When shopping for a laptop with a mid range graphics card, ala the x1600, is it advisable to choose the laptop with the screen that has a lower resolution?
Laptop#1 15.4" screen, 1280x800, x1600 256mb
Laptop#2 15.4" screen, 1440x900, x1600 256mb
All the rest of the specs being the same would laptop #1 play games more fluid and at higher detail settings? Or could you scale down the resolution on Laptop #2 and play the games at the same detail while retaining native resolution like quality?
I think I know the answer, but I just wanted to make sure.
Depends. Yes, the first laptop would play more games more fluid at the full resolution. But that's not for all games. Quake 3 would play maxed out on either of them You can also just deal with the interpolation of scaling a lower resolution to the 1440x900 screen, especially since most cards will scale without changing the aspect ratio any more (FINALLY!). It depends on whether you think you'll need the extra desktop space of the 1440x900, and if you think the pixels would be too tiny I'd be inclined to go with the higher res myself if I were going to get a 15.4". I had a 1280x800 in a 15.4". While it was a nice laptop overall, the pixels always just seemed too big to me. I'm getting a 1280x800 in a 14.1" factor next.
This really depends on the game itself as Pitabred posted. Generally, the X1600 is powerful enough that it can play most games at a 1440x900 (keep in mind a lot of games don't support that resolution, but they can be made to - www.widescreengamingforum.com), but with the exception of some newer games (Oblivion, FEAR).
If possible, I would go for the WXGA+ (1440x900) screen. You'll appreciate the extra screen real estate when it comes to web surfing and other general tasks.
Well with a modern game that just came out yes the first would play more smoothly. Granted you could take the 2nd down to the same res, but lower then native res looks like poo. But the x1600 is a beefy card so it will be able to handle that res in most games.