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 Post subject: Any Low Power GPU for laptop with decent performance?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:36 am 
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I suppose the reason we're seeing very low end (Intel Extreme and the likes) graphics cards in laptops is because the high end ones seem to draw a lot of power, even at idle, resulting in decreased battery life.

My question is a follows: is there a decent performing laptop GPU that has idle power draw similar to intel extreme graphics solutions? Is there a cool'n'quiet equivalent for laptop GPUs.. if not, why not? I think i'm not the only who craves laptop graphics performance but wishes they wouldn't kill the battery when idleing?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:52 am 
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Laptop GPUs are actually pretty efficient. For example, the Go 7900GS offers excellent performance, and only has a TDP of 20w according to what I've read (which means actual power draw is probably no more than ~15w load). The hard part is finding <17" laptops with the option for high-end discrete graphics. If you want a good video card, DTRs are basically the only choice.

As far as integrated video, they're all about the same. I think nVidia recently started shipping Go versions of the popular 6100 and 6150 chipsets, so I'd keep an eye out for them. About the most powerful integrated video on the market, and because of the 90nm process, very cool as well.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:55 pm 
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thanks for thr info. I was looking into something like X1600 graphics (midrange I guess). I believe I've seen a few laptops with that.

So then, if not for power issues, why is it so hard to get a laptop with decent graphics?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:57 am 
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Quote:
if not for power issues, why is it so hard to get a laptop with decent graphics?


The power issues are a pretty big reason; battery life is crucial in a laptop. But also, you only need non-integrated graphics for stuff like gaming; who uses their laptop primarily for gaming? In what situation is it more sensible to use a laptop for gaming than a desktop? That's a pretty rare situation, IMO. Most laptop tasks are word processing/spreadsheets/presentations, and listening to music and maybe watching the odd DVD.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:50 pm 
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Quote:
who uses their laptop primarily for gaming?


Thats probably the reason why so few laptops come with dedicated solutions. People aren't expected to play games on the laptop.

I like abuse all my hardware and make it do everything it's not supposed to. I have used modems as telephone extension cables before... (hey it works :P)

Having said that, I still think laptops should be equipped with some decent graphics horsepower. I could very eaisly go on a rant here about how many other applications, like the OS's GUI should have some sort of hardware accelleration, but of course I won't this isn't the place and no one will listen to me anyway :lol:

I just find it unfair to bundle GPU's that could be beat with the high end solutions of 2001 with todays smoking fast cpus. It just pains me to see that. Both a 700$ and a 2000$ laptop will have the same graphics solution. If someone wants to play the odd shooter or sports game in 2 years from now, it won't look very nice at all.

Mine is gonna basically replace my desktop entirely for everything except gaming and maybe a few other intense tasks. If I'm going to dish out 1500$ for a laptop though, I'd like to at least be able to throw a recent game at it and play it appreciably from time to time.

I was discusted when my friends' brand new IBM (1.4Ghz Centrino) with Intel Extreme graphics 2 was hiccuping on C&C Renegade (2001). The game appeared to run fairly smoothly, but jerked very noticeibly every 4 seconds. It did have the excuse of being a business laptop though. Point being, the performace could be equalled by a midrange desktop system from 5 years ago. Not cool.

So much for not going on a rant....

EDIT:

P.S. The game ran very smoothly on the lowly Mobility Radeon 9000 on another laptop. The cpu was a 2.8 Ghz Pentium 4-m (not pentium m), but the game still ran very well when underclocked to 1.6 Ghz. Surely a Pentium M 1.4 is better than a P4-m @ 1.6, yet the latter mopped the floor with it gaming wise due its dedicated graphics solution. And its only a radeon 9000!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:07 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
if not for power issues, why is it so hard to get a laptop with decent graphics?


The power issues are a pretty big reason; battery life is crucial in a laptop.


That's #1. #2 is power dissipitation, and necessary cooling associated with it. #3 is probably the fact that very few people need a powerful graphics engine in their laptop anyway.

As for not many laptops available with the choice... Laptops always sucked with regards to upgradeability. Welcome to the mobile world.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:21 pm 
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When you think about it, though, portable gaming laptops are kind of pointless. Even if the laptop had a capable graphics card, you'd still be stuck with a touchpad, unless you wanted to carry about a mouse, which kind of negates the portability advantage of a smaller notebook. At least that's the way I look at it. DTRs make sense, though. If you're going to a lanparty, you can much more easily carry around a notebook and mouse than even an SFF desktop and monitor.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:10 am 
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I'd probably want to haul around a mouse anyway, its aggrevating to do any extended non-wordprocessing tasks with a touchpad.

I don't see why it would be pointless. If I'm going to dish out 1500$ for a laptop, I'd like it to be able to play my games reasonably. Or what if I just want to check out the latest demos from http://farb-rausch.de ?

Point is, I'd like to able to fire up a game every now and then and not feel inhibited by shared graphics. I don't think I'm alone.


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