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    Graphics Card Question...... Please help!

    Hi All,

    Just ordered myself a new lappy, which has an ATI HD3450 GFX card.

    Now my fingers a little off the pulse with PC hardware of late - primarily down to COD4 on 360 Grrrrr

    I have 2 questions really....

    1) What is the main difference between "discrete GFX" as this is, and dedicated GFX cards.

    2) When looking at minimum runnable spec for certain games, which mainstream card should I be looking to compare this to, to see if a game will run.

    Thanks, (theres some rep available for whoever helps out )

    10 Comments

    Original Poster

    As an aside it's this one.
    256MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 3450
    Found on the Studio 15 laptop from Dell.

    If it helps for comparison - I previously had a 6600gt 128mb in my desktop and this performed fine for the limited gaming i was doing.

    integrated graphics, shares main memory for storing textures, colors etc.
    Dedicated has own memory and bus to it
    performance will be up on the 6600 but not by much if its sharing main memory

    Original Poster

    maddogb;2581057

    discrete graphics, shares main memory for storing textures, colors … discrete graphics, shares main memory for storing textures, colors etc.Dedicated has own memory and bus to itperformance will be up on the 6600 but not by much if its sharing main memory



    cheers for that mate.

    I would assume the 4gb main memory (plus the 256 gfx mem) would pretty much negate the loss from the sharing.....

    jinjernuts;2581301

    cheers for that mate.I would assume the 4gb main memory (plus the 256 gfx … cheers for that mate.I would assume the 4gb main memory (plus the 256 gfx mem) would pretty much negate the loss from the sharing.....



    the performance loss is not from the drop in memory on a system with above 2gb anyway, it will be from the gpu and cpu sharing clock cycles, 1 for me, 1 for you,, etc. that is the main reason why dedicated graphics are superior.
    better to go with lower model gpu and have dedicated video memory if you can

    jinjernuts;2581301

    cheers for that mate.I would assume the 4gb main memory (plus the 256 gfx … cheers for that mate.I would assume the 4gb main memory (plus the 256 gfx mem) would pretty much negate the loss from the sharing.....



    It's not so much the amount of memory used, it's more the fact that integrated graphics cards tend to be more basic than dedicated versions as they need to be small and cheap. That can mean less pipelines, no Transformation and Lighting etc.

    The 3450 is a basic graphics card, if buying a laptop for gaming I wouldn't go below an Nvidia 8600/ATI 3650 or newer. I'm not saying you can't game on less but midrange cards give you a reasonable amount of performance without having to turn most settings down.

    John

    Original Poster

    thanks both.

    in all honesty, the main use for the laptop will be to take some of the strain off my work desktop while crunching numbers in SQL.

    Will be at most an occasional gamer and even then it's probably a trip down memory lane with the likes of Thief etc.

    Time and Coments are much appreciated

    maddogb;2581057

    discrete graphics, shares main memory for storing textures, colors … discrete graphics, shares main memory for storing textures, colors etc.Dedicated has own memory and bus to itperformance will be up on the 6600 but not by much if its sharing main memory



    You sure you're not confusing discrete and integrated there?
    Discrete means 'a seperate entity' meaning the GPU is a chip in its own right, generally with its own dedicated graphics (that much should be apparent from the detailed specs).

    3450 will be okay for gaming at low resolutions and settings turned down in all but the most demanding games, but don't expect a huge performance delta between it and your old 6600.

    Original Poster

    jah128;2585972

    You sure you're not confusing discrete and integrated there?Discrete … You sure you're not confusing discrete and integrated there?Discrete means 'a seperate entity' meaning the GPU is a chip in its own right, generally with its own dedicated graphics (that much should be apparent from the detailed specs).3450 will be okay for gaming at low resolutions and settings turned down in all but the most demanding games, but don't expect a huge performance delta between it and your old 6600.



    Again thanks for the clarification. the 6600gt suited my gaming needs fine when I last "gamed" on PC. If there is any kind of performance increase, no matter how small, thats always a bonus.

    I quizzed Dell on whether it was a dedicated card or not and they basically said that it was, but was essentially soldered to the main board so couldn't be upgraded.

    Might be me misinterpreting the response because of the language barrier though.

    Discrete means it's not integrated into the motherboard chip, dedicated means that it's got it's own memory and it's integrated into the motherboard chip. Basically they're two terms for the same thing.

    The HD3450 is a pretty mainstream card, if you're looking to compare it to something higher up then I'd say a 7600 or 6600 is likely, although tomshardware has a chart that should be more accurate if you can find it.

    EDIT: It's ]here. The 3450 isn't actually on the list but I'd expect it be equivelent to the following cards: 6600 GT, 6800LE, 6800 XT, 7300 GT DDR2, Go 7600 (128-bit), 8500 GT 9800 XT, X700 PRO, X800 GT, X800 SE, Mobility X800, X1300 XT, X1600 PRO, HD 2400 XT

    jah128;2585972

    You sure you're not confusing discrete and integrated there?Discrete … You sure you're not confusing discrete and integrated there?Discrete means 'a seperate entity' meaning the GPU is a chip in its own right, generally with its own dedicated graphics (that much should be apparent from the detailed specs).3450 will be okay for gaming at low resolutions and settings turned down in all but the most demanding games, but don't expect a huge performance delta between it and your old 6600.



    lol yeah i was soz, longday=gettin words coffuddled , have edited to put right
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