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Time to say goodbye to laptops


Guyver1

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After a long trawl with Alienware UK, they finally agreed to cancel my finance agreement and take back the m9750.

I reboxed the laptop on 29th October, and after 2 letters, several emails and two 40 minute phone calls they finally agreed to cancel the agreement on the 3rd Decemeber.

I'm know about to purchase a new SLI desktop DIY rig with 2x 8800 Ultra's.

For me I wont be touching laptops ever again for my serious/competitive gaming needs. laptop vendors and nvidia need to realise that gaming laptops are not 'laptops' but desktop replacements and as such the hardware/drivers need to be as close to genuine desktops as possible to allow these machines the same freedom and flexiblity in driver updates as desktop/shuttle machines.

I will be staying on as moderator here, but will no longer be able to supply advice on laptop drivers/laptop SLI per se. I will be overseeing SLI in general as im going back to a desktop gmaing uber SLI rig :)

For those interested in what im changing to, heres the new spec (£300 cheaper but so much more powerful)

Graphics Cards

768MB Gainward 8800 Ultra, Bliss, PCI-E (x16), Mem 2160 MHz, GDDR3, GPU 612 MHz, 2 x Dual Link DVI-I

768MB Gainward 8800 Ultra, Bliss, PCI-E (x16), Mem 2160 MHz, GDDR3, GPU 612 MHz, 2 x Dual Link DVI-I

Motherboard

Asus P5N32-E SLI NF680i SLI, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX

CPU

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850, S775, 3.0 GHz, 1333MHz FSB, Conroe Core, 4MB Cache, Retail

Memory

2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12

2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 4-4-4-12

Hard Drives

500 Gb Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar SE16, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 16MB Cache, 8.9 ms

160 Gb Western Digital WD1600AAJS Caviar SE, SATA300, 7200 rpm, 8MB Cache, 9 ms

Monitor

22" Samsung SM-226BW V2 Black Widescreen LCD, 1680x1050, 3000:1, 300 cd/m2, 2 ms, VESA

Tower

CoolerMaster Stacker 830 Evolution Black Aluminium ATX/BTX w/o PSU

Power Supply

880W HiperPower HPU-4M880-PE 85% Efficiency, w/8P PCI-E, UK + EU

OS

Microsoft Windows XP PRO Edition SP2c- (Release 2) OEM - Single Pack

Peripherals

Microsoft 9VU-00004, Reclusa Ultimate Keyboard, USB 1.1/2.0, Wired, Black + Blue Neon Lighted keys

Optical Drives

LiteON DH-20A1S-18C Black 20x DVD±R, 8x DVD±DL, DVD + RW x8 / -RW x 6, DVD-RAM x12, SATA Black

Cooling components

Zalman ZM-MFC1 Plus Silver Multi Fan Controller

Zalman CNPS9700-NT nVidia Tritium Super Aero Flower Cooler

Zaward Clear 120mm Quiet Golf Fan, Blue LED

Zaward Clear 120mm Quiet Golf Fan, Blue LED

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Guest VinylPusher

I hear where you're coming from. If the forefront of gaming performance is where you need to be, you need a desktop.

I think the gap is narrowing though. Plus, advances in laptop component technology serves to drive desktop performance, efficiency and reliability. I believe laptops are outperforming desktops in terms of sales. There is current and increasing demand for ever-more-powerful laptop (or otherwise portable) machines. Where there is demand, there will be innovation.

We now have 8800's, quad-core, 800MHZ DDR2 and 7200RPM RAID0 laptops. These are good times indeed.

Give it another 4 years and the performance gap between laptop and desktop will be so negligible that the added advantage of portability will more than make up for it.

Good luck though, that's a very nice righ you have there :)

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This is why I tell you when you buy a SLI laptop MAKE SURE it uses an Nvidia nForce chipset. 3rd party SLI motherboard just can't cut the mustard with drivers.

I too feel that laptops need to be focused on more as desktop replacements but also mobile/portable computer workstations. Equality between mobile computers and set base computers (as I term desktops now) needs to be focused on. Mobile computers need not only uniform specifications like a standardized single MXM format for graphics without SubsysID variants but also Mini-PCI stardards for other equipment including audio cards, LAN/Wi-Fi, and other components.

These hardware pieces need the same focus as desktops have but in the mobile genres.

I would love to see the day you can build your own laptop PC from parts you want and not just preconfigure and order off.

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This is why I tell you when you buy a SLI laptop MAKE SURE it uses an Nvidia nForce chipset. 3rd party SLI motherboard just can't cut the mustard with drivers.

No offense, but this statement is now false. Drivers have now matured enough that people on SLi laptops without the nforce chipset can update their drivers. In fact, people WITH the nforce chipset are having more problems updating their drivers than people with the nv100 bridge chip. I think that can be attributed more to being a first gen SLi laptop than anything else. But even then, those people are also starting to be able to update their drivers.

Now it seems more like a question of what OS you are using than what chipset is installed in your laptop

Edited by Grey728
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Yes but the question is not if they are updating their drivers but when they are releasing up-to-date driver packages that actually do support the nForce-100 SLI-to-SLI bridge chip. There are vendors that do not have up-to-date non-nForce SLI compatible drivers and people are having to scour for drivers that are. Even if the 169.xx BETAs contain support for these nForce-100 chips the drivers are BETA are are not fully reliable for general purpose usage. The 169s have been known to have some serious bugs.

At best even some of the most recent SLI supporting drivers are still in the 156.xx series which is a step up but drivers from other vendors and Nvidia are in the 167.xx series for single chip cards with more bugs fixed and games supported correctly. And then who's to say when they will release anything else for a while?

Regardless of what problems are faced on nForce chipsets there is a constant factor that can not be denied. Nvidia is making drivers to fix problems.

If you've ever dealt with Intel chipsets you'll know Intel doesn't make drivers for their chipsets except their VGA and Networking stuff. They make a driver INF and Catalog file that only updates the version detected on the generic Microsoft drivers for their chipsets. If there are problems they never get fixed until either a Service Pack is released or a Service Release for Windows is placed up on WindowsUpdate.

SiS, VIA, Nvidia, AMD, ALi, and a few others all make drivers for their chipsets to some degree. Only Intel uses the Microsoft reference driver with a minor INF and catalog update and nothing else.

If anything I'd still rather use an nForce chipset SLI setup than a non-nForce SLI setup anyday.

Edited by whitetigerx7
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That's why i bought a PS3, than everybody is equal n COD4 and i can play on my 50" plasa full-HD

Notebook and gaming still has a long way to go.

What do you mean btw with "competitive gaming" ? are you just in a clan, or are you trying to make money with it?

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That's why i bought a PS3, than everybody is equal n COD4 and i can play on my 50" plasa full-HD

Notebook and gaming still has a long way to go.

What do you mean btw with "competitive gaming" ? are you just in a clan, or are you trying to make money with it?

both

I've been running the UK's longest running Unreal clan [DOA] - Disciples Of Apocalypse since January 2000 (clan est. Nov 1999)

WE're not 'pro' but we do take part in many online and LAN cups/leagues etc, some for money/prizes, some just for the competition.

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system built.

only one problem, the PSU isnt powerful enough for SLI (even tho its certified to be able to run 2 8800 ultra's) sent it back and ordered a 1100W Tagan.

BUT

I did run the system with one 8800 Ultra:

3dMark - 12404!!!

and thats with just 1 card!

Seriously, if you REALLY enjoy gaming, and you enjoy running games as their meant to be played, with full detail, full quality at native resolution of your monitor, BUY A DESKTOP!!!!

i mean this rig cost £2022. the m9750 was £2336!!!

its just NO competition at all.

ONLY buy a laptop if you travel ALOT, or you just dont have the space. It just doesnt make sense to buy a laptop to speficially play games if you have the room and you dont travel, your losing SO much performance for MORE cash!!!!

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I see a lot of DOA tags on COD4 and BF2 as well, mut be a nice community then :)

But you're totally right, value / performance wise there is no comparission between notebooks and desktops. I lso like gaming on my desktop rig with my 30" Dell better @ 2560 * 1600 then trying to look at a slide show of the same game in 1280 * 800 on my XPS-M1330

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not my [DOA] on cod4/bf2

most [DOA] you'll see on other games are other clans usually Dead Or Alive or Dead On Arrival

we only play Unreal series games.

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That's a good score with a single 8800 Ultra. I am seriously wanting to see how the nForce 630M with twin GeForce 8700M GT would compare to the 7950 GO setups used currently.

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My new Shuttle gets 12800 in '06:

E6750 @ 3.2GHz, 8x multi, 400FSB.

4GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800 4-4-4-12

EVGA 8800GT SSC 512mb (700/1730/2000)

Shuttle SP35P2 Pro (Intel P35 board)

Vista Ultimate x64

Rips through everything I throw at it, even Crysis gets a very playable 30-60FPS at all High settings @ 1920x1080 under DX9. At Very High though under DX10 I have to bump it down to 1360x768 to maintain the same framerate.

CMR DiRT at 4xAA, 16xAF, all in-game settings maxed @ 1920x1080 - 45-60FPS

Hellgate:London at 4xAA, 16xAF, all in-game settings maxed @ 1920x1080 - 60-100+ FPS

Temps are good too, my card came with the latest EVGA BIOS with better fan/temp regulation.

CPU idle: 33C

GPU idle: 54C

CPU load: 45-55C

GPU load: 75-85C

Now I can't throw in another card for SLI, but I can step up to a 9800 series card when they come out in February (crossing fingers they do come out before my step-up period expires).

And the case isn't much bigger than an Xbox 360.

Edited by ®®®
Removed Full Quotation of Previous Post
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