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Q&A: Buying a laptop – are these graphics okay for me?

Question by Joe C: Buying a laptop – are these graphics okay for me?
Hey (: im looking for a new laptop.. as i havent yet jumped on the whole laptop band wagon and perhaps i need your help, ill brief you:

I just want to do normal things, and play mediocre games such as Counter-Strike Source, Medieval 2 Total War, Battlefield 1942 and mostly of all.. the up and coming Empire Total War.

The minimum requirements for E:TW:

Operating System: Windows XP 32(service pack 2), Windows Vista 32 OS.
Processor: 2.4 GHz Single Core Intel or AMD equivalent processor.
System Memory: 1GB RAM (XP) 2GB RAM (Vista).
Graphics Card: 256MB DirectX 9.0c compatible video card (shader 2.0 or higher).
Sound Card: Directx9.0c compatible sound card.
Windows compatible mouse & keyboard.
15 GB free uncompressed hard drive space.

http://www.totalwar.com/empire/gameinfo/news.php?n=2936

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Heres the link to the asus laptop im interested in, and here are the basic specs:
http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.204-7131.aspx

Graphics Nvidia® Geforce® 9300 256MB VRAM
Processor AMD Turion™ 64 X2 Dual-Core
Processor Cache 1Mb
Processor Model Number TL60
Processor Speed 2GHz
Hard Drive Size 250GB
Memory Size 4GB

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Nvidia® Geforce® 9300 256MB VRAM.. according to Notebookcheck, this graphics card is quite decent considering my needs, and is described: Compared to the old 8400M G, the 9300M GS has a higher core speed and is therefore faster. Modern DirectX 10 games will run only in low details and resolutions. Older DirectX 9 games, like HalfLife 2 or Far Cry run fluently in medium to high details.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-9300M-GS.9452.0.html

So.. hopefully, i reckon this is just about the laptop i need, and at a decent price (: what do you think?

thanks for any answers!

Best answer:

Answer by PhuKi
As you’ve said, the GeForce 9300M should easily run those older games.

The research you’ve done is pretty accurate. It will struggle to play Modern games like Crysis – giving playable rates only on low quality, but will very easily run older games like the Source Engine, and Battlefield 1942. However, I do warn that if you buy a computer just to meet minimum specifications, you will likely only be able to play on low quality and low resolution. If you don’t care as much for graphic details but rather care about plain gameplay, the 9300M should be just fine.

DO NOTE THAT SPECIFICATIONS LISTED BY GAMES ARE GENERALLY FOR THE DESKTOP COUNTERPART OF THE HARDWARE. The GeForce 9300M is the laptop counterpart of the GeForce 9300 (Desktop card). All laptop GPU chips are slower than their desktop counterpart due to issues of size and heat management.

For example, the 8600M GT laptop card is closer to 7600 GT desktop card than the 8600 GT desktop card.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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