Help with graphics advice on laptop.

Found 17th Jan 2009
I am looking at the Acer AS5735. On one site the graphics are described as
"Intel GMA X3 MB shared graphics - An economical solution that borrows your computers main memory to use for graphics. Fine for basic computing tasks but not powerful enough for digital photography, video editing and gaming"

What surprises me is the laptop comes with 4Gb of RAM and I'm thinking "Surely to goodness it will do basic photoshop things (levels / crop / sharpen) and basic virtualdub stuff (chop) . My oldest PC is a 750MHz pentium with 360ish Mb RAM and shared graphics and it can deal OK with virtual could this whizzy laptop *really* get stuck with basic Digi photies and video? It sounds incredible it can't do it to me. :confused:

One more thing. Listed under the exact same model on another site the graphics are described as being "Intel GMA X3100 252 MB" - is that the same as Intel GMA X3 MB?

I know very little about laptops...can they be fitted with a PCI-E graphics card?
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Oh in for a penny in for a pound. The other Laptop I'm looking at has this to describe its graphics:

manufacturer : Intel®
type : Mobile Intel® GMA 4500MHD
memory : up to 1,340 MB total available graphics memory with 4 GB system memory
memory type : shared

that comes with 2Gb DDR2 800MHz (takes max 8Mb and yes checked its 64Bit OS).

Woddya thunk about that vs the Acer graphics?
Don't wish to be rude but tea time tummy rumbles are here!

So catch ya laters.
the gma 4500hd is almost twice as fast as the gma x3100 and no you cannot update the graphics on any of these low end laptops,If the other laptop you are looking at is the medion from aldi remember that that also has a three year warranty which is easily worth an extra £100 over one with a 1 year warranty,Just check Ebay and see how many spares or repairs laptops are for sale because they have broken out of warranty and cost far too much to repair,
'' could this whizzy laptop *really* get stuck with basic Digi photies and video? It sounds incredible it can't do it to me. :confused:''

Yes, it would ;).
Virtualdub is a very simple tool.Have a look at basic system requirements for Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 and believe me, there are some programs which are even more resources-hungry.

2GHz or faster processor for DV; 3.4GHz for HDV; dual 2.8GHz for HD*

Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista)
2GB of RAM

10GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)

1,280x900 display with OpenGL 2.0–compatible graphics card

Dedicated 7200 RPM hard drive for DV and HDV editing; striped disk array storage (RAID 0) for HD; SCSI disk subsystem preferred
Thanks both. Have repped you for your help. (both the laptops are intel 2GHz dual cores btw).
So I guess the advice should be a bit vague like...

" not powerful enough for digital photography, video editing on more intensive programs however it will suffice on lower end programs"

you get my drift?

The main difference the graphics card will make is in anything 3D which is primarily gaming for most people. While a modern graphics card can help out in video decoding (such as for HD playback) in most cases it's not going to make any difference if you are working with a 2D application.

Digital photography and video editing (particularly media encoding) do place a lot of stress on your system but the graphics card isn't going to make a difference as it's not really doing anything bar displaying the picture on screen. Hard drive speed is a big bottleneck for both of these especially as most laptops only come with 5400rpm drives rather than 7200rpm or faster, processor speed is also a major factor as is ram.

The 2Ghz dual core processor in the laptop is far, far faster than the P3 and you've got a large chunk of ram which means the laptop will be able to work far better in virtualdub and photoshop particularly if you're working with large data sets. As an example one of my laptops has a 2.2ghz C2D processor with an 8400m graphics card (lowend graphics card) and 2GB ram whereas the other has a 2.16ghz C2D processor with a 7950GTX graphics card (topend card for its time) and 2GB ram. The second machine has a far more powerful graphics card but when churning through virtualdub it makes little difference. Both struggle with Premier although that's partially because it's a horribly written program, Virtualdub has been able to do the same work with far larger data sets without issue. Also of note is that the specs above I assume refer to P4 speeds rather than C2D speeds (a C2D at lower speeds is equivalent to a P4 at much higher speeds).

If you're wanting a better machine then you'll need to dig a lot deeper for your budget, a laptop with twin 7200rpm drives and a 2.5Ghz or 2.8Ghz processor will be faster but also vastly more expensive.

Wow johnmcl i am indebted to you for such a detailed post. thank you very much. i think the one i will go for is the toshiba satellite L300-1AQ (…se/ )

From the above link it has "Onboard (shared Memory) GPU built in the GM45 chipset (Montevina). Because of two more shaders and a higher core clock, much faster than the old GMA X3100. Still not advisable for gamers (DirectX 10 games not playable or only with very low settings). The integrated video processor is able to help decode HD videos (AVC/VC-2/MPEG2) , e.g., for a fluent Blu-Ray playback with slow CPUs."

It is also expandable to 8Gb ram, (fitted with 2 at 800Mhz)

64bit OS (the way to go i guess)

decent Duo processors and L2 cache (2Gig and 2Mb).

I can also buy it locally - this is what the other half of ownership wants..somewhere local incase of problems.

£400 all in all. I have learned from hanging around here that offers go so quickly I may as well discount the discount and go for something that is fairly well priced that I can actually get .

WHOOPS! just in case - i have beed advised badly by the local staples store. they said this model was 64 bit I checked instore myself today (System) and it is only 32 bit.

as ever dyor.
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