Questions on New Laptop - Games and CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW)

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Von Fourche, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. Von Fourche

    Von Fourche Guest

    Ok, on Sunday I ordered an Inspiron 6400. Here are the specs:

    Intel Core Duo processor T2050 (2MB/1.60GHz/533MHz)
    1GB, DDR2, 533MHz 2 Dimm
    128MB ATI MOBILITY RADEON X1300 HyperMemory
    120GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive for Inspiron 6400/E1505
    CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW)with double-layer DVD+R write capability


    Ok, a couple of questions:

    1. What kind of DVD disks can this burner burn? DVD+RW, DVD-RW, and
    double sided DVD+R? So, that is three different disks, correct?

    In a nutshell, what's the difference? I have about 4.5 GB of pictures
    in my pictures folder. One DVD disk will hold all those pictures? What
    type of disk would I want to use? DVD+RW? DVD-RW? DVD+R? I would want to
    burn these pictures and that's it.

    Also, I'm not much into playing games on the computer, but would this
    new laptop handle a program like Microsoft Flight Simulator? With 1 GB of
    ram and 128MB or video memory, would this thing handle that simulator? No
    big loss if not.

    Thanks!
     
    Von Fourche, Dec 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. Von Fourche

    paulmd Guest

    Double layer. Not double side.

    http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD

    One double side disk will. Or one double layer disk will. But it's too
    large for an ordinary single layer, single side disk. Though it'll fit
    on two no problem.

    Avoid the RWs. They're spendy, and you can erase them. Probably not
    what you had in mind...

    Between +R and -R there are some practical differences. DVD+R is a
    better format. But DVD-R came first, so it's compatible with more older
    drives.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD+R

    Really Boring..... but
    http://www.cdfreaks.com/reviews/Why-DVDRW-is-superior-to-DVD-RW.html
    Microsoft publishes system requirements. Which you can look up. I think
    you'll be fine. But LOOK at the box first before you buy.
     
    paulmd, Dec 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. Von Fourche

    S.Lewis Guest

    Single layer = 4.7gb per disc, dual layer = 8.4gb. While I don't burn a lot
    of DVD's, I keep a spindle of DVD-Rs handy (4.7gb). Got them cheap
    (Memorex), something like 25 for $7.99 at a local discounter. Seem to work
    fine.

    I'd think it would play MS Flight Sim okay. Whether you'll have to turn
    down effects or not due to the larger native resolution of the screen I do
    not know, but I'd bet you'll be able to play it fine with settings you can
    be happy with (haven't tried it, however).

    Stew
     
    S.Lewis, Dec 13, 2006
    #3
  4. It will probably burn everything:

    CD-R
    CD-RW
    DVD+R
    DVD-R
    DVD+RW
    DVD-RW
    DVD Dual Layer (which is "+" format)

    And MAYBE DVD-RAM

    As for what you should use, I'd say generally DVD-R. Whatever you do,
    do not use RW media for anything "archival", there have been too many
    instances of people finding that there data "fades" with the passage of
    time (RW media is, by definition, eraseable, capable of being returned
    to a "blank" state, and under some conditions (which may admittedly
    include being burned at too low a power level), this can apparently
    happen by itself). Only use dual-layer media if you absolutely need the
    extra capacity (about 9GB instead of 4.3 to 4.7GB).

    You should have no problem running Flight Simulator or pretty much any
    other game that you want to. For some games, the graphics performance
    won't be spectacular, in fact a true gamer might sneer at it for some of
    the first person shooter games, but it's powerful enough to run them.
    One concern that I have is whether or not this video board will run
    Vista with the Aero interface. The Mobility X1300 is a kind of strange
    video board, it has 64MB of dedicated onboard memory and additionally it
    uses 64MB of shared system memory. It's not clear to me if there is a
    WDDM driver for this board or not (WDDM driver required to run Vista
    with the Aero interface). It's not clear to me that the X1300 option
    was a better choice than the "standard" chipset video (Intel GMA950).
     
    Barry Watzman, Dec 13, 2006
    #4
  5. He can burn double sided media by manually flipping it over.
     
    Barry Watzman, Dec 13, 2006
    #5
  6. Re: "Between +R and -R there are some practical differences. DVD+R is a
    better format. But DVD-R came first, so it's compatible with more older
    drives."

    Based on experience, not theory (but lots of experience; I was a beta
    tester for Adaptec & Roxio), I'd say that "-R" is better than "+R" for
    standard, garden variety write once data backup, and also for standard
    video DVDs burned on a computer from a major DVD authoring program. In
    theory, +R was supposed to be more compatible with a wider range of
    set-top DVD players, but in practice it seems that just the reverse was
    true. However, at this point almost everything made since about 2002
    reads pretty much everything anyway, and in fact there is very little
    difference between +R and -R. But I still tend to favor -R, other
    things being equal.
     
    Barry Watzman, Dec 13, 2006
    #6
  7. Von Fourche

    Von Fourche Guest



    Don't say it wont' run Vista Aero! I ordered the $50 upgrade!

    I just checked the order status of my lap top - it's been shipped!
     
    Von Fourche, Dec 13, 2006
    #7
  8. Von Fourche

    RnR Guest

    If memory serves me right, after you get the system, you can go to the
    microsoft web site and have it check your system on line to see if it
    can run Vista (not sure about Aero). I don't have the URL handy,
    sorry (I should bookmark it tho I'm confident my new laptops no
    problem, the rest of my systems "forget about it").
     
    RnR, Dec 14, 2006
    #8
  9. There is a question in my mind as to what Dell video options will and
    will not run Vista with Aero_Glass. [Virtually any laptop will run
    Vista itself ... the "issue" is being able to run Vista's Aero_Glass
    interface].

    At one time a couple of months ago I was configuring an E1505 on the
    Dell web site and at that time they gave a compatibility warning if you
    ordered the X1300 video card with the Vista upgrade coupon. The warning
    was not given for the base video (Intel GMA950) or for the X1400. I did
    some extensive research trying to find out if the ATI mobility Radeon
    X1300 could or could not run Aero_Glass, and I was never able to resolve
    the matter. What I do know is that it has a "screwy" memory
    architecture that mixes 64MB of dedicated onboard video memory with 64MB
    of shared system video memory. While the implications of that are not
    clear, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't run Aero_Glass (which
    requires 128MB of memory, but I'm not sure about whether the
    mixed-memory model of the A1300 is acceptable or not).

    I also had a hard time pinning down the status of the base video (Intel
    GMA950) and it's predecessor base video (GMA900) that is used in the
    B130 low end Dell offering. What I found out is as follows:

    -The Vista Upgrade Advisor is just plain wrong in some instances; it
    says, for example, that GMA900 will run Aero, and it won't, at least not
    at this time. On paper, GMA900 meets all of the hardware requirements
    (128MB, pixel shader 2, etc.), but there is no WDDM driver. [GMA900 is
    the base video in the B130]. As an experiment, I installed Vista on a
    Toshiba A105-S2712, which has GMA900, and Aero_Glass would not run.

    -Microsoft and Intel were both saying that there would never be a WDDM
    driver for GMA900. But recently there have been unconfirmed reports
    that there MIGHT be a driver later in 2007 (not at Vista release). But
    the report was "maybe", and even that was unconfirmed.

    -GMA950 will run Aero_Glass. I say that not because of any specs but
    because I installed Vista RC2 build 5744 on a Toshiba A105-S4002
    (upgraded from 512MB to 1GB of memory), which has GMA950, and Aero_Glass
    runs. Out of the box, by default, with no screwing around. Note that
    GMA950 is the base video in the E1405 and the E1505 (and the business
    versions, the 640m and the 6400).

    I hope that your Dell laptop with the X1300 video will run it. It would
    really suck if a premium extra-cost video system would not run things
    that the no-extra cost base video would run. But Dell themselves WAS
    posting a compatibility warning about this video card and Vista for more
    than 60 days during October and November, although they now seem to have
    taken that down. Please let us know what you find out. The real test
    is not what you are told (either way), but what happens when you
    actually install Vista and try to run it.
     
    Barry Watzman, Dec 14, 2006
    #9
  10. Von Fourche

    RnR Guest

    Some people are making such a big thing about Vista yet the initial
    reviews are not that glowing about Vista.
     
    RnR, Dec 14, 2006
    #10
  11. The decision to run Vista or not is very different from having the
    physical ability to do so (if desired) in a brand new computer.

     
    Barry Watzman, Dec 14, 2006
    #11
  12. Von Fourche

    RnR Guest

    Ok but the best way is to wait till the dust settles and then you will
    have a much more informed knowledge base rather than guessing or
    theories. I suggested MS now because it is the most informed source
    but after Vista is among the masses, maybe not.
     
    RnR, Dec 15, 2006
    #12
  13. No argument on that("the best way is to wait till the dust settles");
    but in the meantime, people who are buying new PCs NOW have a chance to
    get Vista FREE, and some are not taking it because they don't THINK that
    they will want Vista. Well, maybe they won't. But maybe they will, or
    maybe they will go to sell the [used] computer and having Vista would be
    worth an extra $100 to $200. Whatever, in the current environment, it's
    really dumb, right now, to buy a machine that won't run Vista (WITH
    Aero) or to not get the free upgrade.
     
    Barry Watzman, Dec 15, 2006
    #13
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