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Laptop Graphics

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Laptop Graphics

Postby Igor » Mon May 11, 2009 12:43 am

Went out with the wife the other day shopping for a laptop for her. Needs consist of web surfing/e-mail, maybe some light word processing, and playing games like Mah Jongg, Jewel Quest, online Scrabble, etc.

Went to local big box store. Salesman said: "You need to make sure that you have something with at least this much graphics capability if you are doing gaming" and pointed us at the $650 laptops. No, we said, just playing some low action games, not "gaming" per se. He did not relent, so we just mumbled something non-technical sounding and went on our way.

My question is: all of this stuff works on our 4-5 year old desktop, which was a low to middle level desktop when it came out. Am I correct in assuming that every laptop currently made would have graphics capability far beyond our current box? Despite being in IT, these sorts of questions don't come up often when you are doing database programming...
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Re: Laptop Graphics

Postby LLUrbanUnderachiever » Mon May 11, 2009 1:09 am

Igor wrote:Went out with the wife the other day shopping for a laptop for her. Needs consist of web surfing/e-mail, maybe some light word processing, and playing games like Mah Jongg, Jewel Quest, online Scrabble, etc.

Went to local big box store. Salesman said: "You need to make sure that you have something with at least this much graphics capability if you are doing gaming" and pointed us at the $650 laptops. No, we said, just playing some low action games, not "gaming" per se. He did not relent, so we just mumbled something non-technical sounding and went on our way.

My question is: all of this stuff works on our 4-5 year old desktop, which was a low to middle level desktop when it came out. Am I correct in assuming that every laptop currently made would have graphics capability far beyond our current box? Despite being in IT, these sorts of questions don't come up often when you are doing database programming...



I would generally recommend at least a 128mb graphics card if you plan on doing any light gaming or photo editing. Newer OS's allow programs to use some of the GPU's power for more intensive tasks. Some of the newer integrated graphics solutions do a pretty decent job with even mid-level gaming. $600 buys a lot more laptop than it did even 2 or 3 years ago.
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Re: Laptop Graphics

Postby Chuck_Schick » Mon May 11, 2009 2:06 pm

I assure you, Igor. This was a needless upsell.

Any laptop that can't handle the graphic intensity of Scrabble would choke just as hard on PowerPoint (something I wish the developers of that slideshow-for-morons piece of shit had done before the beta was released).

It's true that it's best to err on the side of more power than you need, if only because it will typically extend the usable life of your machine. But if you're not planning on blowing tons of shit up in glorious simulated 3D, the more utilitarian laptop will do just fine.
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