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Topic # 23481 30-Jun-2008 18:00
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I am looking for a new laptop to play intensive 3D games like Flight Simulator X.

What model would you recommend that is available in retail stores right now?  Yes, I realise desktop options are less expensive and perform better but I am looking for a portable solution.

Thanks!

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  Reply # 141650 30-Jun-2008 19:55
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Well, for starters, Flight Sim X is still a demanding piece of software, and I would recomend you look at something with a 8800m GPU and 4GB RAM.   Look at the Dell or Alienware websites for some hardcore specs.

Next step down is something around the 9500m or 8600m GPUs', DSE have a Acer for $1799 that has 2GB RAM, 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo CPU and a 8600m GS GPU (part number XC4840).

Then the Asus M51Sn is very popular.

Or, for a bit of differnce, Apple laptops come with 8600m GPU's.  Run bootcamp and have the best of both worlds!

But it all depends on what games you want to play.  Flight Sim, Crysis etc, and any other modern games are going to stress most desktops, so unless you
 you splash for the Dell/Alienware you may be disappointed.

Best of luck

Tim

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  Reply # 141670 30-Jun-2008 20:42
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Well I am a gamer and have used a range of laptops to game on, my two favourites are my Macbook Pro and Toshiba X200 I used for a few days.

My macbook is a 2.5GHz Core2Duo, 4GB Ram, 200GB (7200rpm) HDD, 8600GT M 512MB Graphics, and runs windows xp SP3 in bootcamp (clocked Crysis/Company of heroes/Call of Duty 4/Rainbow 6 Vegas 2/and Assasins Creed with it) all on high settings.
although the cost @ $4499 incl is expense.

Check my sig for the 3Dmark06 score.

The Toshiba X200 had 17' LCD, 5.1 audio (built in Subwoofer), 2.6GHz Core2Duo, 2GB Ram, 2 x 200GB HDD's, 2 x 8600M GT 256MB Nvidia SLi'd Graphics cards, Vista Ultimate. (Ran Call of duty on highest settings and had an excellent frame rate.)
Cost $2,585 incl (I can source one for you at this price if your interested.)

Check my sig for 3Dmark06 score.

Personally I like the Macbook Pro, cos Mac OSX rocks, and it's a far far lighter laptop.



 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 141674 30-Jun-2008 20:55
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Thanks for the comments guys, good suggestions and advice.

What do you think about this video card?

ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 (512MB discrete video memory and up to 1279MB shared video memory using HyperMemory technology with 2GB system RAM)

Also, do you think Vista experience index scores are accurate in terms of describing the level of graphics performance?

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  Reply # 141685 30-Jun-2008 21:13
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If I can just put in my 2c - I use a HP 8710p for work; 17" @ 1680x1050, C2D T7500, Vista Bus x64, Quadro NVS320M. I'm quite certain that the NVS320 is actually a rebadged 86/8700MGT with 256MB dedicated.

The overall system score is 4.8, and graphics score 5.9.

To be honest my machine is not a good contender for decent 3D gaming. I don't know whether the CPU is too energy conservative or something else, but even Crysis at 1024x768 and medium can't really keep up. I run quite new drivers (175.63) and keep the system in good order.

I believe that flight SIMs are pretty heavy on 3D compared to FPS, so you would want to spec a notebook very high to get any decent performance.

For the money you would have to spend, you might be able to get a cheap notebook and a half decent desktop :)

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  Reply # 141688 30-Jun-2008 21:26
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As with the above post, i can also say that I can say that the 8710w (model up) running a 512mb Nvidia Quadro FX 1600M (8700 equiv) runs Company of Heroes on high at 1650x1024 at 40-60fps and it looks awesome.



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  Reply # 141772 1-Jul-2008 08:41
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Darn it, all these different video cards!

Right now I am looking at the Acer Gemstone with a 9500M GS 512MB card and the Toshiba with an ATI HD3650 512MB card.

Looking at the reviews online, seems like 9500M performs better.  Perhaps better driver support?


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  Reply # 141777 1-Jul-2008 09:02
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Also, do you think Vista experience index scores are accurate in terms of describing the level of graphics performance?

I would say that they are an indicator only, you would be better off using something like 3DBenchMark06 to really stress test the graphics ability.

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  Reply # 141829 1-Jul-2008 11:55
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heavenly_wild:

Darn it, all these different video cards!

Right now I am looking at the Acer Gemstone with a 9500M GS 512MB card and the Toshiba with an ATI HD3650 512MB card.

Looking at the reviews online, seems like 9500M performs better.  Perhaps better driver support?



If you really want to get to the nitty gritty of notebooks and their video cards, I STRONGLY recommend http://www.notebookcheck.net/ it is FULL of reviews of notebooks, plus the best part of the 'Popular Mobile Graphics Cards' section (on the right of the main screen), they even sort them by class!   So a 8800m GTX is a class 1 for example.

I have found several common notebooks on here fully reviewed, and they even review how well games run on each machine!  Perfect for the notebook gamer!

As a side note, I have an HP 8510p, which has a Radeon HD 2600, and I have just loaded a few games and will post back tonight how well that fares (2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM).



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  Reply # 141864 1-Jul-2008 13:26
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timbosan:
If you really want to get to the nitty gritty of notebooks and their video cards, I STRONGLY recommend http://www.notebookcheck.net/ it is FULL of reviews of notebooks, plus the best part of the 'Popular Mobile Graphics Cards' section (on the right of the main screen), they even sort them by class!   So a 8800m GTX is a class 1 for example.



Yes I have found that website previously and it is very comprehensive!  The question is, are the cards with GDDR2 or GDDR3 memory?

Would you agree that 9500M GS is better than 8600GT?  According to the list, 9500M GS gets slightly higher frame rates.  This is surprising since both have the same clocks.



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  Reply # 141968 1-Jul-2008 18:08
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Anyone else with any comments / thoughts?

I am interested in consumer laptops only... rather than the business models:)

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  Reply # 142006 1-Jul-2008 19:41
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heavenly_wild:
timbosan:
If you really want to get to the nitty gritty of notebooks and their video cards, I STRONGLY recommend http://www.notebookcheck.net/ it is FULL of reviews of notebooks, plus the best part of the 'Popular Mobile Graphics Cards' section (on the right of the main screen), they even sort them by class!   So a 8800m GTX is a class 1 for example.



Yes I have found that website previously and it is very comprehensive!  The question is, are the cards with GDDR2 or GDDR3 memory?

Would you agree that 9500M GS is better than 8600GT?  According to the list, 9500M GS gets slightly higher frame rates.  This is surprising since both have the same clocks.


From what I have read (having neither type of video card!) the 9500 is faster in DirectX 10 games, and 8600 in DirectX 9.  Otherwise they seems to come out pretty identical.  My personal opinion is that the 9500 is more future proof and I would lean towards that.  But then again I would rather splash out on something with a 8700 or 8800 GPU as they are FAR faster.

I am installing some games on my HD2600 equiped Compaq 8510p laptop tonight, so I will post back some results.

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