Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Laptop Gaming Video cards

Today gaming on a laptop has become possible at a reasonable price due to increase in gaming itself and the fact that prices have significantly dropped on laptop parts as laptops become more popular and mainstream. Today most mainstream laptops come with enough RAM and a good enough CPU to handle just about any game you throw at it, but the real issue when it comes to gaming on a laptop comes with what Video Card is inside your laptop. A Video Card is really only important when it comes to gaming, it is what makes all your games look truly beautiful and run at a crisp clean pace with no hiccups. Today though there is such a large amount of Video Cards out there that it is really hard to figure out what to expect when you buy a laptop with a certain video card. Well in this post here I hope I can at the very least give you a broad idea of what to expect out of your gaming laptop when it comes to performance in terms of playable games and frame rates.

For starters when looking at a gaming laptop make you are going to have to expect a few things. First is increase in price and size. A gaming laptop will normally weigh upwards of 11+ pounds and costs usually at least $1000. If you do not feel like spending a thousand dollars on a laptop all I can say for you is buy a desktop instead because they are just so much cheaper than laptops, but you will obviously not see the same portability as a laptop. Ok another thing to make sure to look for when buying a gaming laptop is make sure the laptop has 2-4GB of RAM, 2.0Ghz and up processor and preferably a 17” screen so you do not feel cramped when playing. The last rule is the most important and must be obeyed if you are going to game on a laptop and that is make sure it has a dedicated graphics card. If the graphics card is not listed on the spec sheet then more than likely it is crap and not worth buying, also if you see integrated or Xpress it is not a dedicated graphics card. If your computer does not have a dedicated graphics card it means that your graphics card is built into the motherboard and it is junk and you will not be able to play any new games at all on your computer.

Ok now that we have that cleared up lets look at graphics cards. Before I start if you are looking at a computer and you know the name of the Graphic Card, but do not know much about it then I highly recommend that you look at this mobile graphics benchmark chart. The chart will tell you where your card places against every other mobile graphic card and will also put it into a broad category so you can get a good idea of what game quality to expect. Of course if you want the best laptop out there to play games on then you have to go with the alienware laptops. Alienware makes there laptops specifically for gaming and they are extremely good at what they were built for. The costs of an alienware laptop usually averages around $1500-$4000. Now most people do not have that type of money to spend on a laptop. Most people buy usually a dell, hp, gateway, or Apple laptop. Most of these brands use the same video cards over and over again so it is usually pretty easy to find some good specs on the video card in the laptop you are looking at. The two most widely used video cards that I have sound is the 8400M GS and the 8600M GT. The fact is the 8400M GS is junk I would not recommend buying the card for any games at all, but the 8600M GT is a different story. Expect to be able to play games like Company of Heroes, Fear, and Supreme Commander fluently on High Details with this card. Do not expect miracles out of this card though, you will not be able to play heavy graphics oriented games on max settings and will probably end up settling somewhere around medium settings. If you are looking for a better alternative to the 8600M GT then I would recommend any of the 8700 and 8800 series any of the 9700 series and 9800 series. The main thing you want to remember doing when looking for a gaming laptop is when you find a laptop you like make sure to find multiple opinions on the laptop and also multiple opinions on the video card. Hope this article helps you choose the right laptop for you, if you are still having some problems feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you with an answer.

Monday, September 22, 2008

HP DV5T Reviewed

HP DV5T Laptop
HP has decided to step up there game in the laptop market by offering a new line of laptops this summer. Out of the new line of laptops though, the HP dv5t is the one for me. The dv5t combines the best of both worlds by offering a reasonable price and top quality performance. The dv5t starts out at the cheap price of only $749.99, but depending on what parts you want you can see the price start to hover around $1000 pretty quickly. Right now the barebones kit is just about as good as its going to get at this point in time.

Here is a quick spec sheet:

• Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)
• Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor P7350 (2.0GHz)
• 15.4" diagonal WXGA HD BrightView Widescreen Display (1280 x 800)
• 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm)
• Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator X4500
• 250GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
• 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery

Of course I would never recommend going with a factory spec computer, well because that would be just too easy, but really you should think about upgrading the spec list to your own needs. A good case for this computer would be if you want to play video games on your laptop. This laptop is the best video game laptop I have seen all year for the price. With just a couple of upgrades you can get your HP dv5t running high end games like crisis. To play video games on your HP dv5t I would recommend upgrading to the 9600m GT Video Card ($150), P8400 (2.26 GHz) processor ($50), and maybe even go with the upgraded 1680 x 1050 Display ($125). The upgrades might seem expensive, but if you look at the alternatives such as Alienware or XPS laptops you will see that you are saving a lot of money.

This laptop is by far the most versatile laptop I have seen. You can also convert the HP dv5t to be a great movie player. The dv5t supports a Blu-Ray player upgrade option for only $200 and make sure to upgrade the screen to 1680 x 1050 to really enjoy the quality of blu-ray. Also if you are thinking of upgrading your Hard Drive because of the size of the blu-ray movies I would recommend just buying 500GB external Hard Drive so that you save money, get more space, and keep your computer clean of bloat ware.

After looking into the HP dv5t I can say to you without a doubt that I would recommend this laptop to anyone who is looking for an affordable laptop, gaming laptop, and even a movie player laptop.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wi-Fi Cards

Many businesses and restaurants have Wi-Fi spots for people to bring in their laptops to get on the internet. This attracts more people to do business with them. Now it is even more easy and cost effective with Verizon AirLink. This allows you to get on the internet wherever you have signal with your cell phone.

Verizon AirLink does not require anything for you to get on the internet besides having signal with your cell phone. You could be at your house, work, or even out walking and be on the internet. Verizon AirLink is a lot like having a Wi-Fi card.

Verizon is not the only provider for wireless internet cards. Others include sprint, cingular, dell, and desktop.

Some prices for wireless cards for your laptop are:
- Verizon Wireless 5720 Built-in Mobile Broadband (CDMA EV-DO Rev A)- $149.99
- IBM THINKPAD T61 R61 X61 Verizon EVDO WWAN Card 42T0929- $149.99
- Verizon Wireless PC5740 Aircard (Sprint PCS)- $69.99
- Verizon Novatel V620 EV-DO PC Card wireless- $154.99
- Verizon Wireless Express Card - KPC680- $24.99

Monday, September 8, 2008

Asus Releases New 15 inch Gaming Laptop

Asus G50VAsus has brought it upon themselves to offer one of the first budget gaming laptops out on the market right now and after looking at the specs you could argue that it is the best deal out there right now. The new gaming laptop is called the G50V and it is well equipped to handle any of the latest pc games. Heres a quick spec sheet to show what all the Asus G50V has to offer:

• RAM - 4GB DDR2 800
• CPU - 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400
• Video Card – 9700M GT 512MB DDR3 memory
• Hard Drive – 2 250GB HDD’s for a combined total of 500GB
• Blue-ray-player (optional) – Raises price to $1,899 and reduces hard-drive space to 400GB

Total price for a computer with these specs is only $1699. The Asus G50V looks to be a bargain compared to similar products from Alienware and Dell’s XPS line. The only drawback is a 15inch screen; hopefully another model will be released later with a 17inch screen upgrade. As far as the graphics card is concerned it might not be a 9800 series card, but it is a lot better than the 8400m and 8600m series. Overall the laptop looks to be a nice mid-range gaming laptop.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Solar Bag That Charges A Laptop

A cool new item out on the market is this Solar Powered Bag that can charge a laptop and other devices like cell phones. The Solar Powered Bag looks like a great idea. It looks like you just sit the bag in a place with direct sunlight and it will charge the battery inside the bag. Then it looks like whenever you are not using your laptop you just put the laptop inside the bag and plug it into the battery pack and it will start to charge. The solar paneled bag can hold up to a 17” laptop and it says “the solar panel generates enough power to fully charge a typical laptop from a day of direct sunlight”.

After doing some research it looks like you need to have the bag in direct sunlight for 8-10 hours before you will be able to plug in your laptop and receive a full charge. Sounds like an easy way to save money right, well wrong the bag costs $600. Pretty hefty price for a bag that requires you to have it sit out in the sun for 10 hours. I can see some people liking this like maybe people out in the middle of no where with no electricity and maybe some eco-friendly people.