[Beowulf] Mobile Graphics (or lack of it)

stuffnstuff stuffnstuff7 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 19 15:56:36 EST 2006


I know this subject isn't exactly on topic for clustering, but this board
has proven their intelligence and skill time and again. I thought maybe you
wouldn't mind...

I am seriously looking into buying the HP zv6000, one of their standard-ish
laptops (check
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_series.do?series_name=zv6000_series&catLevel=2&category=notebooks/hp_pavilion&storeName=computer_store
for
details). I like this one so far because it is cheap, upgradeable, and I do
remember you mentioning something about AMD being far better than Intel (yet
I don't have very much information on that). I am looking for a clunker that
can think like a desktop, and the prices seem to indicate that starting low
and upgrading like mad is the best way to go. If I was going to get this
specific laptop today, I would opt for the fastest processor available [AMD
Athlon(TM) 64 4000+ ( 2.4GHz/1MB l2 Cache)] and 2GB of RAM (click
"Customize" to see all the options available).

The concern is that the best graphics card available with this laptop is a
128MB card. Everybody seems to say that this should be the bare minimum for
a new graphics card and we should be investing in moderate to high end 256MB
cards (while the 512MB's are out there, they say not to go for them yet).
Even if I wasn't into games, I would want my computer to be able to
seamlessly display anything I might want to show, from web browsing to
PowerPoint shows to DVD's, and I process images in programs similar to Adobe
Photoshop to boot. HP says that this card [128MB ATI RADEON(R) XPRESS 200M
w/Hypermemory(TM)] is plenty, but I don't know if I can believe them.

I want to make sure that any product I lay down that much money for will
work. It says I can "tap into an additional 128MB of shared system memory"
for better performance in graphic-intensive programs, but would that be my
RAM or my hard disk paging file? I imagine that using the hard disk would
make everything run slower, especially a laptop hard disk. These are my
thoughts:

1) With the additional 128MB from an unknown location, I should be good to
go.
2) I should purchase a graphics card from a retailer (ATI, maybe?) and
install it myself hoping that everything will be compatible.
3) Find something that could plug into the single PCMCIA slot and act either
as additional dedicated memory or a complete graphics card.
4) Give up hope; "mobility' and "graphics" don't fit into one box unless I
pay twice the starting price and then even more for the components.

Should I give up on graphics in a laptop? Should I spend the bucks for a
more advanced laptop? Should I look at the competition's version of the same
laptop? Should I find some attachment or replacement card that would work?

Also, if you know a good link that can say 'Centrino is good, Celeron is
bad" to all the latest processors out there, could you pass that along?

I hope I am not asking too much, but you know how it goes. I appreciate the
time spent reading it as well as any replies that may come. Thanks again.

Luke
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