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Dell business notebook graphics/gaming performance?

by lewster / June 22, 2005 8:39 AM PDT

I have recently upgraded from a Dell Latitude C640 Pentium 4-M to a Dell Latitude D610 Pentium M 760 notebook computer. While the main use of the computers is for my IT consulting business, to run programs such as QuickBooks Pro, Word, IE, FrontPage, Photoshop, and other similar business programs, every now and then I manage to squeeze in a game or two. Gaming, however, was in no way a deciding factor of the purchase of the machine. For some reason, I was expecting to see more of a graphics performance jump between the two systems, but it just seems like it's ''not there''. I'm wondering if anyone has any insight on this. Here are some rough specs of the machines:

Dell Latitude C640
* Pentium 4-M 2.20 GHz
* OEM 1024MB DDR 266MHz single-chip
* Toshiba 80GB 4200RPM HDD
* ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 32MB AGP

Dell Latitude D610
* Pentium M 760 2.00GHz
* Crucial 1024MB DDR2 533MHz single-chip
* Seagate Momentus 100GB 5400RPM HDD
* ATI Mobility Radeon X300 64MB PCI-E 16X

My benchmark games thus far have been Halo PC, and Need for Speed Underground 2. I have run 3DMark 2001 on the C640 but not the D610 yet--it will be interesting to compare the results.

I can say that the C640 was a big gaming performance upgrade from my C510 with the original Mobility Radeon. Somehow one of my ''geek friends'' and I seemed to think there'd be more of a performance jump from the C640 to D610 than we are seeing (due to new PCI-E bus and RAM architecture, new i915 chipset, and improved graphics chipset, plus a move to a 5400RPM hard drive); I'm a little disappointed where gaming is concerned (but not disappointed in the machine overall for business purposes as it has many nice improvements such as 4 USB 2.0 ports, Smart Card security, and a DVD+RW DL burner yea! One gripe, where is FireWire?!).

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Keep in mind I did not buy the machines for gaming, but rather gaming sometimes becomes a ''secondary use'' of these business computers. The thin-and-light form factor and dual-battery configuration is much more important to me for business purposes as I am constantly on the go.

Kristopher Liu
lewster@krisliu.net

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