Processors and Graphics Cards

  NotVeryTechie 11:40 05 Mar 2008

Hi there

I am still trying to make a decision about which laptop to get. I have a thread in Absolute Beginners which gives the whole story, but I need a little help. I will be using the laptop for general work/some photoshop pic editing/playing a strategy game (Caesar III, maybe IV in the future). I want to load XP in a partition so need the drivers and am looking at a Toshiba.

The better systems listed on Toshiba's site don't have the XP drivers listed. So I am having to compromise.

1) Processors - Intel T5250 (1.5 GHz, 667 bus) or T5450 (1.66 GHZ, 667 bus) - Are these sufficient?

2) Graphics - ATI Mobility Radeon HD2400, there are two versions, one with 64Mb Ram and one with 128 Mb Ram. Is the 64Mb sufficient, or do I need the 128?

3) There is also an Intel GMA X3100 or an ATI X1200, both of these don't have dedicated Ram. Would this be ok, or just not enough?

I want to also have the option of attaching a flat panel monitor to the machine and would therefore need a graphics card that can handle this.

Hope you can help!!!

  crosstrainer 11:52 05 Mar 2008

No good for games as I said in your previous thread. If you want a lappy with good spec and graphics prepare yourself for a shock:

click here

click here

For this kind of money you could have a huge spec PC (a lot less money in fact) But this is the kind of money you will have to part with if you want a true gaming laptop.

  NotVeryTechie 12:15 05 Mar 2008

Dear Crosstrainer

I cannot afford that kind of spec. The game I play (it is the only game I play) was released for Windows 98 and, while it uses some graphic power, I am certain won't need that kind of power. I am looking for sufficient, not best.

  crosstrainer 12:33 05 Mar 2008

I know that your budget will not stretch to those posted in the link....It wasjust to make the point. Basically you need the best possible spec you can afford....128MB graphics is a bare minimum, try for 512 if you can get it.

click here

If you can persuade them to upgrade the RAM to 2GB this isn't too bad. Have a good look around this site (in the Hot Deals Section too) You may find a bargain, but in your price range 1.66GHZ CPU seems to be about the best you can get.

Though about re-conditioned? Might get a great deal but consider the warranty situation.

  crosstrainer 12:36 05 Mar 2008

click here

Then phone them and haggle, dump the free mouse, bag etc. They do listen, and that's a good spec. Will do what you need.

  GaT7 14:06 05 Mar 2008

The Acer one crosstrainer suggested is too much for what you'll be doing on it - & too expensive as well!

You can get a similar laptop from Dell for less - this click here for £528 delivered:

- Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T8300
- Windows Vista® Business
- 1Yr Basic Warranty
- 15.4" Wide Screen WXGA (1280 x 800)
- Integrated Webcam with 2.0 mega pixel camera
- 3072MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM HARD DRIVE
- 250GB (5400RPM) SATA Hard Drive
- 256MB nVidia® GeForce® 8600M GT
- Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Drive
- Primary 6-cell Lithium-Ion Battery

If you go through Quidco, you'll get £22-23 cashback click here (Quidco explained a bit in this thread click here).

Lower budget &/or you need a larger 17" screen? Then you can configure this 17" Vostro 1700 click here with a T5270, 1-yr basic warranty, 2Gb RAM & 8400M GS graphics for £469 delivered (or £449 with £20 Quidco cashback). G

  NotVeryTechie 14:14 05 Mar 2008

Wow Crossbow7, great prices. Problem is I need an international warranty and as far as I can find out it is only Acer and Toshiba that do this. I am keener on the Toshiba as there are a LOT of threads all over the place about bad customer service from Acer.

Basically, what you are saying is that the T5450 with ATI HD2400 (128Mb) won't be enough??

  crosstrainer 14:22 05 Mar 2008

Seems that Dell do offer international warranties:

click here

  GaT7 14:38 05 Mar 2008

"Basically, what you are saying is that the T5450 with ATI HD2400 (128Mb) won't be enough??" - No, that spec would be enough (for Caesar III anyway). I was trying to say that the Dells are much better value.

The HD2400 graphics (preferably 128Mb) may be enough for version IV, but you'll want something better just in case. G

P.S. User reviews for version IV click here. You may be better off trying the demo first!

  GaT7 14:54 05 Mar 2008

Thanks for the warranty link crosstrainer.

From click here?

"Is Dell support service available internationally?

For Dell notebook computers with International Service cover, service is available while traveling outside of the country in which it was purchased. This service is only available in countries where there is a "direct" Dell Business.

For other Dell products, service is valid only in the country in which the Dell product was purchased. Dell will transfer the service providing we are advised of the relocation, and that the service is available in the new location. Service will be available in the new country once Dell has been has been notified and Dell's system updated. If systems are being relocated internationally, Customers should complete the transfer form located on the Dell's website click here"

Hence, if you were to configure the Vostro 1700 with a "3Yr Basic Warranty - Next Business Day", it would come to £550 (or ~£527 with cashback).

Call them to confirm that this is indeed the correct warranty to get international cover as well. When you buy from the Business section (both my links are from there), just enter your surname as the business name in their form. G

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