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Notebook graphics?

nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
I'm looking for a cheap graphics card for a decent laptop. It's got a intel POS graphics thing right now. Not looking for fireworks just want it to be able to run TF2 passably.

The comp's specs say it has a single PCI Type 2 expansion slot. Is that usable for a graphics card? Nobody seems ot sell them either so it's hard to price them out too.

Any help would be appreciated.

nexuscrawler on

Posts

  • AiranAiran Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    As far as I know it's next to impossible to upgrade a laptop's graphics chip. It's soldered on. The only things you could really upgrade are the RAM and possibly hard disk in some cases.

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  • Serious_ScrubSerious_Scrub Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I have not heard of any notebooks with replaceable graphics cards outside of a few high end desktop replacements

  • KhavallKhavall Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    You can't upgrade the graphics card on pretty much any laptop.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    You can't upgrade the graphics card on pretty much any laptop.

    Yeah, I think even the high-end desktop replacements with replaceable video cards went out of style. The upgrades were just too expensive, and nobody bothered.

    And I'm going to take a leap and say that no, that PCI Type 2 slot will not take any sort of graphics card. I think that's more for things like internal wireless/bluetooth cards, or some such.

    Basically this is just something for you to think about when buying your next laptop. The good news is that A) TF2 doesn't require much in the way of video muscle to run on low settings, and scales down quite well, and B) laptops with video cards that will meet the above aren't that expensive anymore.

  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    You can use an external graphics card solution, such as the Asus XG Station.

    asus_graphic_468.jpg

    It connects through a laptop's ExpressCard slot to provide bandwidth equivalent to PCIe x1. The unit houses 1 or 2 PCIe x16 video card(s), and has a control panel on front with stuff like clock/fan speeds and temperature listed.

    It's also very expensive, ~$500 US with a 8600GT (the card can be swapped out). And of course it pretty much wipes out the portability of any connected laptop. It also needs its own power and requires an external monitor.

  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Wow....at first I was like wow that sounds kind of cool, but you might as well just buy a shuttle and lug that around.

  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Awesome idea if it were cheap, though. I wonder what makes up the bulk of the cost, next to the video card.

    Erik
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Ego wrote: »
    Awesome idea if it were cheap, though. I wonder what makes up the bulk of the cost, next to the video card.

    Economies of scale probably play at least some part...it's not like they're manufacturing a zillion of them, and can take low margins for high volume.

  • EgoEgo Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Screw you, economy! You'll get what's coming to you!

    :lol:

    Erik
  • JerikTelorianJerikTelorian Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Airan wrote: »
    As far as I know it's next to impossible to upgrade a laptop's graphics chip. It's soldered on. The only things you could really upgrade are the RAM and possibly hard disk in some cases.

    This isn't entirely true. The Dell laptops I've had can have their cards upgraded: I did it once. The problem is that you already need to have a card; e.g. you can replace an ATIx300 32mb with an ATIx300 64mb. Generally you need to find cannibalized parts for this, though.

    SteamID -- JerikTelorian
    XBL: LiquidSnake2061
    Spoiler:
  • ArcticMonkeyArcticMonkey Registered User
    edited July 2008
    One trick for running TF2 on older computers is starting it in an older DirectX 3d version.

    Go to Options -> Video -> Advanced inside HL2. If DirectX Hardware version is at 9.0 or higher you can speed up HL2 running it in DirectX 8.0.

    In Steam go right click HL2 icon and select properties. Click "Set launch options" and add -dxlevel 80.

    The game still looks very nice in DirectX 8.0 mode.
    To go back change the startup option to -dxlevel 95.

    "You read it! You can't unread it!"
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  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    Wow....at first I was like wow that sounds kind of cool, but you might as well just buy a shuttle and lug that around.

    I think it's designed more for the docking station, ultraportable crowd who would like some gaming, but don't need it on the go. I can't imagine anyone carrying this around over just getting a 17" gaming laptop if they're willing to carry 8 pounds.

  • elevatureelevature Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    One trick for running TF2 on older computers is starting it in an older DirectX 3d version.

    Go to Options -> Video -> Advanced inside HL2. If DirectX Hardware version is at 9.0 or higher you can speed up HL2 running it in DirectX 8.0.

    In Steam go right click HL2 icon and select properties. Click "Set launch options" and add -dxlevel 80.

    The game still looks very nice in DirectX 8.0 mode.
    To go back change the startup option to -dxlevel 95.

    Will this work on laptops with shitty integrated graphics? I tried it back on the free weekend and it ran, but stuttered so badly that it was unplayable.

  • FremFrem Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    What Intel card do you have? I've seen reports that the Intel GMA X3100 can run TF2 acceptably, if you tweak it the right ways.

    Edit: upgrade to the latest drivers and try this guide out. Also, I've heard that the drivers for Vista and XP can vary substantially in quality.

    Of course, if you have a GMA 900something, there's pretty much nothing software wise you can do. :-( Sorry!

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