Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Dell Latitude D610 memory considerations

Last response: in Memory
Share
May 2, 2005 9:00:19 AM

Hello,

I am considering to buy a Latitude D610. It has the new Intel 915 chipset and various options for memory and video configurations. I want to use it mainly for business but also the occasional light gaming and I would therefore go for the ATI X300 graphics chip set.

Question 1: I take it the X300 has 64MB of dedicated video RAM. However, is it still possible to allocate some system RAM in order to get, say, 128MB of video RAM in total?

Question 2: There is the option of using 400MHz or 533MHz DDR2 RAM. I would definitely like to run in a dual-channel configuration to get extra performance, i.e. 800Mhz or 1066MHz memory speed. Now is the overall system speed limited limited by the processor Front Side Bus of 533 MHz, so that it wouldn't actually make a difference if I used 800MHz or 1066MHz for my RAM?

I hope somebody can answer my questions.

Best Regards
Philipp
May 2, 2005 10:19:03 AM

I am an engineering student at university and therefore need a laptop that is powerful enough to handle CPU-intensive applications like MATLAB. I don't want a chunky laptop but a reasonably portable one that I can carry around with me, but I can't afford ultra-portable. I also fancy the occasional game on the college network and therefore a basic 3D card like the X300 is useful. All in all, the Latitude D610 seems ideal! Added bonus is the serial port which is quite useful for my engineering work, too!
cheers
Phil
Related resources
May 2, 2005 8:16:49 PM

I believe your card interfaces with system memory via the PCIe bus. Normally, for dedicated graphics cards the amount of system memory that is used is predetermined by the type of card.
I would not expect too much out of this card, as it's purpose is to provide the latest and greates in graphics software at a low cost (DirectX9). It also has a modest clock speed, but without dedicated memory, the access time across the PCIx bus is pretty slow, and bandwidth is capped at the rate of the PCIe bus: 3.6MB/s, compared to about 35+ MB/s for new cards supporting Directx9.

Your card can run most games, but dont expect a positive experience with Doom3 or Farcry type games.

Also..
The 915 chipset runs at 800MHz, which supports DDR2-400 in dual-channel. DDR2 533MHz dual-channel is not fully supported on 915.. not without a modest overclock (which I would not expect from a Dell.)



<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
May 2, 2005 8:23:57 PM

Thanks for your answer!

However, the card comes with 64MB of dedicated video memory (accessed through a 128-bit bus). So I guess those 64MB will run reasonably fast, and any additional memory that is accessed through the PCI-E interface will run slowly? How will this affect overall 3D performance?

According to intel.com, the 915PM chipset supports dual channel DDR2 400/533 MHz memory technology. Dell offers both, but obviously the 533 MHz option is considerably more expensive (true Dell style)...

cheers
Phil
May 2, 2005 8:52:37 PM

Yes 915 supports DDR-533 memory technology. In fact it probably supports DDR2-1066 memroy technology, because the technology is the same. However, the 915 chipset will most likely run the DDR2-533 at DDR2-400. Of course DDR2-533 is better because it has more potential, but it costs more also.

The dedicated memory runs faster yes. However, 64MB is not alot of memory so you can bet the card will be using the PCIe bus often.

If you run a game that uses 64MB of memory, it will run really fast. But anything over will start to slow your performance significantly.

For best results, you want to close all other applications that might also share system memory. And it's probably best to run games on low settings. If you plan to play new title games, this just isnt the right card.

The card just "looks" good. For example most people would think a 5GHz procesor is really fast. It is. However what they may not tell you is that they cut corners to lower cost and it turns out the processor has no cache and runs on 16-bit bus technology. So it's performance is probably worse than an AMD that runs a 1.5GHz.

This is an extreme case.

But the idea with the shared graphics memory card is to advertise high clock speed with all the latest and greatest in software technology. They'll even tell you something like: "this card takes advantage of the new PCIe bus technology" (This only sounds good). And you can bet that it will sell: cuz people are fooled easily. The thing is it's good enough for most people.


<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
May 2, 2005 9:34:33 PM

It all makes sense but remember we are talking about laptops here! A high-end solution like the mobility x700 is well beyond my budget. Also the laptop's primary purpose will be work, so i would rather have a little more battery life and a little more quietness from the fans than an ultra-high end gaming experience....
cheers
Philipp
May 2, 2005 9:43:34 PM

right.

So you should be ok.

<font color=green>*****
"Memory with lifetime warranty? So, whose lifetime is that?"
<A HREF="http://www.brentcrowley.com/" target="_new">homepage</A>
<font color=red>AIM BrentUnitedMem
!