Upgrade Video Card or Buy Gaming Laptop for Fallout3?

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
7 answers Last reply
More about upgrade video card gaming laptop fallout3
  1. 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.
  2. 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=N82E16834115506

    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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. HP has always been pretty good with using standard run of the mill parts. . . like Asus MBs
  7. 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=N82E16819103289

    HD 4830 $99 after rebate and free shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121289

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