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Thread: Laptop - Dedicated Graphics or Integrated ?

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    Laptop - Dedicated Graphics or Integrated ?

    I am in the market for a laptop. This would be used to process my photos and the occasional watching of video.

    I am wondering if a laptop with integrated graphics would be sufficent (as they are cheaper than ones with a dedicated graphics card) ?

    The laptop would be one of the new 'Sandy Bridge' Intel models.
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    Dedicated. In my experience (others may well disagree) integrated graphics makes laptops useless as anything much more than a decent word processor, especially after a year or two when the world has moved on. The sandy bridges are notably better than their predecessors in the integrated graphics department, but if your forking out for a good processor, it's only fair to go a little bit further and see the real rewards that dedicated graphics card machines can offer.

    It's not really necessary for movies, but you'd want it for doing any real post processing work.

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    An integrated graphics card will share your system memory, grab one with a dedicated card.

    There are some pretty good specials around at the moment on Laptops with the i5 Sandy Bridge CPU's and Dedicated Cards, shop around and you should be able to pick one up at a good price
    Cheers, Brad




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    My advice would be to NOT get a laptop for photo processing.

    They are just not designed for it. The monitors have a too small viewing angle, and changing the angle will change the colour temperature of the photo you're trying to edit. It can be extremely frustrating when you press print and your results on paper look nothing like what you're looking at on the screen.

    Pc Monitors can be colour corrected so that print and display are almost identical.

    Add to this the inability to overclock a laptop once it gets a bit long in the tooth as well. Overclocking can be quite a simple matter today, using nothing more then a program downloaded from your motherboards website and another one from your vid card's website. (they can be done seperately)

    The final thing I'm going to say is that my partners acer laptop came straight out of box with win7 and 98 processes running.
    I haven't gotten to formatting it and re-installing a fresh copy to find out how many less there would be, but vista was about 32 processes from a clean install. (the more processes the slower she goes) First thing installed was an antispyware program (can't remember which one) which actually found spyware installed by acer to track usage!

    Buyer beware!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by finn View Post
    The laptop would be one of the new 'Sandy Bridge' Intel models.
    Check out the specs either way for the graphics capabilities.
    But BEWARE: The Jun 2011 Australian Personal Computer magazine, Technotes, P10, tells how to be really sure you are getting a "new Sandy Bridge" model.
    Here are some articles from APC on Sandy Bridge models. The caution part is the last article.
    Am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Dedicated graphics is always better than integrated. It takes the load off your cpu which frees it up for other processing.

    As others have mentioned your better off having a PC for processing images unless portability and a major factor..
    Laptops, compared to desktops, are underpowered for the price you pay (premium for having a portable form factor).
    Cheers
    H.B

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    Dedicated graphics, no question about it. When I bought my laptop, I had the store run a performance index simultaniously on all the machines in my price range. The machines with dedicated graphics creamed the integrated graphics machines.

    Also note that not all dedicated graphics are as good as each other, but one thing for certain, the worst integrated graphics is better than the best without.
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    Dedicated. However note that graphics processing uses MAINLY CPU, and only a bit of GPU.
    Thus just a basic dedicated graphics is enough, no need to get the monsters.

    There's a lot of misinformation around. Photo processing does NOT offload to GPU, in the way 3D games do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    There's a lot of misinformation around. Photo processing does NOT offload to GPU, in the way 3D games do.
    True, however CS5 and onwards are introducing accelerated features that utilise the GPU, which will become more common place and varied as the program continues to develop and make use of more resources where possible.
    Last edited by crf529; 17-05-2011 at 2:09pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    My advice would be to NOT get a laptop for photo processing.

    They are just not designed for it. The monitors have a too small viewing angle, and changing the angle will change the colour temperature of the photo you're trying to edit. It can be extremely frustrating when you press print and your results on paper look nothing like what you're looking at on the screen.

    Pc Monitors can be colour corrected so that print and display are almost identical.

    Add to this the inability to overclock a laptop once it gets a bit long in the tooth as well. Overclocking can be quite a simple matter today, using nothing more then a program downloaded from your motherboards website and another one from your vid card's website. (they can be done seperately)

    The final thing I'm going to say is that my partners acer laptop came straight out of box with win7 and 98 processes running.
    I haven't gotten to formatting it and re-installing a fresh copy to find out how many less there would be, but vista was about 32 processes from a clean install. (the more processes the slower she goes) First thing installed was an antispyware program (can't remember which one) which actually found spyware installed by acer to track usage!

    Buyer beware!!!
    ummm a lot of professionals including myself use Macbook Pros connected to external monitors for both home and office editing suites. I can guarantee you that my machine with only 8gb of Ram and solid state drive and i7 is very fast at running LR3 and CS5 simultaneously with a movie or game and facebook and other web stuff opened too, across 3 monitors at once.

    Calibration of monitors, and even types of monitors too for editing is another thread in itself already.

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    Calibration of monitors, and even types of monitors too for editing is another thread in itself already.
    agreed, but when you read the original post it says nothing about extra monitors or solid state drives, and i quote:

    I am in the market for a laptop. This would be used to process my photos and the occasional watching of video.
    hence my advice.

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    the new i3 processors have a intergrated graphics chip in them and are no slouch so if your looking for a laptop i would start there

    in saying that i wouldn't get a laptop with a dedicated graphics card cause if i needed a dedicated graphics card id rather have it in my desktop

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    agreed, but when you read the original post it says nothing about extra monitors or solid state drives, and i quote:



    hence my advice.
    I find your advice flawed - I am not questioning the OP, but I am questioning your advice about laptops IN GENERAL not being able to handle editing, as plenty of amateurs and professionals use laptops with external monitors for editing and general usage now. What is a PC monitor u mentioned? Isnt that just any monitor connected to a PC or laptop or Mac? Great advice about overclocking too, especially if the OP doesnt know that it will void the warranty in case of failures as Intel/AMD condones it?

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    Member crf529's Avatar
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    Overclocking old PC's is virtually pointless. Unless you go out and spend $200+ on cooling, with the new generation of processors running quite warm, the gain before they melt is negligible.

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    Thanks for everyones feedback.

    I will opt for a new core i5 (sandy bridge) laptop with integrated graphics. From what I have researched, the integrated graphics in the new 'sandy bridge' Intel CPUs is quite impressive - which will handle at least review of images and minor post production work.
    I agree that a dedicated graphics card, will not offload image editting to the GPU as much as say watch video or 3D gaming. This should suffice.

    For any serious work, I still have a home computer (with a dedicated graphics card) should there be a need for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crf529 View Post
    Overclocking old PC's is virtually pointless. Unless you go out and spend $200+ on cooling, with the new generation of processors running quite warm, the gain before they melt is negligible.
    I find your advice flawed - I am not questioning the OP, but I am questioning your advice about laptops IN GENERAL not being able to handle editing, as plenty of amateurs and professionals use laptops with external monitors for editing and general usage now. What is a PC monitor u mentioned? Isnt that just any monitor connected to a PC or laptop or Mac? Great advice about overclocking too, especially if the OP doesnt know that it will void the warranty in case of failures as Intel/AMD condones it?
    Ok, without starting a flame-war and taking over a thread here, I'd like to point out that:

    A) I said long in the tooth, as in out of warranty (processors only come with a 12 month manufacturers warranty)
    B) Unless you spend Mega$$ on a laptop they come standard with a 5200rmp HDD, not a 7200 as is standard with desktops.
    B) Stock cooling can be fine for overclocking, assuming you do it sensibly. My core2 2.13 has been running at 2.3 since the day I got it and all on stock cooling.
    C) If you're paying $200 on air cooling, you're being ripped off. Even the Thermaltakes and Coolmasters better air cooling devices run to about $70-$80.
    D) I could go into the various different types of flat pannel monitors available on the market, but keeping it relavent to the ops original post, any of them are going to be better for the job at hand then a laptops (Built In) Monitor.

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    Member crf529's Avatar
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    Not keen for a war of words either, but going off your points:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    A) I said long in the tooth, as in out of warranty (processors only come with a 12 month manufacturers warranty)
    B) Stock cooling can be fine for overclocking, assuming you do it sensibly. My core2 2.13 has been running at 2.3 since the day I got it and all on stock cooling.
    You can overclock on stock cooling, but my point is worth. For a processor that is 12+ months old, your 2.13 - 2.3 GHz boost seems pointless, in that time the world has moved on with more cores and higher speeds to shame your .17 boost (which isn't even really a moderate clock). I don't doubt you can do it, but if that is the application then I don't see it as an element even worth considering in a new purchase, more a 'nice to have' down the track if that's the route you go anyway.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rattus79 View Post
    C) If you're paying $200 on air cooling, you're being ripped off. Even the Thermaltakes and Coolmasters better air cooling devices run to about $70-$80.
    Air cooling is pointless for any actual OC'ing, and the $70-$80 units are a nice way to waste your money. You can put your CPU under water now'a'days for a $200 starting price, that's the cheapest you can do it for, but that's the only option if you want to actually OC.

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    I will concede the point on overclocking, as the new i7's and i5's do it automatically in the background straight out of the box, but i suggest you have a look at coolmasters v10 Hybrid Air cooler. If I wasn't so cheap I'd have this and be hitting the 3.2 gig mark. ($130), and larkooler have water kit that starts at $140

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