pro.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
April 22, 2011 2:17:56 PM

jmfranklin164 said:
No, not a dumb question at all. The plan you just mentioned was my father's(aka. the one who pays for most of the goods while i'm in college). He was very hesitant about me getting a new laptop but he said that he would be ok about a netbook. I know there is not much of a difference besides weight. So is there a laptop/netbook that I could pass off for a very lightweight netbook for the next two years? Also being a college student, money matters so it can't be too hard on the bank account. Is the netbook I mentioned above not a good one? Thanks again for all the help.


No netbook will run games, even things like flash games and youtube run slow on them. The advantages of a netbook is small size and cheap cost. That's it. They are good for class/study as they are portable, but I would not use them for long without an external monitor and keyboard. So when you sit and actually write out a 12 page report, you won't be happy typing on that small keyboard and 10" monitor.

You'd need to spend at least $500-600 on anything close to a laptop that will play games, or be usable past a few years.

The issue with getting a laptop is that unless you have plenty of cash to buy a new one every few years, you really want to get the best you can at the point of purchase. They are not upgradable easily at all aside from a faster hard drive and more RAM. Even the CPU which is more upgradable than video card needs a good tech to replace if you want your system to boot up after the work.

Have your dad read this and a few other threads before you decide which direction to go. My advise with laptops is always "buy just a bit more than what you think you want now". Spending an extra 1-200 bucks now and getting something that will live with you for 5 years well is better than dropping 3-400 on something that will annoy you every time you use it.
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a b U Graphics card
February 8, 2012 11:27:25 AM

This topic has been closed by Pyree
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a b U Graphics card
February 8, 2012 11:29:32 AM

Best answer selected by Pyree.
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