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HP Compaq nc8000 ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro video memory / Half-Life 2

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Karl Magdono, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. Karl Magdono

    Karl Magdono Guest

    I don't spend a lot of time on PC games (the only game installed on my PC
    now is Half-Life, which I haven't played in about 2 years). I am wondering
    if it is worthwhile to spend the $100 to upgrade the ATI 9600 video card
    memory from 64MB to 128MB on my planned nc8000 purchase. I have heard that
    most software (including games) doesn't really take advantage of the extra
    memory. I mostly use MS Office, IE, and stats packages that aren't overly
    graphics intensive. I sometimes get carried away and have 20-30 windows
    open (does that much affect the amount of video memory used?). I don't
    know if it much matters, but I will use UXGA (1600x1200) on the nc8000.
    The only game I foresee getting in the next year or so is Half-Life 2,
    which I know is supposed to be demanding in general, but is also supposed
    to run (albeit not beautifully) even on really old systems. Would any of
    the aforementioned software likely benefit from the extra video memory
    based on how I will use the system?

    I don't have tons of money (I am a student), but am wondering if it makes
    sense to spring for the upgrade to 128MB considering I am already likely to
    spend ~ $2500 for the system anyway. My impression (please correct me if I
    am wrong) is that I cannot upgrade the video memory after the purchase (I
    apologize for my lack of knowledge).

    Thanks for your advice,
    Karl Magdono, Jan 16, 2004
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  2. Karl Magdono

    Musashi Guest

    It is correct that you cannot upgrade the video card(actually, you
    can, but it is beyond most everyone's capabilites). The benefits are
    not just in the extra MBs. The 64MB card is using DX8 technology
    whereas the 128 card you mentioned uses the next generation, DX9.
    Games using DX9 are already out on the market.(check to make sure that
    9600 uses DX9, I'm 99% sure that's correct but I would double check
    before you spend the money). You can get the 64MB card and likely
    never know the difference, since you don't play that many games, but
    if you ever go to sell it, fall in love with a high end game, etc..
    you'll wish you spent the extra $100.

    RAM you can later upgrade, CPUs you can later upgrade(usually), OS,
    etc... The video card you will be stuck with so I would get the best
    offered. I would also go with a 7200rpm HDD if they offer it as that,
    data transfer rate, is the really the main thing separating laptops
    from desktops in terms of day to day performance.

    Hope that helps,
    Musashi, Jan 17, 2004
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