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Thread: Do I need a Graphic Card?

  1. #1
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    Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Hi friends,
    I own a Dell Inspiron 14 inch laptop with 1GB ATI Radeon 5xxx series graphic card.

    I want to buy a new laptop and I have certain queries regarding graphic cards.
    I don't play games(puzzles only) and don't do video editing. Mostly I do development work (android development, web development), access internet, watch movies, songs and normal stuffs.

    Recently I found issue with Kubuntu 12.04 that if I don't install graphics driver my system gets heated up, it was no big deal and I installed ATI driver by this tutorial.
    Again when I tried to use same method in 12.10 I faced lot of issues, so right now I am using 12.04.2 only.

    This made me think, whether I really need a graphic card or not? Till now the laptops I am considering are:
    Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 and Dell XPS. (I really like Lenovo one, it is pretty powerful)
    Lenovo is supplied with Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000s and Dell XPS is with some NVidia card (I heard that Nvidia doesn't support graphcis on linux very well).

    Also what is the difference between two graphics cards I mentioned above? Are they just two graphics card from different vendors, or there is something more difference?

  2. #2
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    I doubt you need the nvidia card then. It'll probably be a waste of money when you could get a better processor, more ram, or a solid state drive. I have the nvidia 650m with graphics switching to intel 4000. I've had the drive for the nvidia card installed in ubuntu and I only ever notice a difference between the two when if I play graphics intensive games. Spend the money on a solid state drive, you'll love it!

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Quote Originally Posted by nwalkey View Post
    I doubt you need the nvidia card then. It'll probably be a waste of money when you could get a better processor, more ram, or a solid state drive. I have the nvidia 650m with graphics switching to intel 4000. I've had the drive for the nvidia card installed in ubuntu and I only ever notice a difference between the two when if I play graphics intensive games. Spend the money on a solid state drive, you'll love it!
    I don't think Lenovo is supplying SSD, but Dell is giving 500GB SSD and 512GB SATA HDD

    Hmm.... looks like I have to look into other models as well.

    God!! SSD's are very costly, are they worth the money?
    Last edited by c2tarun; February 27th, 2013 at 08:04 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    SSD's are very costly, are they worth the money?
    Personally, I don't think they're worth the money in a laptop if you have a 7200RPM hard disk. Unfortunately, Z580 only uses 5400RPM disks.

  6. #6
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Is Thinkpad L530 available in India? It looks almost perfect. The only things I'd change on it are adding another 4GB SO-DIMM of RAM** and maybe increasing the HD size a bit.

    **Note: at least in USA, Lenovo offers this as an option, but the price they ask ($80) is ridiculous when you can get a brand-name, compatible module for ~$30

  7. #7
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    SSD's are very costly, are they worth the money?
    They totally are, just don't get a massive one and it won't be so costly. I got a 128gb ssd for the same cost as my 500gb ssd in my laptop. The 7500rpm drive spinning up to get some data off it is the most noticeable bottleneck while doing almost any task on my laptop... You can tell the difference even loading large file trees in nautilus.

  8. #8
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    does the issue remain if you use the provided tool to install the drivers?

    you probably don't need a dedicated graphics card. built in intel 4000 are quite good chips. and since you are not gaming with it...

    is the notebook necessary because you travel a lot?
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  9. #9
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Quote Originally Posted by Temüjin View Post
    Is Thinkpad L530 available in India? It looks almost perfect. The only things I'd change on it are adding another 4GB SO-DIMM of RAM** and maybe increasing the HD size a bit.

    **Note: at least in USA, Lenovo offers this as an option, but the price they ask ($80) is ridiculous when you can get a brand-name, compatible module for ~$30
    They don't have L530 here but there is L520, it looks promising, except it has 1GB ATI graphic card in it I don't think I'll get any powerful laptop without graphic card.


    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
    does the issue remain if you use the provided tool to install the drivers?
    What do you mean by tool?

    you probably don't need a dedicated graphics card. built in intel 4000 are quite good chips. and since you are not gaming with it...

    is the notebook necessary because you travel a lot?
    I don't travel a lot, and in case if I have to travel, I can take my existing notebook. Hmm... I can also consider PC's or all-in-one desktops thanks.


    OK, I took your advice and started looking into Desktop-all-in-one's and Lenovo really don't have any high end configuration in this category. I checked Dell, I am able to customize a pretty decent PC without graphic card in reasonable price.
    The Dell Online Store_ Build Your System without dedicated graphics.pdf
    They are also giving me 7200RPM hard disk.

  10. #10
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    Re: Do I need a Graphic Card?

    Quote Originally Posted by c2tarun View Post
    They don't have L530 here but there is L520, it looks promising, except it has 1GB ATI graphic card in it I don't think I'll get any powerful laptop without graphic card.
    Wait a minute, what do you mean by, "I don't think I'll get any powerful laptop without graphic card"? Judging by the sentence that comes before, it seems that the laptop does have a graphics card, so why the unhappy emoticon?
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