Dedicated GPU for laptop: should I bother?

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Dedicated GPU for laptop: should I bother?

Postby SpinelSoup » Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:53 am

I'm getting a new laptop for school pretty soon, which I've more of less decided will be a Thinkpad T61 of some flavor. However, the computer apparently bleeds battery power, and since I've heard that dedicated graphics cards are a big power hog (not to mention a definite hundred-dollar price jump), I'm considering going with the integrated option. I don't really know much about graphics hardware, however, and looking back at old threads hasn't been all that helpful, so I'd like to ask for advise.

The integrated graphics option for the T61 is an Intel GMA X3100 GM965 w/ 1394, verses the dedicated option which is an NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M (128MB). From what I've heard, the Quadro NVS is a "business" graphics card that specializes in things like C.A.D. and 3D presentations, which I have no interest in. The setup I'm planning on is an IntelCore2 Duo 2.0Ghz processor, 2gigs of RAM, and a 100GB 7200RPM hard drive. I'm sticking with Windows XP for the time being, so Aero isn't a big issue. Lastly, I am very much a casual editor, who is still using Ulead Media Studio 6.5 for heaven's sake, and who wouldn't mind being inconvenienced slightly video-rendering wise if it meant much less heat and power consumption in the long run.

So, given all that, do you think I should spring for the dedicated graphics, or would the integrated graphics be good enough?
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Postby Keeper of Hellfire » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:45 am

It depends much what else you want to do with that notebook. The internal graphics card is good enough for some office applications - that's it. It is very slow. I don't know if Ulead can take advantage of a fast graphics card. But the general recommendation for video editing is to use a dedicated graphics card, no matter if the editor can take advantage of the GPU. The reason is because the internal graphics uses the main memory. First, for video editing is is good to have as much memory as possible. Second, if the GPU accesses the memory the CPU can't, so it slows down the rendering.

The NVidia Quadro NVS 140M is a business card, which means it has a bit less performance than a consumer card with the same GPU but provides higher stability and compatibility. (And has a higher price.) Though it is mainly designed for 2D applications, the 3D performance is much higher than the Intel GMA X3100 GM965. So if you think about a little gaming too, it's the much better choice. The power consumption is comparable low - 10W.
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Postby SpinelSoup » Mon Jul 30, 2007 1:54 pm

I probably should have mentioned, I'm not much one for gaming (cutting-edge 3D gaming, that is.) But very good point about the memory issue, I hadn't thought of that. The NVS is starting to look more appealing.
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Dedicated GPU for laptop: should I bother?

Postby pitmodano12 » Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:53 am

The laptop I bought was a an Asus M6NW20 with the following specs: Also I had to have a RAM dedicated GPU - as I said, this is for school but also for
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Postby klinky » Thu Sep 06, 2007 12:49 pm

Both of those graphics options suck, get the cheaper one.
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