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malibu43

Thinking about a new gaming laptop...

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Hey folks,

 

My wife's laptop died recently, so we have an opportunity to bring a new laptop into the picture. One option, is for me to keep my Macbook and for us to get a new (and very affordable) laptop for my wife to use for pictures, music, facebook, etc...

 

The other option (which was kind of her idea) is for her to take the macbook and for us to get a new laptop that would be an upgrade (in terms of gaming) from the macbook (integrated graphics) that I use right now. I've seen quite a few laptops with either the Nvidia 310m or 320m, but I'm not really sure what the capabilities of those cards are...

 

Here are three sims I'm interested in playing (I think in order from least to most demanding graphics). What laptops/mobile GPU's would get the job done?

-SF2 series with all the eye candy on.

-LOMAC with graphics up (own it but have never played it due to my integrated graphics)

-DCS A-10

 

I know that DCS A-10 might be a stretch to play on a laptop, but I'm curious. Heck, LOMAC might be too, I don't know. I'm sure there's a laptop that can handle SF2 in all it's glory, but, again, I'm just not sure what that laptop is or needs to be.

 

Can some of you gurus help break things down for me? What laptops/cards would I need to hit these goals?

 

Thanks,

 

Gregg

Edited by malibu43

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I ain't guru but I'll express my opinion if you don't mind. 310m & 320m are kinda low end even for a laptop graphics, definetely not for "all the eye candy on" or "graphics up". If you are serious about gaming on a laptop than try to get one with 350m, 360m or even the newest 480m if you can afford it. Even the previous generation 250m, 260m, 280m, 285m would still be much faster than 310m or 320m. Hell I think that 280m or 285m would be even faster than 350m and 360m (so much for newer generations always being better ;) ). If you don't mind ATI products than I would recommend at least Mobility Radeon 4850 an up (4860, 4870 etc., forget about 4830). From the newest egneration Mobility 5750, 5770, 5850, 5870 would do the trick (forget about 5830). Also remember that you'd need at least 2 GB of RAM and quite fast CPU - both SF2 series and LOMAC/DCS are heavy on the CPU side. Hope it helps....

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Something like this is in my (potential) price range...

 

http://www.toshibadi....to?poid=478186

 

...or some of these HP's further down the list have ATI "switchable" graphics... what's that mean?

 

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/series_can.do?storeName=computer_store&landing=notebooks&a1=Category&v1=High+performance&jumpid=in_R329_prodexp/hhoslp/psg/notebooks/High_performance

Edited by malibu43

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I have an Alienware M11 and man its loaded. Was only $1049. 4 GB RAM, 1GB Video card RAM. 250 GB HD. (No CD drive though) I download all my games from Steam and had my SF stuff on a jump drive. Its only 11 inches wide but it packs a punch.

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That one with ATI switchable 5650 is not good - it has seriously limited memory bandwitch. That Qosmio looks very nice, decent CPU, lots of RAM and best GPU (360m) of all laptops you listed. However it has uncommon native resolution of 1680x945. I'm not sure if many games would support such resolution...Can anyone else chime in on this?

Edited by SFP1Ace

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I have an Alienware M11 and man its loaded. Was only $1049. 4 GB RAM, 1GB Video card RAM. 250 GB HD. (No CD drive though) I download all my games from Steam and had my SF stuff on a jump drive. Its only 11 inches wide but it packs a punch.

 

Which GPU do you have? How's it handle SF2 (and any other sims, if you play any others :grin:)

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Well at present I am using a works laptop its a Dell E Series Latitude E4300 and it runs SF2 with Nato IV+ on medium settings with mirrors and shadows very well...

 

Running XP 3

 

Intel 9300 Core 2 2.26

2 Gigs of Ram

Standard Video Card & Sound Card

 

I have yet to see a problem and on SF2 Nato IV+ I have modded it further and it is yet to falter even when I see an entire SA-3 Battery let loose... Thats 6 Launchers with 3 birds a piece while flying a TMF F-14B... and there where about 20 other jets roaming around besides me and my 4... So it took a good beating and seemed to say is that it...

 

So anything with above those specs and you should be very happy...

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Switchable is the dubious option to upgrade the GPU later, which means in effect you're buying a cheap video card now and then have to pay for the 2nd one later. It's cheaper overall (although more expensive up front) to just get the best GPU you can afford from the start.

 

 

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Switchable is the dubious option to upgrade the GPU later, which means in effect you're buying a cheap video card now and then have to pay for the 2nd one later. It's cheaper overall (although more expensive up front) to just get the best GPU you can afford from the start.

 

 

 

Ah... I see.

 

So it seems like I can probably get something that will run SF2 with lots of eye candy turned on for around $1000 - $1200. Like one of these...

 

http://www.shopping....nce/dv8t_series

 

http://www.toshibadi....to?poid=478186

 

http://www.dell.com/...ienware-m15x/pd

 

http://store.apple.c...ACBOOKPRO-INDEX

 

Obviously the mac has the worst bang-for-buck out of the four. The rest ain't bad, though. What do you guys think?

 

After doing some research, I think I'm going to give up on a laptop that can handle DCS. That would just be way too much. I'd be better off going with a desktop...

Edited by malibu43

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I don't think that SF series is comptaible with Macs...Isn't it Windows only?

 

All Intel Macs come with a program called Boot Camp, which allows you to partition off your hard drive and create and Windows partition. You can then boot into either OSX or Windows. Basically it's like having two computers. I do all my gaming on my Macbook right now.

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That's a cool feature then! I used to think that Macs are no good for gaming, but apparently since the transition to Intel CPUs it's a different story. I hope you'll be happy with whichever computer you'll decide to buy!

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That's a cool feature then! I used to think that Macs are no good for gaming, but apparently since the transition to Intel CPUs it's a different story. I hope you'll be happy with whichever computer you'll decide to buy!

 

Yeah, it's just like a PC when booted up in that mode. The only downside is that macs still cost a lot more than an equivalent (hardware-wise) pc laptop.

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OK. After shopping around a little, I have decided that an upgraded gaming experience is going to be a "bonus criteria" for a new laptop (if/when we get one). Some of the ones that look feasible have the NVIDIA GT 320M (not the G-force 320M, which I think is less capable). I have also decided that running SF2 with eye candy turned up (at least high if not medium) is my ultimate goal here. DCS games and the like just won't run on the laptops within my budget.

 

So, can anyone comment on how SF2 will perform with the GT 320M?

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Based on GT 320 specs, I believe it will perform poorly. It has only 24 unified shaders, 16 texture mapping units, and only 8 render output units. It's memory bus is only 128 bit wide with 25 GB/s bandwith (laughable)...In the end it all depends on what do you consider "good" performance? 10 FPS, 20 FPS, 30 FPS, more? The radeon 4890 I use has for comparison 160 (800) unified shaders, 40 texture mapping units and 16 render output units. Memory bus is 256 bit wide w GDDR5 memory with 125 GB/s bandwith. I play in 1920x1080 resolution and with High details I get 40-60 FPS in game (Win 7, DX10, large mods installed). I don't even wanna gues how low my FPS would be with GT 320...But I never used such a graphic card so I might be as well wrong, it's only an educated guess...Decision is yours mate. :grin:

Edited by SFP1Ace

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I just bought ACER Aspire 7551G-N834G64MN WIN 7 HP

with AMD Phenom II Triple-Core N830, 4GB of RAM and ATI Radeon HD 5650 1GB

I am playing SF2 at 1600x900 with everything unlimited or high (all maxed out)

and with new modded terain textures and clouds. It runs smoothly but I didnt check

the FPS. I am happy it is like having completely new game :-)

Monty CZ

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