Laptops and graphic cards?

Okay, so I am a complete noob when it comes to graphic cards. I can't make head or tails of the hundreds of models of cards. :|
So recently I got a laptop, a Pavilion dv6-1354US. It has good specifications, but it has an Intel 4500MHD card. When I was looking over it, I saw that it has a Shader Model 4.0, supports DX 10, and OpenGL 2.1, so I thought what the heck, let's buy it.
But it kinda sucks. Why is that? A lot of games and even emulators (like Dolphin) lag on it. I didn't need a complete gaming computer, but one that runs SOME recent games would be nice. :(

So, I'm thinking of getting it changed. But I don't have a big budget. So I wanna know if there is a computer around the same price as this one (or a little higher) that has a good graphics card? I know some Dell laptops have ATI cards, but is there anything in the price range that will work as well as the GeForce 8/9 series or the ATI R600/R700 ones?
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  1. The reason it sucks is because it is an integrated card (built into the motherboard). These types of cards were never really designed to play games. They are more oriented toward people who can't afford or who don't need dedicated graphics cards. You didn't actually mention a price, what's your range?
  2. Well, I live in Pakistan. While the stuff costs around the same as in the US, people find it harder to afford because of less value of the rupee. Anyway, in US dollars I guess this cost about $840. I guess the most I can afford is around $900.
  3. Well, it'd be hard for me to make recommendations since what is available here may not be available by you. But, as a general rule if you want to play older or lower end games look for something like an ATI Radeon Mobility 5470 or Nvidia GeForce GT 320M. For newer and more demanding games you want an HD 5650 or a GeForce GT 335M or better.
  4. Thank you for the replies and recommendations. Availability might be a problem but the HP Pavilions, Dell Inspirons and Studios, Vaios and such are available here. But Toshibas and Asus laptops aren't.
    And, by the way, how old is 'older and low end'?
  5. Best answer
    Mostly stuff from like 2005 or early. The Sims, Quake 4, WoW and Counter Strike would be good examples. With a lower end card like the 5470 you could play newer games, but you would have to really reduce the resolution and details. If you want an idea, find some of the games you play on here and see which cards meat your requirements:

    Personally, I don't recommend the majority of HP laptops. The only exception to that is their Envy line. I have seen quite a few HP Pavilion notebooks die due to the same overheating issues. With Dell you'd need to look at either the Inspiron 15 or 17 laptops. Their GPUs aren't the best, but the studio line is more expensive then your budget (at least here).

    Can you find Acer laptops? Acer has an AS7740G which comes with an i5 processor and an ATI HD 5650 for around 800, which is probably one of the best deals for the money.
  6. The Dell Studio 1555 here costs about $850 and it comes with an ATI 4570... I suppose that's not too bad, is it?

    The Acer one you suggested I can't find on some major sites but I'll have to visit shops to ask, maybe it is available... But how come they are offering a 5650 on such a low cost? Actually, I am a bit skeptical as to why Acer's computer are cheaper...
  7. Acer cuts some corners in order to bring a lower price. Their cases are generally all plastic instead of being combined with aluminum. As long as you aren't super rough with the laptop, it should be ok. Just be aware that it might be easy to damage the case.

    As for the Dell it would be ok, but certainly not the best. And it would certainly be better than the integrated graphics you have now.
  8. Wow, I think I love you. :o
    Thank you SO MUCH, lostandwandering. You've helped out a lot. :)
  9. Best answer selected by khawarspirit.
  10. No problem. Best of luck in your laptop hunt!
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