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Understanding how my computer thinks (GPUs and such)

MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
edited November 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Dear h/a:
Time to be less ill-informed!

Graphics cards and GPUs. I understand absolutely none of the wizardry that goes into naming these things. I look at a box, and it says "You should probably have this card." and I go, "I have no idea what that combination of letternumbers means, (and I have no idea if my card is better, worse, or equal than indicated) but I probably can't run you."

My laptop is an hp8710w, an obscure business-market desktop replacement. The graphics card is this:
Nvidia Quadro FX 1600M
Okay, so I gather the M denotes Mobile. The rest of that title means very little to me. I have been told the QuadroFX line is "optimized for 3d modelling," but I have no idea how that works or why it means I can't play anything more graphically intense than TF2 on middling settings with no AA.

Am I doing something terribly wrong with my configuration, or is this card just not suited to gaming?
How does the continuum of graphics cards/GPUs work, anyway? is it a simple scale of 1-10, with gaming cards being a ten and mine being a 7? or are there specialized subdivisions?

Posts

  • FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
    This link will help you determine which games your laptop can or cannot run, it is not always 100% accurate or correct, but gives a good general indication.

    This link will help you with any upgrade / purchasing decisions, as it simply lists a fairly healthy number of graphics cards, with the top of the list being most powerful and the bottom least.

    The problems you are encountering are most likely twofold.

    1: Your laptop is not designed for gaming.

    2: Your GPU is not designed for gaming.

    What we mean by this is that your laptop in general, and your gpu in particular, have not been optimised or chosen for their proficiency at dealing with data in the way that most games want it dealt with, and as such will never be terribly good at running games.

  • MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
    Fyndir wrote:
    The problems you are encountering are most likely twofold.

    1: Your laptop is not designed for gaming.

    2: Your GPU is not designed for gaming.

    What we mean by this is that your laptop in general, and your gpu in particular, have not been optimised or chosen for their proficiency at dealing with data in the way that most games want it dealt with, and as such will never be terribly good at running games.

    Thanks for the links. What I'd really like to know is, what exactly is different in data handling between, for example, my card and the top of the list you gave? and how do naming conventions reflect that?

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Graphics card nomenclature is a pit of misery and hatred.

    A GTX480 is more powerful than a 6850? Ugh.

    I have some bad news, and some slightly less bad news for you.

    The bad news first - your video card is what is referred to 'in the game' as a worthless piece of shit.

    The slightly less bad news? Building a new p.c. that can play brand new games like Battlefield 3 beautifully needn't cost more than $800. ($1200 if you want your eyes to bleed from the graffix, man!)

    terriblepostsigpic.jpg
    AusPAX tickets get [X] Accomodation get [X] Plane tickets get [X] Goodie giftbags made [ ]
  • MolybdenumMolybdenum Registered User regular
    I've been considering building my own, but hard drive prices are 3 to 5 times normal right now. I'll be holding off for a good while, it seems.

    Again, though, what exactly is shitty about my card?
    oKizH.jpg
    For example- why do I pass these benchmarks but still fail?

    From wikipedia-
    "NVIDIA used driver software and firmware to enable features vital to segments of the workstation market; e.g., high performance anti-aliased lines and two-sided lighting were reserved for the Quadro product."
    But I can never run anything with anti-aliasing turned on.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    Anti-aliasing in a graphics program is much different than anti-aliasing in a game. Your graphics card is not designed to run games. It's like asking why your awesome pickup truck can't win any drag races even though it says "designed to drag stuff around" on Wikipedia.

  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    Quadro and other workstation cards are designed to either handle a lot of monitors,accelerate CAD programs, or render animation. So while they have the same cores as the gaming cards, the firmware on your card is optimized to complete every rendering action in the orders given with very high pixel accuracy and graphics quality. While a gaming card will skip steps, or approximate things in order to keep frame rates higher. So in theory your card can output better looking things, it just won't do it quick enough for gaming.

    What you could try and do is soft mod your cards firmware and drivers into thinking it's a gefore 8800, as that uses the same core as your card. Haven't seen any examples of people doing this, as usualy it's the other way around to get around paying 2-3x the price for a quadro card, but the theory should work in reverse.

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
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