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akira_lee

The right laptop for game development

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hi, i'm new here, and i'm sorry that i didn't know where else this topic belongs. i'm currently looking for a laptop that'll be used primarily to develop games. (currently, i'll be working on ogre). i'm looking for something that is not too thick (relatively thin) and powerful enough for development purposes. i was looking into vaio notebook. has anyone experienced with them yet? is it good enough? thanks for the help

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I haven't used any Sony laptops, but my girlfriend has a Dell Dimension XPS with GeForce 6800GT and I use it all of the time to test my OpenGL 2.0 / GLSL applications. A sweet machine indeed.

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cool. i'll check it out. do you know what's a good cpu for mobile intel? i've always a fan for amd, but for laptop, i think i'll get intel. i don't know whether celeron, pentium, or even now they have "solo"?
also, if i decide not to get the high-end graphics card, what's the decent graphics card type for laptop?

thanks

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I have a VAIO 4 lbs laptop with a ATI 9700 I think chipset... Seems to handle most things okay... Especially development wise.

Someone I work with bought it with the Nvidia chipset... And this does about the same... But it is much noisier.

I have another laptop with a built in Intel graphics chipset. And that chugs along...

I would look into the graphics chipset as a priority, for game development.

For me I wanted to get a decent graphics chipset into a portable solution... The 4lbs sony one was about the only option.

I love playing pwning in video games and telling them I play on a 4 lbs laptop...

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I had a HP/Compaq nx9600, with a 17' wide screen and a Radeon X600 it worked like a charm.
Luck!
Guimo

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This really depends on what you plan on developing.

It is a very bad idea to develop (meaning debug, profile, and run) high-end graphic games on laptops. Fortunately, if you have to ask the question then you aren't writing high-end graphics games. [smile]

Assuming you fill the box with enough memory for your IDE, debugger, and any other tools you may need, you should be fine with most systems out there today.

You mentioned a concern being 'thin'. A Windows development machine has only one concern these days: Memory. Lots and lots and lots of memory. The form factor of the box has nothing to do with development.

If you decide to stick Windows XP and VS2005 on the box, you better have at least 1.5GB of ram on the box, 2GB would be my suggested minimum. Filling it out with 4GB would be my recommendation assuming you can afford it.

It seems to be a rule that every new round of development tools needs to use twice as much RAM as the version before it.

XP can consume 128+MB just in the services installed by default. The VS2005 help system (dexplore) can have a memory footprint around 300MB when it has open enough windows for it to be useful. Once I really start debugging, my copy of VS2005 likes to sit around 800MB in memory. That's not including the memory of the application. If you start leaving apps up like Office Outlook you get another 70+MB, and it always likes to leave Word open in the background taking another 25+MB of space giving another 128MB just so you can see when your boss emails you. Keep a copy of firefox up so you can run the occasional Google search and it will want anywhere from 50MB to (the peek I've seen) 400MB.

That's the full 1.5GB, and it don't even have the application I'm debugging on there running yet. The alternative is to wait around for ages as your disk swaps, but that's just a stupid way to waste time. [evil]

Buy memory. Lots and lots of memory. Then ask if they will give you a memory upgrade and some memory on the side.

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Skoobydoo, which vaio do you have? i assume it IS possible to change the graphic chipset on laptop right? cause i really want the geforce ones...:)

frob, i'm planning (at least for now) to make 3d games using either game engine like irrlicht or 3d rendering engine like ogre. yea i guess i'll probably get a higher end graphic chip. i'm planning to run gentoo linux on it though. nothing else. i have xp running on my desktop already.

anyone know, which of the following mobile nvidia chip is good?
[url=http://www.nvidia.com/page/mobile.html]http://www.nvidia.com/page/mobile.html[/url]

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Laptops are great for development if you are moving around a lot (doing consulting/contract job, showing demo etc.). If you get a "desktop replacement" laptop, you can get latest and greatest graphic card etc.
The limiting factor is money - desktop replacement cost 50-100% more than desktop.
Here is some 17"LCD desktop replacement:
Sager 9750/Clevo - dual core Athlon FX60/GF7800GTX/2Gb RAM/RAID
http://www.pctorque.com/sager-9750-gaming-computers.php
Dell Precision M90 - Core Duo/up to 4Gb RAM/QuadroFX 2500M 512MB(Quadro version of GF7900GTX)
http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/precn_m?c=us&cs=555&l=en&s=biz
Dell Inspiron 1705e (Core Duo/GF7800/2Gb RAM)
Clevo M570U 19"LCD Dual GeForce in SLI configuration

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