Laptops, video RAM and RAM

  bengo 11:52 01 Mar 03
Locked

I could do with some advice please. I have been looking at 3 laptops this week, all roughly the same price and similar spec and all running XP.
The bit I dont understand is video RAM.

1st machine has 256MB and uses 32MB of this for video.
2nd machine has 512MB and uses 32MB of this for video.
3rd machine has 256MB and an 8MB S3 Virge 3D CARD, and does not use any system RAM,
bearing in mind I would like to use the machine I buy as a DVD player (all have TV out) to a widescreen TV, which would be the most suitable.
Normally it will be used for Word Processing and some "not to modern" games and the internet.
Any help would be appreciated.

  powerless 11:55 01 Mar 03

"all roughly the same price"

512MB would be perfect.

  Taran 12:47 01 Mar 03

Dedicated video memory normally offers far better performance than a graphics chip that uses system memory, even where the video memory may sound lower (in megabytes) to the amount of system memory used by a counterpart device in another machine.

Video memory runs faster than system memory (in general) and since it is dedicated to the task at hand, it can do its job without using as much CPU time too.

Having said that, any of the machines you mention will play DVDs with or without dedicated a dedicated video card. Let's not forget that people have been playing DVDs on PCs for some years now, and just a couple of short years ago you wouldn't have found anything other than a server with the quantity of memory you are talking about here, much less DDR memory, which as found its way into most notebooks now.

Regards

Taran

  bengo 13:37 01 Mar 03

Many thanks for advice, the salesman in the shop said he thought the one with 8MB of RAM on a separte card would be the best machine, (two of the machines I was interested in were in the same shop, and the same price) just seemed to me to be a small amount of RAM on a video card.

  Taran 13:45 01 Mar 03

The notebook I'm typing this on has a 16mb NVIDIA GeForce 420 Go video adaptor and it flies. Although I'm not a fan of watching DVDs on a laptop, this one copes with an awful lot of image editing and batch processing using Photoshop, PhotoImpact and Paintshop Pro, among others, and it never even blinks.

It's easy to get lost in the technology and especially where big numbers are concerned. Remember what I said at the end of my last post; people have been doing more with less hardware for a long time, so any of the machines will be more than sufficient. It's only if you intend doing serious video editing or playing the very latest games that you will challenge the machine.

  bengo 13:49 01 Mar 03

Thanks again for advice, watching DVD's will only be occasional, just wanted to make sure that I would be able to output to TV with the machine I eventually choose, and not have too many problems.

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