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Mobile Graphics cards

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September 27, 2006 11:53:58 PM

I have been away from hardware world awhile and I’m totally lost when it comes to graphics cards in laptops.
I’m currently looking for a laptop in the higher end, mainly for work (CAD programs, 3d rendering, graphic design), but I’m also thinking about being able to latest games with a reasonable performance and wondering how it will deal with Vista’s new graphic interface.

Right now I’m browsing laptops judging the graphic card from there name. I exclude all with an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator and those with shared RAM.

So I’m left with ATI and NVIDIA but I feel there are so many and I have no idea how they compare to each other. I assume that the ATI x1400 is better then the x1300 but I don’t really know what different cards are capable of, or if any of them can run the new Vista interface.

I don’t have time to look up every single card so I’m looking for some kind of a guide or a list with all the mobile cards on the marked where they are ordered by performance and what are the main things it supports. (I know performance is a relative term but such a list would help me getting op to date and then I could read some more on the cards who did well on that list.)
Do you know of any guide like that, if not, can you come with some points on what not to get and some recommendations.

Also, what are the latest standards mobile cards are now supporting, like directX 9?, 10?

Do I dare ask which graphic card maker have better mobile cards at the moment? ATI or NVIDIA.

All help is welcomed.

More about : mobile graphics cards

September 28, 2006 4:16:12 PM

Let me first introduce myself, this is my first post in this forum :)  My name is Justin and i am owner of XoticPC. I am a pure tech junkie that is always looking for the latest and greatest technology items on the market. I love gaming on my 360 or laptop and participate in other forums on the net.

Now onto the post about laptop video cards. :D 

If your main purpose of the laptop would be in the professional evniroment (Cad, 3D Rendering, Graphic Design) i would suggest finding a laptop that uses the nVidia Quadro FX2500M 512MB. This card is specifically designed for these type of applications. If you are more interested in Gaming Performance than performance with the applications above the best laptop video card out today is the 512MB 7900GTX from nVidia.

These cards available in a couple different models such as the Sager 9890, 9750 & 5760 and a SLI version (Dual 7900 GTX 512's or Dual FX2500M's 512) in the 5950.
September 28, 2006 5:05:26 PM

This is one of the guys from over at Notebook Review that slammmmmmmms Killer Notebooks with lies over at Notebook Review forums. Gets him banned here then shows up with his very first post the next day? What a leach!

Thanks for filling the void YOU helped create owner of XoticPC and pure tech junkie! WOW.
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September 28, 2006 6:03:42 PM

I have in no way slammed KN nor do i intend to. I am here to help the Laptop community, that is it.

Lets both not hijack this thread about notebook video cards and keep it on topic. If you have any comments to make please feel free to PM me or email me.
September 28, 2006 6:15:55 PM

I just read your post on the other forum.
You speculated on why Killer Notebooks had Core 2 Duo's and you and PowerNotebooks did not! Accusing a company of using black market components is slamming them.
Own up to what you say!
September 28, 2006 6:29:19 PM

If tier 1 distributors can not allocate these processors from Intel what is the likelyhood myself or even KN can allocate them direct from Intel? :?

There were no comments of black market made by myself. If you have further comments about me please PM or email me to discuss. It is not fair to other forum members to read info that doesnt pertain to this thread.
September 28, 2006 7:07:38 PM

You should seriously consider becoming a lawyer.
October 2, 2006 6:24:40 PM

I'll jump in having just gone through this.
Right now, the NVidia Quadro series cards (FX 2500M the best) are the ones best suited to CAD and Rendering software as well as Linux. This is because they are optimized to use OpenGL video language instead of DirectX. Autocad, etc. use OpenGL. The Quadro FX 2500M is also about $300 more than the GeForce Go 7800 GTX even though the specs are identical.

Now the future issue as I've come to understand it; Windows Vista will not directly work with OpenGL. Therefore, you will be at the mercy of someone like NVidia or ATI creating a translation type driver that converts OpenGL into DirectX.. there will be a speed hit. Also note that the newest product from Autodesk now use Direct X as the native video. So, I put my bet that future releases of cad software will transition to a Direct X video when they transistion the software to Vista: My reasoning is that it's going to be really, really difficult to be "Vista Certified" using a non-native graphic language...

Because of this, I'd go for the higher end ATI or NVidia graphics chipsets and forget about NVidia's Quadro and ATI's FireGL solutions which are optimised (at a premium cost) for OpenGL...

btw: Linux uses OpenGL too... should also note that since Killernotebooks is a custom builder, Mark said he could get the FX 2500M if I wanted it... custom builders let you pick things not on the menu.
October 2, 2006 9:56:30 PM

Dude not to be a jerk or anything but your prices for the components in your systems are really wack...

You do have a decent website though.

-Jeff
October 2, 2006 10:19:15 PM

Oh... forgot to mention..
CAD programs don't really need a top of the line videocard. I've got a laptop running a 7900GTX 512m and one running a ATI x700 128meg. Absolutely no noticable speed difference between the two running Autocad 2002. Don't feel like you need the top tier product; though you may want it like me :lol: 

For rendering however, there is a difference. I don't do a lot of it, so you might check out reviews that use Maya or 3dStudio benchmarks to determine how much of a difference there may be. Not a lot of reviews though benchmarking laptops for rendering...

Also, don't buy into the bs that a quadro card can't game. Hit up some reviews and benchmarks of the Dell M machines and you'll see the 2300M benches just a hair slower than a 7900. Makes sense to me since the tech specs are identical... I've actually wondered if the Quadro is just a rebadged job with different drivers.

Assuming you're getting it for presentations for CAD, you might also double check projector compatibility if you want things seamless. An oddball I ran across is my laptops monitor size isn't the same resolution as the projector I've got. So, I have to remember to put together a presentation so the projector output looks correct (it's mashed on my laptop screen). It’s a 1680x1050 versus a 1280x1024 (widescreen vs normal..)

I also opted for the 7900 GTX because of how I’ve got my laptop setup in my office – it runs 3 external monitors plus it's own :wink: Shown playing WoW, but normally I've got CAD spanned across two monitors and other apps running on the other two..

October 3, 2006 2:25:22 PM

What notebook is that.. Sager 5760? 17inch lcds? JOLT cola? Looks good to me!
October 3, 2006 3:21:33 PM

Quote:
What notebook is that.. Sager 5760? 17inch lcds? JOLT cola? Looks good to me!

That's a Killernotebook Executioner & delicious Coca Cola. The Sager, Xotic? (the guy above's), Hypersonic and a few others look the same and probably all share the same base supplier.

I get the triple monitor by using the Matrox Triplehead2go unit. (Side note is that I'm still having minor issues using the Matrox as the primary monitor; the driver defaults back to the laptop at restart).. Also, for gaming I prefer the laptop monitor instead of the Matrox unit because it trims too much from the top and bottom and it's tough to keep "aware" of everything like the mini-maps when it's all the way in the corner. Hard to believe, but the laptop monitor seems to have a larger field of view than the 3 screens for gaming. But in my office environment, the huge desktop space is a real bonus.
Here, another shot of WoW...
October 3, 2006 6:17:51 PM

Quote:
What notebook is that.. Sager 5760? 17inch lcds? JOLT cola? Looks good to me!

That's a Killernotebook Executioner & delicious Coca Cola. The Sager, Xotic? (the guy above's), Hypersonic and a few others look the same and probably all share the same base supplier. Yup.. same chassi everywhere you go, KN, Voodoo,XoticPC.. Sager/Clevo 5760 ...pretty standard really. Sorry to hear the problems with 3head2go. I wonder if that's a common issue.
October 3, 2006 9:53:32 PM

Quote:
What notebook is that.. Sager 5760? 17inch lcds? JOLT cola? Looks good to me!

That's a Killernotebook Executioner & delicious Coca Cola. The Sager, Xotic? (the guy above's), Hypersonic and a few others look the same and probably all share the same base supplier. Yup.. same chassi everywhere you go, KN, Voodoo,XoticPC.. Sager/Clevo 5760 ...pretty standard really. Sorry to hear the problems with 3head2go. I wonder if that's a common issue.
I don't think it's a common issue since I seem to be the only posting the problems over at Matrox. I also noted that Xotic and Hypersonic have it on their sites as an optional accessory, so I'd think they'd of worked it out. Don't know what's causing it; it's still just a few days old so I haven't had the time to figure out the issue :lol: 
October 7, 2006 4:15:42 AM

Hey Cfish, I just wanted to say your setup looks pretty sweet :)  I want your desk!

I just found out my executioner is on it's way....how do you like it, for WoW so far?
October 9, 2006 8:14:21 PM

Haven't played a ton with the 3 monitor setup, but so far I'd rather have a single really nice big monitor for gaming; though I like a second one to have other things running and open so I can see them (ventrillo, pcstats, irc, xfire, etc.).

Basically with WoW and triple monitors, it clips the top and bottom since the view distance is set: If you could zoom out further, it wouldn't be such an issue. So, with all the hills and stuff, I'm constantly having to swap around views to see everything. The second annoyance is just the length of the monitor setup makes it really difficult to note changes with "additional information". Like the minimap is way over on the top right, the damage meters on the far left, the scrolling text is far left bottom, and your action keys are center. It's tough to see things out of the corner of your eye, so you miss stuff... Might be different with different games though.

As for workspace, it's awesome. I had dual monitors before, but 3 gives me a ton of desktop to run multiple applications. No tabbing anymore...
October 12, 2006 2:35:57 AM

great post,.. i wish i could read russian. Perhaps this should be sticky
October 12, 2006 5:43:17 AM

Quote:
great post,.. i wish i could read russian. Perhaps this should be sticky


Thanks, learn russian, but it's very hard languges. (Простите, за мой английский :D  )

Else info i keep this mobile_graphics
!