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Intel's 950 GMA vs. ATI Mobility Radeon X1300

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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peterpeter
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Intel's 950 GMA vs. ATI Mobility Radeon X1300

#1 Post by peterpeter » Mon May 29, 2006 7:49 am

What are the differences in perfomance? Both are weak, but which is weakest? Don't need much graphic-power, only office, internet and some DVDs. But facing vista, which should be taken? 128mb integrated or 64mb dedicated? Any experiences? I just don't understand the specs microsoft is giving. It's really urgent, I have just ordered a X60s with 1.5mb RAM and the 950 GMA! Should I better switch to a 14.1" T60 with ATI's X1300 if I want to upgrade to Vista?

THANKS! :?

grimmster
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#2 Post by grimmster » Mon May 29, 2006 8:01 am

well, yes and no. Both should run Vista just fine, but neither would probably run the new Aero user interface.

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#3 Post by peterpeter » Mon May 29, 2006 8:47 am

Thank you, grimmster! That sounds not too bad. Aero seems just to be a "style-feature"...isn't it? So should I stay with my X60s or switch to the T60? What about the optical drive, can I install a new OS from an USB-drive?

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#4 Post by darrenf » Mon May 29, 2006 10:10 am

I find the Aero discussion intriguing. It seems that people are using "Aero-capable" as a basis for purchasing a laptop, yet when it comes time to install Vista I doubt that any laptop user will run Aero. We're talking about a 3D applicaiton that *requires* 128M vidram and a late-model GPU. There are few *games* that require that and the ones that do turn your laptop into a fireball and Cut your battery life to a third Does anyone really plan to run a 3D application like that *all the time*? Not me.

-darren

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#5 Post by Luftwaffle » Mon May 29, 2006 12:48 pm

darrenf wrote:I find the Aero discussion intriguing. It seems that people are using "Aero-capable" as a basis for purchasing a laptop, yet when it comes time to install Vista I doubt that any laptop user will run Aero. We're talking about a 3D applicaiton that *requires* 128M vidram and a late-model GPU. There are few *games* that require that and the ones that do turn your laptop into a fireball and Cut your battery life to a third Does anyone really plan to run a 3D application like that *all the time*? Not me.
Only higher resolutions will require 128MB according to Microsoft's recently released reqs. 1024x768 should be fine with 64MB, and I'd wager that even 1400x1050 might work with it too as it's barely above the threshold for the number of pixels they recommend having 128MB for.

And I think you're off the mark when you say that running Aero will be equivalent to running an intense 3D game. Yes, both require a significant amount of onboard memory for storing textures - but beyond that the similarities are few. Running games consumes a lot of power and generate a lot of heat not because of the amount of video memory they consume, but because of they amount of work they require of the CPU, hard drive, display, and graphics processor itself.

Put another way...adding another gig of RAM to your machine doesn't affect battery life significantly, so why should adding more VRAM? The rate at which the video card must work to render and fill that buffer is what matters, and I don't see Aero requiring the kind of work that a 3D game does.

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#6 Post by christopher_wolf » Mon May 29, 2006 3:39 pm

Luftwaffle wrote:
darrenf wrote:I find the Aero discussion intriguing. It seems that people are using "Aero-capable" as a basis for purchasing a laptop, yet when it comes time to install Vista I doubt that any laptop user will run Aero. We're talking about a 3D applicaiton that *requires* 128M vidram and a late-model GPU. There are few *games* that require that and the ones that do turn your laptop into a fireball and Cut your battery life to a third Does anyone really plan to run a 3D application like that *all the time*? Not me.
Only higher resolutions will require 128MB according to Microsoft's recently released reqs. 1024x768 should be fine with 64MB, and I'd wager that even 1400x1050 might work with it too as it's barely above the threshold for the number of pixels they recommend having 128MB for.

And I think you're off the mark when you say that running Aero will be equivalent to running an intense 3D game. Yes, both require a significant amount of onboard memory for storing textures - but beyond that the similarities are few. Running games consumes a lot of power and generate a lot of heat not because of the amount of video memory they consume, but because of they amount of work they require of the CPU, hard drive, display, and graphics processor itself.

Put another way...adding another gig of RAM to your machine doesn't affect battery life significantly, so why should adding more VRAM? The rate at which the video card must work to render and fill that buffer is what matters, and I don't see Aero requiring the kind of work that a 3D game does.
Exactly; 128MB is more of a buffer for the GUI than anything else, overestimated at that as well. I don't know what kind of video card structure Microsoft was thinking of, perhaps a generic hardware setup. Aero really didn't put too much of a load on the system, from what I have seen; granted, it is a step up from the previous GUIs. It won't roast your Thinkpad, but it requires a significant amount of resources for its effects that will increase the load noticibly.
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#7 Post by kulivontot » Tue May 30, 2006 4:20 am

grimmster, your post is somewhat misleading. Both x1300's and gma 950's will run the aero user interface fine. Perhaps not at really high resolutions but if you're using the built in notebook display I don't think it will be a problem. I personally have installed a beta of vista with a 64 mb x1300 and had no problems whatsoever with the Aero effects, no slowdowns at all. I think it's more of an issue of having a directx 9 capable video card that can handle 2.0 pixel shaders. I don't think microsoft does that much with the interface to necessitate a whole lot of graphics ram, I think it's just that some of the effects can be done entirely by the graphics hardware if it supports certain technologies.

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#8 Post by darrenf » Tue May 30, 2006 8:03 am

kulivontot, assuming that your install was on a T60, can you comment on Vista's power consumption, either under aero or a standard theme? Do you know if the USB power bug exists under Vista?

-darren

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#9 Post by The Bard » Tue May 30, 2006 9:24 am

It seems to be a general consensus that Aero Glass will run just fine on a 14" XGA notebook with GMA 950. But what if that same notebook (a T60, for what it's worth) is being used with an external 19" LCD that runs at a 1280x1024 native resolution, such as Dell's Ultrasharp? Any opinions based on Microsoft's technical requirements?

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#10 Post by kulivontot » Tue May 30, 2006 9:33 am

darren - I have no idea if the power bug exists in Vista. The beta I used was so buggy I didn't bother testing it in a portable environment. When I used it there was a bug that would not allow the laptop to go into sleep mode properly and would continually crash explorer until rebooting.

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#11 Post by Hamid » Wed May 31, 2006 6:42 am

grimmster wrote:well, yes and no. Both should run Vista just fine, but neither would probably run the new Aero user interface.
In fact it will. The 128 MB requirement is for SXGA resolutuion, not XGA. Besides MS never mentioned dedicated memory for the graphic card. I guess for GMA you will need 1GB of RAM to run Aero Glass.
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#12 Post by darrenf » Wed May 31, 2006 9:33 am

The vidram requirement won't change (significantly) with resolution. Vidram on a 3D card is used almost entirely for texture store, so the need for more or less ram will vary with the quality and quantity of textures present in the image. The screen buffer is small by comparison. For instance, a single frame buffer at 24-bit color will require:

1024x768x3=~2.4M
1400x1050x3=~4.3M
1600x1200x3=~5.8M

so even using double-buffering, the highest resolution we can run at will require no more than 11.6M of vidram. The difference between that and XGA is only 6.8M.

-darren

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#13 Post by Mika » Wed May 31, 2006 2:22 pm

Both graphic cards are ready for Vista, but I would choose the 950 GMA for the tasks you want to do.

At first I had bought the T60 with the X1400 graphics, but the problem is, that this card produces so much heat, that the fan runs constantly.
(GPU Temp. 72 degree Celsius)

Then I exchanged it for the "small" T60 with GMA and this model is really quiet, even if you don't have "FanControl" installed.
("GPU" Temp 40 degree)

I think it is more important to have a notebook that will provide a quiet atmosphere so that you can concentrate on your work. In fact, if I think about my first choice again, I have to admit, that I definately would never had needed such a "high-end" machine and only bought it, because I thought it was quite cute.

My small T60 is fine and I'm completely satisfied.

CU
Mika

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#14 Post by whitney » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:09 pm

Mika wrote:Both graphic cards are ready for Vista, but I would choose the 950 GMA for the tasks you want to do.

At first I had bought the T60 with the X1400 graphics, but the problem is, that this card produces so much heat, that the fan runs constantly.
(GPU Temp. 72 degree Celsius)

Then I exchanged it for the "small" T60 with GMA and this model is really quiet, even if you don't have "FanControl" installed.
("GPU" Temp 40 degree)

I think it is more important to have a notebook that will provide a quiet atmosphere so that you can concentrate on your work. In fact, if I think about my first choice again, I have to admit, that I definately would never had needed such a "high-end" machine and only bought it, because I thought it was quite cute.

My small T60 is fine and I'm completely satisfied.

CU
Mika
Thanks for the data...I didn't realize the heat differential was that great and will have to reconfigure/consider that before I place my order. That's warm 72C/162F...

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#15 Post by christopher_wolf » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:24 pm

Just remember that there is no guarantee when it comes to "quiet" or "warm" versus loud or hot. A good deal of that is user-subjective.

And I am a bit curious as to why that X1400 ran at 72 Degrees Celsius, that is *not* normal operating temperature for that card; loaded with a 3D application, maybe at the hig-end end of that range...but not for its idle state.
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#16 Post by astro » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:22 pm

whitney wrote:
Mika wrote:At first I had bought the T60 with the X1400 graphics, but the problem is, that this card produces so much heat, that the fan runs constantly.
(GPU Temp. 72 degree Celsius)
Thanks for the data...I didn't realize the heat differential was that great and will have to reconfigure/consider that before I place my order. That's warm 72C/162F...
For the record, it's a mixed bag.

My X1400 (14.1") runs at 62-63C idle. The fan is OFF about 50% of the time, but it is quite cold in this part of Australia at the moment.

When I play Counter-Strike, it gets to 71C.
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whitney
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#17 Post by whitney » Thu Jun 08, 2006 6:23 pm

[b]christopher_wolf[/b] wrote:Just remember that there is no guarantee when it comes to "quiet" or "warm" versus loud or hot. A good deal of that is user-subjective.

And I am a bit curious as to why that X1400 ran at 72 Degrees Celsius, that is *not* normal operating temperature for that card; loaded with a 3D application, maybe at the hig-end end of that range...but not for its idle state.
Thanks, christopher_wolf. So what mean temp should you expect from X1400? I was config w/ x1300 64MB, because it was already configured that way in model 2623D6U...looked for a GMA equipped GPU w/ that specification and didn't see it; however, if you're right, then I should see what temps with an ATI X1300 in that model?...suspect it's to be cooler than the X1400.

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#18 Post by christopher_wolf » Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:41 pm

It should have been within the range of the [38°C, 55°C] from what I have seen; also, the standard operating temperature for the T60 is around 35°C...I very much doubt that the X1300 could operate, unloaded and at idle, at 72°C for a period of time and not end up raising the system temps considerably. Something was not right with that system I should imagine.
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/~o ---ELO from "Yours Truly 2059"

schaffeb
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#19 Post by schaffeb » Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:18 pm

Just a heads up regarding these two cards. If you use the DVI on the advanced mini dock the x1300 can drive a dell 24" flat panel at 1920 x 1200 whereas the gma950 can't.

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