[LAU] Suggested video card

Joshua D. Boyd jdboyd at jdboyd.net
Tue Aug 14 10:01:54 EDT 2007

On Mon, 2007-08-13 at 23:47 -1000, david wrote:

> >> So, depending on the laptop that "schrieb david" owns,
> That's me. My laptop is too low-budget to have expandable video 
> capabilities.

The most recent Dell I saw with expandable graphics (note, they didn't advertise that you could expand them) was under $1000 new.

> I'm not planning to do any such heavy-duty work on the laptop. By the 
> time I have fluidsynth with a sound font loaded, jack, and Rosegarden 
> going, doing anything else with the system while playing a composition 
> is sufficient to interrupt the audio momentarily - particularly if I'm 
> playing from the Score editor. I blame it on the Intel graphics 
> hardware. Or maybe a 1.5GHz Celeron just hasn't enough oomph to do it 
> with Intel graphics around. And I'm not even using any kind of effects 
> or filtering.

You still haven't said what graphics you actually have.  There is a wide
range of Intel graphics out there from the i810 (I'm ignoring the older
stuff that could be gotten as a separate AGP card) to the current 965.
I doubt that you have a 800 series chip in a Celeron with that clock,
but I doubt that you have a 965 either.  But as for as I know, that
still leaves the 855G, 915GM, 945GM, and GMA 950 as options.  I can't
believe that a 945 or better is causing you your trouble, and I don't
know about the 855 or 915.  

OTOH, I wouldn't be happy with a celeron, although I've seen other
people refer to using them happily. 

> I'm planning to move the music work to either my Sempron 3000 box 
> (currently being our network server) or the "newest" addition to the 
> network, a box with a 1.8GHz Athlon (the old style "significant 
> contributor to global warming" processor). The old server box has an 
> NVidia GeForce2 MX display adapter, and 1GB of RAM. The Athlon box will 
> end up with another NVidia GeForce2 MX adapter and have 1GB RAM. They'll 
> both have much better audio cards than the laptop's Intel HDA audio!

Moving to a desktop system may be a good idea.  I would prefer to
"upgrade" which ever system I used with an ATI Radeon, but maybe you are
happy with the Nv driver.  I just bought a stack of Radeon 7200s for $5
apiece just for putting into older Linux PCs with Geforce 2MX cards.

Also, to quote from another email you sent:

> Sorry, no - I dashed that off fast, neglecting to mention that I've 
> never encountered Intel graphics on any separate card - I've seen them 
> on many many laptops and a growing number of desktop motherboards (I 
> have two such mobos here). In all cases, the Intel graphics steals 
> memory from the system.

In the Dell Inspiron P-M that I was recently seeing inside (the above
one that was under $1000 when new 1.5-2 years ago), the intel graphics
were on the motherboard and were overridden by a ATI card when present.
So, not since the original i710 have I seen Intel graphics that wasn't
on the motherboard.  It doesn't always steal RAM though.  Or maybe it is
and it does it more subtly than the ProSavage did.  In my P3 with i810
graphics, /proc/meminfo says it has 384M of RAM, just like I installed,
while Athlon with the Savage onboard graphics said that it had 608megs
installed when it was really 640megs.  When I turned off the built in
graphics on the motherboard and put in a Radeon 7200 AGP
card, /proc/meminfo now reads 640 megs.

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