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Upgrade Video Card or Buy Gaming Laptop for Fallout3?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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January 2, 2009 1:04:35 AM

Hi,

Here's my current desktop system:

2.0 GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ dual core processor with 1 MB total L2 cache
1 GB RAM

It currently doesn't have a video card and I want to play fallout 3. Is it worth getting something like a Geforce 9600 at ~$90 on this setup? Will it play fallout 3 acceptably? However I do need a laptop so I was thinking of getting something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152073

(AMD Athlon X2 QL-62(2.00GHz) 4GB Memory GeForce 9600M GT)

I could buy a regular non-gaming laptop for about ~$500 but perhaps it's just worth it to get this anyway? Will this system outperform my dated desktop anyway, so I can replace my desktop with this laptop anyway? And I can carry around a gaming system with me as well.

Thoughts/opinions?

Thanks

a b D Laptop
January 2, 2009 2:17:55 AM

It depends on what you do with your machine. If you never move your machine around and don't really have a need to game away from where it sits, upgrading your graphics card on your desktop is the best option. If however, you find yourself moving your desktop around a lot and gaming in places other than home, the notebook is for you.

Keep in mind, though, that a 9600mGT does NOT equate to a 9600GT. The mobile versions of desktop chips are generally a hair slower.
January 2, 2009 2:56:39 AM

Throwing a 9600 gt into your machine would be a waste, you need to upgrade to at least 2gigs of RAM first, and either a 9800gt or radeon 4830 would be better picks in the sub $100 range for a gpu.

this acer with a core 2 duo would probably perform better than the msi with the athlon x2:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the same $800 you could:

1 - upgrade your processor to either an athlon x2 5400 BE, 6000 or 7750BE (under $100)
2 - increase your RAM with a 4 gig dual channel kit (around $50)
3 - get a radeon 4850 (under $150)
4 - get a non-gaming laptop for under $500

Or you could also

1- upgrade processor to a phenom 9850 BE or 9950 BE (around $150)
2 - increase your RAM with a 4 gig dual channel kit (around $50)
3 - get a radeon 4850 (under $150)
4 - get a netbook for around $350
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January 2, 2009 3:14:26 AM

Like Frozenlead said, if you don't need the mobile computing ability, no need to really consider a laptop. You'll get better price/performance and upgrading abilities with a desktop.
January 2, 2009 3:35:18 AM

theworminator said:
Like Frozenlead said, if you don't need the mobile computing ability, no need to really consider a laptop. You'll get better price/performance and upgrading abilities with a desktop.


The OP stated that he needed a laptop anyways and was therefore considering a gaming laptop instead of a mainstream laptop and a desktop upgrade.
January 2, 2009 7:21:06 AM

I guess I'm just worried about how it would perform. An athlon 64 is fairly old, AFAIK (I don't want to upgrade my desktop at the moment). I think i'm just going to upgrade my desktop card and buy the laptop later due to financial reasons (it's not absolutely imperative that I have a laptop right away).

So if I upgrade the RAM and buy the new card will this computer run newer games like Fallout 3 passably? (It's a HP Media Center m7330n that I got for free. One of the reasons I don't want to upgrade it, and not sure if I can due to proprietary components). Seems like the most reasonable solution for now for only about ~$100 or so.
January 2, 2009 12:48:58 PM

HP has always been pretty good with using standard run of the mill parts. . . like Asus MBs
January 2, 2009 4:44:47 PM

It will run but I'm not sure how well. I have a 5400+BE OC to 3.0 GHZ with a Radeon HD4850 and it runs almost everything except crysis maxed out.

I'm not sure what your budget is but if you could afford around $200 you could get a 5400+, 2 gigs of RAM and a Radeon HD4830 (better than the 9600 you suggested)

5400+BE $66 free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD 4830 $99 after rebate and free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM, take your pick, easily under $30 for 2 gigs of DDR2 800

!