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Upgrades for my laptop?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 22, 2009 12:47:01 AM

So when I bought this laptop last year, I wanted a cheap mid/low end, sub-$1000 laptop that could handle games. Now however, I find that I can't run games like Arkham Asylum at any settings with frame rates over about 5 fps. I know that this is an older laptop, and I can't expect a whole lot for it. Lately however, I have been wondering if there is a possibility of upgrading it. It is a Lenovo Y510. It has a custom OC'ed 8600m GT gpu with 256 mb GDDR3 memory @ 602 mhz core, 1425mhz shader, and 955mhz memory. (which I know is doomed, and know can't be upgraded). It also has an Intel C2D T5750 running at 2.0 ghz, with a rated FSB of 650mhz (this is from CPU-Z btw). The memory is 2GB DDR2, at 330 mhz (this is what cpu-z tells me, though I can't imagine it's that low). The hard drive is a 250GB model, with 5200rpm speed. So basically I'm wondering what I can upgrade, what I can expect in cost, and what I can expect in terms of performance. Anyways, thanks in advance.

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a b D Laptop
September 22, 2009 7:40:31 PM

The machine you have should play the game well (40-50 fps at least) - the game itself is not demanding. Are you sure you run the game in high performance mode?

There's really nothing, though, that you can upgrade on the machine and see a good boost in performance.
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September 22, 2009 8:00:53 PM

I had it in lowest settings possible, 640x480 (yes I have the latest drivers), PhysX off, AA off, everything else off, and was getting somewhere between 5-8 fps.
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a b D Laptop
September 23, 2009 12:30:48 AM

I'm not talking about game settings, I'm talking about power settings. You can choose (in Windows) for your notebook to run in several modes to save power or increase performance. Check your settings in control panel/ power options.
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September 23, 2009 2:25:01 AM

Ah sorry. Yes, I have all power management settings disabled, including powermizer (hate that stupid thing). It's definitely running in highest capacity.
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a b D Laptop
September 23, 2009 6:02:22 AM

Alrighty, well, if that's true, you need to check that you're using up to date drivers, and you should probably check your temps while you're at it. Something is severely killing your performance. Does it do this in every game?
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September 24, 2009 7:43:11 PM

I'm using the latest drivers (190.89 or something). The temps get up to about 90 when gaming, no more than that. It seems that performance suffers on all games powered by Unreal tech (Mirror's Edge, Bioshock, Arkham Asylum, UT3). All others are fine.
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a b D Laptop
September 24, 2009 10:33:00 PM

Well, it sure has the symptoms of a driver incompatibility. Try a different version.
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September 25, 2009 8:15:39 AM

Is a problem with dissplay card?
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a b D Laptop
September 25, 2009 7:21:38 PM

The fact that other games work perfectly (assuming that is in fact correct) rules out the possibility of your card being bad. When some games based on the same engine perform poorly, it's almost always driver related.
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a b D Laptop
a b } Memory
September 25, 2009 7:51:12 PM

First, I'am not a gamer so take anything I state with a grain of salt.
Concur with frozenlead, but might also look at memory/swap file usage.

I would upgrade the memory to 4 Gigs, very easy to do and not very expensive. Depending on the game, you could be running out of "Real" memory and using the swap file on the HDD witch would slow you down drasically. My laptop is Pis%^$ poor for gaming, but going from 3 -> 4 gigs increased win 7 RC (32 Bit) WEI for graphics 25%.

Upgrades I did to both my laptops (one is a yr old):
(1) upgraded memory to 4 gigs. On the newer one went with a higher CL rating (4 vs 5)
(2) swapped out the 5400 RPM HDD with a 7400 RPM drive. 2 Week ago swapped the HDD in the newer one for a SSD. This would not help much in playing the game unless the game does a lot of reads from the HDD , It would improve load Load times. 64 Gig SSD approx $250. I bought 128 Gig for $330
(3) swapped the optical drives out for a Blu-ray ROM/DVD writer drive. ($100 for drive) - NO help for games
I would go with 4 gigs even if you are running a 32 bit Operating system.
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