I'm just about to buy a Dell 5150 when I thought I should probably double check with some people who know about these kinds of things as to how goo this video card is. It's a 64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 AGP 4x Graphics. Is this better than say a Radeon 9000 or even 9200 with the same amount of ram? What does agp 4x mean, and if this shared memory with my system, would it say '64MB shared ram?' I'd like to be able to use the computer for gaming so if the Radeon card is better I might go looking elsewhere besides Dell, though they are the only place I can actually get Everything I want for a decent price. Thanks
Edit: Thanks for the info. One more question. Can I buy a small harddrive (and saving myself $300 because of it) and then in a years time buy a faster larger one to replace the smaller one? I'm not sure on what parts of a laptop are really upgradeable. Thanks
Supposedly the Geforce Go5200 supports Direct X 9, however as of now it only supports certain parts of that version.
I own a 5150 and bought it when it first came out, and at that time they only offered the ATI Mobility 9000, and so far works great with my games. ATI generally gives off less heat and enhances battery life more than the GeForce card. The ATI 9000 uses Direct X 8.1 (but can still play Direct X 9 games, but just doesn't utilize all the functions that Direct X 9 offers)
The general consensus from people I have talked to think that the ATI 9000 is equivalent to the "newer Geforce Go5200" or even slightly better.
That being said, I don't think the Geforce 5200 is a bad card by any means. I think once they release better drivers for it, it should be okay.
AGP 4x basically is a technical aspect of the graphics card that deals with information transfer between the motherboard and the graphics card. AGP specs first started as 1x, then 2x, etc. I believe notebooks only offer 4x....newer Desktops use 8x AGP now.
Anyway, my personal opinion, the 5150 should be just fine with the GeForce Go5200. The only other card that would make a gigantic difference in gaming would be the ATI 9600 128 MB, which is only offered in the Dell 8600 series (as well as some other manufacturers) That is the ultimate gaming card for laptops
As for hard drives...you can absolutely upgrade your hard drive later on. I originally purchased a 30 GB, and recently bought a 60 GB 7200 RPM drive, and it was relatively painless to install. And you can even turn that old drive into an external drive via a 30$ USB kit.
if you would like to play directx 9 games (which are the newest games or any future games i.e. half life 2, doom3), it's better to purchase an ati radeon card. the only card for laptops that supports dx9 is the 9600, which as nesbo said is the ultimate laptop card.
if dx8 is fine (older games), 5200 or the ati radeon 9000 is fine.