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canadiantree

Laptop question for FSX

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Hi all,I bought FSX in November of 2006, installed it & removed it 2 hours later as it wasn't playable.. Or I deemed it not playable on my current laptop rig which is:Toshiba Satellite 100 TA9Intel Core2 Duo T5600 1.8 GHz2 GB RAM160 GB HDGeforce GO7600 128 MB RAM dedicatedWin XP MCEWould the following system handle FSX well with settings maxed out or close to?Laptop HP:Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 Processor @ 2.2GHz x2 (4M L2 Cache)4GB (2GB x2) PC5300 DDR2 Memory240GB/7200RPM SATA Hard drive17.0" WSXGA+ High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1680 x 1050)512MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS Dedicated Video Card Windows VistaWhat is this video card worth?With 4 gigs of RAM, is Vista ultimately a better choice than XP? I know XP is not compatible with DX 10..Any feedback would greatly be appreciated :-)Blessings,William :-)

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William,I am always sceptical when considering any notebook as a gaming machine. The trouble is with the cooling. Look at the tiny fans and the lack of space for cool air to pass underneath. I have two "desktop replacement" notebooks and in all honesty neither would replace my desktop. Even when mounted on a dual fan notebook cooler stand the machines run so much hotter than my desktop.Certainly the first system you list is going to struggle with FSX. My desktop runs FSX at 30FPS (1600x1200 res) and, by comparison, has a 640MB 8800GTS and Conroe E6700 @ 3.0GHz. I have never heard of a 128MB Geforce 7600 running FSX well.The HP notebook will fair a little better, but still an 8600 is a mid range card, and the RAM, although there is plenty of it, only runs at 667MHz, which is not the fastest. Also, do bear in mind the res. of 1650x1080 with the GPU. Its a great spec for a notebook, but may struggle to run FSX to the max, especially if 3rd party software is to feature also.Out of interest, how much is the HP notebook priced at? If it is close to US$1500 then you may be better looking at an intel dual/quad core desktop set up with something like an ATi HD3800 or Geforce 8800GT. These can be configured for around

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Hi, maybe wait until they ship with Vista SP1? That should happen soon. If XP, make sure you can get drivers for all the components. ;-) A slighty better GPU would be good indeed. It's 'only' 128-bit, limiting the possibilities. RAM-wise everything looks good. Kind regards Jaap

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Well the laptop solution is due to the fact that I am 25 & almost out of school here in France & preparing for a move back to Canada (Once I do find a job at an airport or airline lol)Is there any other laptop rig that would be better? This HP is priced at $1,300 on eBay.I don't know much about cooling, how does cooling affect performance? Or is it just a long term viability thing?Yes I know laptops overheat alot, my Toshiba more over has a very crappy battery which only now lasts 50 mins at the lowest setings...Sigh.. Maybe I should wait 'til I move. $1,500 is indeed my budget for this upgrade.Thanks for the feedback,appreciate it!Blessings,William

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Hi William, if you can wait, I would. Nvidia is coming with their second generation DX10 GPUs soon. There should be some benefits for you. Kind regards Jaap

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William,$1300 isn't a bad price for the listed spec. It's very similar to my Dell Vostro, which although listed as a business machine does carry a T7500, Geforce 8600M and the same DDRII RAM @ 667MHz. It is a powerful machine and does well in multithreading, office applications and many other CPU realted tasks, but does struggle with FSX and even more so with other 3D GPU intensive software. I find the slower hard drive and RAM (albeit 3072MB) do compare unfavourably with my desktop, running 8800GTS, E6700 and 4GB DDRII @ 800MHz. Also, bearing in mind that the Dell runs 1440x900 res, compared with 1920x1200 for the desktop. The FPS are more or less equal but smoothness, particularly when loading textures is better with the desktop.The Intel mobile CPU's are fantastic. 4MB of fast level 2 cache is definitely a bonus over the lesser 2MB C2D CPU's. However, I find the performance disproportionately favours non 3D applications. The 8600M effectively bottlenecks the CPU in 3D intensive applications.With cooling, there simply isn't enough space inside the chasis to utilise effective passing of air. Tests prove that mobile CPU and GPU temperatures run a good 10'c hotter than their desktop counterparts when under load. My CPU can run above 75'c even under moderate load. Actually, in the summer last year, I found the best method of mobile cooling was with the AC on in the car!...LOL!It's not a fair comparison between desktop and notebook though. Besides cooling issues notebooks draw considerably less power by comparison. My Dell is under 60W in office applications. No desktop will run on this. many draw 150W+ in office applications and much higher still in 3D applications. The term "desktop replacement" is ambiguous at best and, in some respects, misleading. It all depends on which desktop one is attempting to replace! The HP may handle heat fine. My Fujitsu, on the other hand, runs an AMD 64 3700 CPU @ 2.4GHz and a Radeon 9700 128MB and not only struggles with FS2004, but runs way too hot too. The fans are always blaring in any 3D applications and it frequently switches itself off under these conditions. Office and web browsing are fine however.Certainly, I take Jaap's point about the new generation Nvidia DX10 cards. Vista SP1 will no doubt help too. However, no matter how you look at it when comparing a desktop and a notebook of similar or identical clock speeds, memory, resolutions etc, then the desktop will nearly always come out on top. Its hard to find a notebook with good GPU. With a desktop one can buy a cheap machine and simply replace thee GPU with anything that fits on the motherboard, but not so easily with notebooks.The HP sounds OK to me. What is the display like? They vary with notebooks. Some good, some bad. Other than that I could suggest keeping an eye on Dell. They have had a lot of offers lately. In particular check their business machines, esp Vostro. The only difference is they are shipped with Vista business installed. The spec is the same, or better than the home machines and the prices are upto 40% less!Good to talk to you about this stuff!Scratch1964

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Agree again, the GPU risks too be too narrow. The price is really good though. With hi-end everything, you'd likely be looking at ca 2000 Euro and more! Kind regards Jaap

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Hi there,I started the above thread 3 weeks ago, thanks so much for all the info provided!OK so I actually bought 2 laptops! I am going to test FS 9 & FS X on both & resell the one that performs least.I bought an HP DV6675US with the following specs:T7250 2.0 GHz Core Duo4 GB RAM 667 MHz250 GB HD 5400 RPMGeforce 8400 GS 128 MB Dedicated (low, I know)Vista Ultimate 64I also bought a Dell Vostro 1500 with these specs:T7300 2.0 GHz Core Duo2 GB RAM 667 Mhz160 GB 5400 RPMGeforce 8600 GT 256 MB DedicatedVista Pro (32 or 64? I don't know yet...)I got them both on eBay, the HP for $949 & the Vostro for 710 Euros (around $1,100)I also plan on switching RAMs so that the Vostro gets 4 GB & see how this performs.. The thing is I know 32 bit processors don't handle 4 GB of RAM.. 2 gigs max apparently??? I don't know what is better between Vista Pro & Ultimate.. I would stick with XP if I knew it was compatible DX 10..OK so I know I shouldn't expect miracles for FS X on these. For FS 2004 do you think I will see improvement on both these machines compared to my old T5600 2 GB RAM geforce 7600 with 128 of RAM?How about FS X? Will I be able to play it at. Say medium settings?On a looks point of view.. I LOVE the hp, it is so slick looking.. Finger print reader, HP remote 250 GB hd etc... But the Vostro seems more powerful. Moreover it has a 9 cell battery as opposed to 6 with the HP..Either way I just want a playable sim.. Hopefully FS 9 maxed out? I run at around 16-20 fps with my present config on FS 9 all maxed out.. My RAM is only at 533 MHz too...Thanks so much for your time, your advice is invaluable to me!!!All the best from Paris,WilliamPS: I forgot to mention that the Dell screen is a WXGA+.. Is that above 1280 by 800?The HP is a WXGAEither way I usually play at 1280 by 800 & have no need for a better resolution? I don't see that well so I guess I don't notice the difference lol

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Hi William, FS9 works good on 128MB and great with 256MB. FSX can work OK with 256MB but ideally gets more IMHO. Particularly if you like to add stuff. You can tune FSX's RAM consumption by lowering the 'Global Texture Quality' slider. With 256MB, I for example wouldn't exceed 512x textures to start. The downside, lowering texture sizes will make things look more blurred. Kind regards Jaap

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