How good are mobile graphics?

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How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:27 am

I really don't have a mental benchmark on mobile graphics, particularly on the affordable end of things.

Can an affordable laptop run, for example, Tomb Raider on medium at 720p at 30 FPS? If one plans to do this, is it better to aim for an integrated or discrete GPU? Can this be had for under $500?
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:36 am

I use notebookcheck.net as a decent benchmark site. They have a great comparison here:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-G ... 849.0.html

Here's a direct link to a Tomb Raider comparison:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-G ... &daysold=0

Basically, you need just a basic discrete GPU to maintain medium settings on Tomb Raider at 720p. Look for a laptop with a recent AMD A8 or A10 APU, or a GT720M or better. You can definitely get something like this at $500 or less.
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:18 pm

Funny how I only ask questions like this when I'm in a relationship. :)

Thanks for the reply.
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:42 pm

Shoot, the cheapest laptop on the home side of Dell Outlet with discrete graphics is $900. And that's with the Nvidia 630M, which isn't even that impressive.

Where would you go for a cost effective laptop for 720p gaming on medium? Preferably something low-cost so I can upgrade it to 2x4GB RAM and a cheap SSD.
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:01 pm

I got an Asus laptop in a Black Friday deal a year or two ago, with an i7 and 540M for $600. Dell tends to be overpriced. It's not as sturdy as I would have liked, unfortunately business tanks start at around a grand and don't usually have any sort of graphics capability. Here are a few to consider:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834312830
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834231521
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834231238 (refurb)

Haswell's onboard graphics might be capable of driving medium-settings 1366x768 but I'd have to see it to believe it.
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:38 pm

I appreciate the links.

What about a cheap laptop with a beastly APU?
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:10 pm

Depends on what cheap is. I get along just fine on a 2 year old HP i7 with 8gB of RAM, an SSD and 1 TB HHD. Graphics are a GT650M, but with 2 gB of GDDR5 (instead of shared/DDR3). I play only Skyrim (now pretty dated), Civ V (also pretty dated) and CoH 2 (fairly recent). I made sure to get a 1600x900 resolution screen as I knew pushing a 1080p screen would not be pleasing for me. As long as you are reasonable with your resolution (it looks like you are), you should be fine. This laptop ran for $1k, but I scored a $250 off deal at Sam's Club. I am very pleased with the investment. Battery life still rocks at ~5 hours. Sure, its also big (17" screen), but it does everything I need and is portable. I don't need tiny.

Just make sure you are prepared to pick only 2 of the following:

Good battery
Small Size
Good gaming performance
Sony a7
Sony Zeiss 55/1.8 SSM, 24-70/4 SSM
Minolta 100/2, 100-300 APO
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:43 pm

Generally speaking, any laptop that costs less than $500 is crap. Poor specs, poor construction, and minimal warranty--I have experience here. Thankfully these are finally starting to go away since tablets are much cheaper and do email and cat videos just as well. $500-800 has a lot of good options.
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:25 am

I buy Dell Outlet laptops for my business. When I get them with a coupon, they are quite cheap. For example, last year I purchased a Latitude e5430 for my boss. 8 GB of RAM, Ivy Bridge i3. Windows 7 Pro. Durably frame, two year next-day on-site replacement warranty. Cost? $393 including tax. I added a 128 GB Samsung EVO for $90, and he's got a fantastic little machine. Sure, it isn't three pounds and it has a 720p screen, but for $483, it's great!

But... sucks for gaming with Intel HD 4000 graphics.
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:44 am

For a decent gaming laptop, be prepared to spend at least $1,000. Anything less than that isn't going to get you very far. Mythlogic has some good options in the $1K-1.5K range.
300Two + 3770K + Gigabyte Z77-D3H + 16GB 1600MHz + GTX970 + SeaSonic S12II 520W
CM Elite 120 + 3550 + Gigabyte H77N-WIFI + 16GB 1600MHz + HD7950 + SilverStone ST45SF 450W
Source 210 + QX6700@3GHz + Gigabye P35-DS3L + 6GB 800MHz + GTX670 + Corsair CX500W
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:58 am

Don't listen to everyone saying it can't be done on your budget. You know you're not after the next-generation dual-GPU desktop-CPU-wielding laptop, you're after something that can sustain modern games on medium-ish settings. A high-end APU will suffice, and that first Lenovo G505s that NovusBogus linked looks pretty good, as does this A10: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834312829

You might find better laptops on sale every so often. But define your uses and budget and shop to suit. Refer to benchmarks when in doubt about performance, and reviews when in doubt about quality.
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:29 pm

Duct Tape Dude: you get me. Thanks, haha.

I'm having a hard time finding benchmarks: what do you think it would take to play Dragon Age 2 at 20-30 fps on medium at 720p? Or Dragon Age Origins, now that I think about it?
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:34 pm

It's a bit bigger than I wanted, refurbished, and the resolution is higher than 720p, but what do you think about this one?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834231381

From what I can tell, the benchmarks are substantially better for this discrete GPU than the APU's.
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Re: How good are mobile graphics?

Postposted on Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:27 pm

Milo Burke wrote:It's a bit bigger than I wanted, refurbished, and the resolution is higher than 720p, but what do you think about this one?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834231381

From what I can tell, the benchmarks are substantially better for this discrete GPU than the APU's.

Specwise, that looks pretty excellent imo. The 635m will more than make up for the extra pixels it has to push. If you're ok with the physical size/weight, keyboard layout (extra slash next to return), and the fact that it's a refurb, go for it. It's no ubergaming powerhouse, but it should be able to run DA/DA2 on medium-ish settings as well.

Judging from the reviews it seems like this laptop has dropped just a few dollars in price every so often (<$600). Deals always come and go, but the bottom line is: if I had to have a laptop to play modern games on medium settings by next week I wouldn't be at all upset with this, especially at <$650. Microcenter's page on this model had excellent reviews, too.

If it suits you enough, buy when you need it. Otherwise wait and compare. Usually stores start new sales every Sunday or so.
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