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I've been considering getting a laptop, but i'm confused. How does a mobile video card differ from one found in a PC*? I've heard something about it sharing memory. How significantly would this impact performance? Will i still be able to play Oblivion on a 256mb mobile video card?

*Everyone who says "it can move" or anything similar get's dickwhipped.
 

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laptops differ than most conventional desktops as the Video card is integrated onto the mainboard (some desktops are like this too). They generally will share system memory so your system will have less overall. You might end up with a less powerful chip in order to save on heat output and battery consumption.
 

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The biggest thing about anything for laptops is making it compact enough to fit in there. This results in anything that is decently powerful (ie. equivalent to what you'd have in a home pc in terms of performance) being very expensive -- or more liable to failure if you cheap out. Yes you can get your laptop to perform as well as most 'mid-level' gaming rigs, but it will cost you easily 3 times as much as the home gaming pc did. It also becomes less of a laptop, since the heat generated will be quite uncomfortable.
 

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yep hes right just get an alienware i got a 15x and it has never caused a problem if run oblivion off of 256mb let me also try fallout3:D
 

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Playing games will be the most problematic area with a laptop <graphic> "card". If you are going to play games newer than 2005, you don't want to do so on a laptop with one less that doesn't have a dedicated card and with at least 128MB dedicated memory.

As said above, most laptops use the system RAM (shared) not their own. That system RAM is much slower than true video RAM. It's also a slower path to the graphics processor and used by the rest of the system which means other things take priority over graphics.

The only other reason to worry about laptop graphics is if you are editing video. The programs used to do the editing/converting formats use the GPU (graphics processing unit) instead of the CPU. However, if you aren't doing too many videos, then even the card in a $500.00 laptop will suffice.

If most of what you're doing is web browsing, email, music, PLAYing movies, word processing/etc., then any laptop's graphics card will be fine. I have an old Winbook Si 600mHz P3 laptop with a 4MB ATI card my daughter uses for general stuff. About the only thing she uses her desktop for is to play WoW.
 

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if you can find a graphics adapter card to fit in a notebook's pcmcia slot you wouldnt have to use the onboard gfx card which almost always sucks. laptops dont make for good gaming systems unless you really put a lot of money into them.

sidenote, buffman can i see some more pics of that car in your sig? that thing is lookin good!
 
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