[Beowulf] Mobile Graphics (or lack of it)

Andrew M.A. Cater amacater at galactic.demon.co.uk
Sat Jan 21 05:45:01 PST 2006

On Thu, Jan 19, 2006 at 02:56:36PM -0600, stuffnstuff wrote:
> I know this subject isn't exactly on topic for clustering, but this board
> has proven their intelligence and skill time and again. I thought maybe you
> wouldn't mind...
Very OT, but I'll bite :) Find out what you want to use the machine for
FIRST - my laptop is mostly to get me away from the noise of my desk
with lots of computers around, to act as an MP3 player and to double as
a Windows machine for my daughter's homework.
> I am seriously looking into buying the HP zv6000, one of their standard-ish
> laptops (check
> http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_series.do?series_name=zv6000_series&catLevel=2&category=notebooks/hp_pavilion&storeName=computer_store
> for
> details). I like this one so far because it is cheap, upgradeable, and I do
> remember you mentioning something about AMD being far better than Intel (yet
> I don't have very much information on that). I am looking for a clunker that
> can think like a desktop, and the prices seem to indicate that starting low
> and upgrading like mad is the best way to go. If I was going to get this
> specific laptop today, I would opt for the fastest processor available [AMD
> Athlon(TM) 64 4000+ ( 2.4GHz/1MB l2 Cache)] and 2GB of RAM (click
> "Customize" to see all the options available).
Upgradeable probably doesn't count: people throw away machines rather
than upgrade processors. On a laptop, memory is the only thing worth 
adding after you've bought it IMHO. The premium needed to
replace a high end desktop  [3.8G Pentium / Dual core Opteron 4G memory
and 500GB disk] would be huge: people buy laptops for portability / convenience and put up with limited battery life and a high price for low spec.

> The concern is that the best graphics card available with this laptop is a
> 128MB card. Everybody seems to say that this should be the bare minimum for
> a new graphics card and we should be investing in moderate to high end 256MB
> cards (while the 512MB's are out there, they say not to go for them yet).
> Even if I wasn't into games, I would want my computer to be able to
> seamlessly display anything I might want to show, from web browsing to
> PowerPoint shows to DVD's, and I process images in programs similar to Adobe
> Photoshop to boot. HP says that this card [128MB ATI RADEON(R) XPRESS 200M
> w/Hypermemory(TM)] is plenty, but I don't know if I can believe them.
32M should be enough for most things: taking memory from shared system
memory will normally take it out of RAM.
> 1) With the additional 128MB from an unknown location, I should be good to
> go.
> 2) I should purchase a graphics card from a retailer (ATI, maybe?) and
> install it myself hoping that everything will be compatible.
Almost certainly infeasible.

> 3) Find something that could plug into the single PCMCIA slot and act either
> as additional dedicated memory or a complete graphics card.
Probably infeasible
> 4) Give up hope; "mobility' and "graphics" don't fit into one box unless I
> pay twice the starting price and then even more for the components.
See above: laptops are not desktops.
> Also, if you know a good link that can say 'Centrino is good, Celeron is
> bad" to all the latest processors out there, could you pass that along?
The useful thing about Centrino from a wireless point of view is that
Intel support their chipsets well under Linux especially the iw2100 and
2200 chipsets.

Hope this helps,


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