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Intel Graphics vs. ATI vs. NVIDIA

by phrozen06 / November 1, 2005 11:43 AM PST

I have a question about graphics cards. I now NOTHING about them. From what I've read in various message board posts it seems the biggest difference between them, or atleast as far as marketing angles go, is the amount of shared or dedicated video memory. I guess my question is: would an intel intergrated 900 operate anywhere near the capabilites of an ATI or NVIDIA graphics card if you had more RAM (i.e. 1gb).

The reason I am asking is because I am looking for a new laptop. I have gotten a lot of advice from various people including some from this board. Most of it was helpful, but a lot of it just served to confuse me more about what I want. Instead of laying out the specific specs as I have done before, this time I'll just say what I will be using it for and maybe someone can help point me in the right direction.

Mainly it will be for school, so I want something portable. Doesn't have to be ultra-portable but I would prefer 14 inch screen or smaller. I will also be using it for baking up all of my dvd's and video games, as well as creating dvd's from video files. I don't do any major gaming now, but that could change in the future. To give you an idea of what I have been looking at check out the hp dv1440us. The only thing this machine is missing as far as my needs and preferences is a graphics card. Somebody suggest me something and enlighten me a little on graphics.

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(NT) (NT) Customize a DV4000 it has an ATi X700
by damasta55r / November 1, 2005 1:02 PM PST
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by phrozen06 / November 1, 2005 1:35 PM PST

But that doesn't really answer my question about graphics. Plus, I am nt really interested in the dv4000 series. I had it recommended to me before but it is a little to bulky for my needs.

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No the intergrated graphics doesn't compare...
by togus / November 1, 2005 8:30 PM PST
In reply to: thanks
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Answer to your question
by lappyhappy / November 1, 2005 10:20 PM PST

Basically, you need to know that Integrated graphics cards are not as good as dedicated graphics cards. Intel graphics are the worst. I would not bother with them and that is what the HP DV1000 uses. You will not be able to do any kind of serious gaming with it. The ATI Radeon Xpress 200M is an integrated card and does pretty good. It is your best choice if you are going to go with an integrated card. NVIDIA's cards are great. You won't be disappointed with those but they usually come in the higher end systems. As far as shared and dedicated memory it is not much of an issue. The shared memory in my system that I have with the Radeon Xpress 200M frankly makes little difference. Even with the 1GB I have the card just can't play the higher end games. I have done some research and I believe you might want to take a look at the Acer TravelMate 3200. It has a 14.1" screen (sorry, closest to 14" I could find) and has a Radeon 9700 dedicated graphics card. That is a pretty good one and would play most games you throw at it at this point in time. I believe this is worth taking a look at as Acer is known for good quality machines. Check it out at Good luck with your purchase. Just remember, stay away from Intel Integrated graphics. You'll be glad you did.

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I hope this helps
by 0wnz / November 2, 2005 11:51 PM PST

I am a student too, and I just bought a notebook. My biggest priority was portability, so I bought the Dell 700m. It is a 4 lb light weight laptop, and uses intel built in graphics. I mostly used my laptop for internet, but I have also used it for things like 3d modeling. The graphics card can handle CAD programs like solidworks with relative ease (however, realtime shading can bog things down a bit). Before this system, I had an old Dell desktop with an ATI 8500LE graphics card. Now for things like burning dvds or backing up data, the most important things are processor and hard disk speed. Graphics come into play when you need rendered graphics (like 3d modeling or video games). The most intensive game I ran on this laptop was GTA3, which worked OK untill I put resolution up all the way. The biggest differences between regular video cards and intel cards is not just memory, but built in features for rendering specific objects (like smoke) and powerful graphics processors which are neccessary for advanced games (you will never run Battlefield 2 or Doom 3 on intel graphics). If you have a little extra cash, I suggest you look at the Asus w3v (,
which has an ati card but is still around 5.5 lb. However, if you do not think you will ever want to play cutting-edge games, then there is nothing wrong with intel graphics. (btw, although adding a lot of memory will greatly improve overall system performance, it will not bring intel graphics to the ati or nvidia level.)

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by phrozen06 / November 3, 2005 7:39 AM PST
In reply to: I hope this helps

I really appreciate your advice. I checked out the asus w3v and I really like it. The only problem I see is that a couple of sites, including this one, reported a heating problem with this one. Most user reviews say that they're wrong, but I don't want to but it if there is a chance of it having a heating problem. That's the reason I need a new laptop anyway, my dell inspiron 5100 has a bad overheating problem that has lead to it's imminent death. Do you know if these reports are accurate, or if it's one of those things that aren't even noticeable at first but a year down the road your motherboard will be fried (which is basicly the case with my dell, or if there isn't a problem at all?

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If you like the W3but are concerned about heat look at this
by togus / November 3, 2005 8:45 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks
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Good news and Bad News
by phrozen06 / November 7, 2005 12:11 PM PST

The Good:
I really like the MX series from portable one

The Bad:
I can't afford it.

The Better:
I found the asus w3v on ebay for a reasonable price, and paypal is offering 12 months no payments no interest which will give me a year to pay for it at my own pace.

The Worse:
I am still unsure about the alleged heating problem on the w3v. I read reviews saying everything from it's a severe problem to the problem doesn't exist to it's only a problem with certain processor speeds. If anyone has more info on the heating problem please let me know. I don't want to get another laptop with a heating problem.

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Go to this site...
by togus / November 7, 2005 8:19 PM PST
In reply to: Good news and Bad News

if you haven't been here, this is hte best place I know of to discuss ASUS advised, these people are BIG into ASUS products.

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(NT) (NT) You didn't leave a link
by phrozen06 / November 8, 2005 1:51 AM PST
In reply to: Go to this site...
Collapse - 'tis...
by togus / November 8, 2005 2:34 AM PST
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Answer, and some advice.
by Master0fPuppets / November 10, 2005 7:06 PM PST

Any onboard video is almost definitely a lesser quality than an add-on video card. Also, with the prices of hardware dropping every day, it would definitely be a good idea to pick up a newer [not brand new - prices are always inflated the first 6 months of a video card's release] video card, and if you're a gamer - nVidia is the way to go. If you're looking for audio/visual quality, I suggest ATI. If you are looking for a laptop as I think you mentioned, AlienWare makes the best machines on the market, and Monarch Computer makes a decent system for quite a lower cost - those are my personal experiences, so take it as you like.
A rule of thumb - if you are doing anything more than web browsing and sending email, you will need a decent video card - even if you've got a ton of memory on your system, without a good GPU [Graphics Processing Unit] you're going to wind up regretting not having bought one sooner or later...

Good luck with your search.

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Good gaming card
by s1ade / November 11, 2005 2:49 AM PST

If you want to do any gaming at all you'll need a card with dedicated gfx.

I bought a dell inspiron 9300 in August for school and a little bit of gaming. I bought it from the U.S. and got a nVidia Geforce Go 6800. It's a great card. My laptop runs most games better than all the desktops I see. I've played battlefield 2, hl2, doom 3, battlefront 2, f.e.a.r., age of empires 3, civ 4, you name it, any new game out my system can play it on high.

The screens 17" which for class sorta sucks. I pretty much never take it out of my room. The inspiron 6000 is a 15" I think. My friend has one of those and the size is really nice. Just right for carrying around but not too small.

I used this site a lot when I was looking to buy a laptop. (sorry CNET it's just really good).
This guy made an amazing FAQ/blog for buying a laptop. It has a great section that compares all the different laptop gfx cards so you know which is better. Does a x700 beat a 6800? etc

Good luck

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by ddbpack / November 11, 2005 4:01 AM PST
In reply to: Good gaming card

i currently own a nvidia geforce 5700 series i have had zero problems with it. i was just wondering is it a real good card or what?

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Some things I have observed.
by Dutchmants / November 11, 2005 2:57 AM PST

First off I would not even conside the INTEL chip as an option it just doesn't stack up in the real world. Now second point try to find a system with as much dedicated video RAM as possible shared video memory is a very big negative, even in laptps. Now as far as ATI vs NVIDIA here is my experiences. They both make some grat graphics chipsets and for a destop (I'm not a gamer player) I would consider a card from either vendor. That said here is a major got ya to consider ATI does not release driver updates for their mobil (laptop) chipsets but NVIDIA does. That point alone would swing me to a laptop with the NVIDIA graphics every thing else being equal. I've had to suffer too long from a graphics driver issue on a several year old HP laptop. HP doesn't relese video driver updats (unlike some vendors like DELL). That leaves me with a driver related bug that no one supports. If it was a NVIDIA chip graphics I could go to their web site downlaod the latest driver and be fixed. There has been one Windows Udate driver release for my ATI chipset that did improve things so I only experiece the video issues about once a month instead of daily. I always hate using video drivers from the Windows Update site since more than once I have seen them hang a system where I have had to boot into VGA mode then roll back drivers.

Just my 2cents added to the discussion. Oh by the way while I only own one laptop I support a great deal more at work and have helped friends resolve issues on theirs. I suppose about a half dozen brands over the years perhaps 50-100 total laptops representing several dozed different models.

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Forgot to say
by Dutchmants / November 11, 2005 3:11 AM PST

The availability of driver updates can be crucial. I've seen many cases where an issue on a system that you would never thing could be a video related problem can be resolved by simply updating the video drivers. A video driver update is not too far down my troubl shooting check list.

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by ddrdgs360 / November 12, 2005 3:23 AM PST

Ati is great with hi-def graphics and shaders for realistic graphics hands down,yet nvidia has great realism as well. Intel great but are better known for their processors. My pick is go with the greater ati graphics chip x1800xt,625mhz clock speed,512mb. Plus Ati has 59% of the market over nvidia. Please feel free to e-mail me at for futher info.

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get nvidia
by Jonnodude / November 13, 2005 1:08 AM PST

you cant go wrong with a nvidia
depends how much you want to spend...
for even light gaming or anything get a nvidia 6 series (6200, 6600, 6800)

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nVidia vs Ati
by X-eor / February 21, 2007 12:59 AM PST
In reply to: get nvidia

More and more people will move toward Linux because it's more efficient, more secure than other operating systems. So , I would go for a nVidia graphic card as they have more experience in writing good drivers for Linux as well as for Windows than Ati (Sometimes Ati drivers for Linux are just missing).
It's good to have the door open to move toward Linux even if at this stage you don't think you will ever do it.
It isn't great to have the best graphic card in the world if there is no drivers to translate the commands to the machine; but it's great to see an operating system up-to-date in security patches working on a computer 5 years old.

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graphics cards
by stokielad88 / July 5, 2009 2:17 AM PDT
In reply to: nVidia vs Ati

intel graphics cards are ****. so go for the acer aspire 5920g laptop. its fast and reliable. and it has a good graphics card. nvidia geforce 8600m gs 256mb. you could have it on vista or downgrade to xp. i have it on vista home premium as that is what it comes with. this is the perfect laptop

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by 1shado1 / July 5, 2009 2:51 AM PDT
In reply to: graphics cards

Why are you responding to a post that is 2 and a half years old? I'm figuring the poster has already purchased someting since then, LOL...

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Thanks. And with that we'll close this discussion.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 5, 2009 3:03 AM PDT
In reply to: ?

Locking so it can drop back in time.

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