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Graphics card for a college-bound PC

Question : How does the ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 256MB of memory compare with the ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 with 256MB of memory and hardware OpenGL acceleration in similarly configured laptops, as in the HP Compaq nc8430 Notebook PC and the HP Compaq nw8440 Mobile Workstation?

This computer is for college. I'll mostly be using it for Microsoft Office applications and Web browsing, but I will need decent performance for video, programming, and some engineering applications.

Answer : The FireGL line of graphics cards is the brand ATI (www.ati.com) uses for its line of professional graphics solutions suitable for CAD/CAE, 3D content creation and other professional graphics chores. FireGL graphics chips typically have additional features enabled, such as accelerated line drawing, two-surface rendering and more. These features are not used in most consumer applications, including games.

So unless you need support for an application like AutoCAD, SolidWorks or Autodesk 3ds Max, the Mobility Radeon GPU is a better fit and will probably add less cost to the laptop.



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