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Thread: X4500, fonctionality and performance

  1. #1
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    Default X4500, fonctionality and performance

    Hi everyony,

    I have an old laptop that I really love (small, lot of battery, I do
    everything with) which is an old ibook g3 600 mhz (on gentoo linux).

    But recently, I started a master in computer science, computer graphic.
    The problem is not that the laptop is slow (and it is, for raytracing or other stuffs but it's the lake of functionality of that computer (sse, SMP, hardware vertex, GPGPU, ...) so I decided to buy a new laptop.

    I want intel card (I respect Intel for their choice, want to support them, want something that work now and in 10 years).

    Apparently, every intel cards starting from X3100 have all the interesting functionalities, so the question is "X4500 or X3100" ?

    Occasionally, I play some video games (WoW, Track Mania, Diablo (diablo 3 ? ), for this I have an old desktop computer (Athlon XP 2k+, GeForce 3ti 128) which is great, but I can't take it in the train and it sound like a plane because of bad fans.

    Do you think that a X4500 chip (with a dual core and a big amount of ram) is better than my GeForce 3ti ?

    The problem is: if it is better, then I buy a powerful laptop (with X4500) (big CPU, ram, screen) and I drop my desktop. If not, I buy a low cost laptop (with X3100) and keep my desktop.

    Last question, which is subsidiary, I am looking for a light laptop, with some battery, a good CPU, fair amount of ram (>1G), good screen, REALLY good keyboard (some pain in my wrists). There is something in Lenevo T400 or Dell E serie, what do you think ?

    Correction of my English will be appreciated

    Thanks,

  2. #2
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    Do you think that a X4500 chip (with a dual core and a big amount of ram) is better than my GeForce 3ti ?
    No. Not in terms of performance.

    Right now you can purchase Intel if your priorities are stability and better power management features, not performance. And if you want stability right now I'd recommend sticking with the X3100 for the time being.

    Right now the ideal laptop for Linux is going to be a smaller business-style laptop with all-intel and with Linux pre-installed by the OEM. Even if you don't plan on using the pre-installed OS on it it's to your advantage to have a OEM provide Q/A and testing to Linux, otherwise it's always going to be a crapshoot to install Linux on any hardware unless you find somebody with identical hardware that has ran Linux on it before you did.

    If you need performance on a laptop then Nvidia is still #1, but your going to sacrifice some basic usability.

    I purchased my laptop from Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed; a Inspiron 1420n. My second choice was to go with a laptop from System76. It works well enough.

    The real killer for Dell is their coupon deals. They seem to have a new deal every month and it's first-come first serve with a limited number of coupons. Just google for 'dell coupons' and you'll find deals with laptops. The coupons apply to Linux devices even though they may be a different number, slightly.. (for my laptop the 1420 is the Windows, 1420n is the Linux version) I picked up my 1300 dollar (configured price) for 900 dollars, if I remember correctly.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag View Post
    No. Not in terms of performance.

    Right now you can purchase Intel if your priorities are stability and better power management features, not performance. And if you want stability right now I'd recommend sticking with the X3100 for the time being.
    It sound like crazy that a 7 years old card can be better than the most powerfull card from Intel...

    Aboute the X4500 and stability, you mean the chip is broken or the drivers are not yet ready ?

  4. #4
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    It just takes a while for the drivers to mature to the point were I would consider them 'stable'. By 'stable' I mean effective suspend and sleep as well as being able to run multiple OpenGL programs without locking up and that sort of thing.

    As far as performance goes your comparing a video card with dedicated RAM vs onboard that shares slow memory access with RAM. Plus the Nvidia drivers are known for their performance and efficiency while the DRI drivers currently available are pretty poor performers, even when compared to Windows drivers with the same devices.

    Hopefully with things like DRI2 and GEM stable enough for normal users they will start spending more time optimizing performance for the video cards rather then just working on new architecture and the situation will change, but right now even a old Geforce3 card is probably a match for them.

    ---------------------

    Now that I think about it a Geforce3 is very old. I forget how long ago those Geforce3 came out. Maybe the Intel stuff could be a match for it. Especially when you add a modern dual core processor to the mix.

    It would depend on the specific application though. If what your using causes a software fallback for the Intel drivers it will murder your performance.

    If you have a application that is open source or whatever that you can use to run a quick benchmark, like Blender or a game, maybe we can compare notes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag View Post
    Now that I think about it a Geforce3 is very old. I forget how long ago those Geforce3 came out. Maybe the Intel stuff could be a match for it. Especially when you add a modern dual core processor to the mix.

    It would depend on the specific application though. If what your using causes a software fallback for the Intel drivers it will murder your performance.

    If you have a application that is open source or whatever that you can use to run a quick benchmark, like Blender or a game, maybe we can compare notes.
    I don't think that there is more software fallback in a X4500 which support hardware shaders than in GeForce 3 which does not support it.

    For the benchmark, blender, a game, anything you want, just told me what i must run ?

  6. #6
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    Geforce 3 had programmable pixel and vertex shaders (1.1 version).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_3_Series

    The x3100 seems to perform about as good as my GF3Ti. Although the windows drivers are SO crappy. It crashes/hangs (on games) about as much as the current Xorg intel driver, which is still far from complete.

    (of course the silly GF 4mx didn't have them)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by szczerb View Post
    Geforce 3 had programmable pixel and vertex shaders (1.1 version).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_3_Series

    The x3100 seems to perform about as good as my GF3Ti. Although the windows drivers are SO crappy. It crashes/hangs (on games) about as much as the current Xorg intel driver, which is still far from complete.

    (of course the silly GF 4mx didn't have them)
    If the x3100 perfom as good as a GF3TI, a X4500 (which was designed by Intel to be 200% quicker than the x3100) is not so bad ?

    The fact that the driver is bugged now is not a problem for me. But can we bet for an improvment in the next few month ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by szczerb View Post
    Geforce 3 had programmable pixel and vertex shaders (1.1 version).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_3_Series
    I need to find why this had never work on my card...

    The x3100 seems to perform about as good as my GF3Ti. Although the windows drivers are SO crappy. It crashes/hangs (on games) about as much as the current Xorg intel driver, which is still far from complete.

    (of course the silly GF 4mx didn't have them)
    Ok, so if X3100 ~= GF3Ti and X4500 ~= 3 * X3100 (Intel told it...), then X4500 ~= 3*GF3Ti ??

    Is it wrong to think that the driver support will improve in the next few month and provide me with a good 3D card ?

  9. #9
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    Well It depends.

    If your using Ubuntu 8.10 and support sucks then it's probably going to remain that way until you update to the next Ubuntu release. So that's about 6-8 months.

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=6129794

    Or you can go about compiling your own custom kernel and compiling X/DRI drivers and get those improvements faster, but it's more difficult and is iffy. (you could spend a lot of time on it and have it not work out that well)

    Since your going to school for computer graphics stuff I'd probably just upgrade your desktop and hang on to your existing laptop.

    Right now Linux open source graphics are undergoing big changes to match modern hardware. Once these changes are done then performance and features will still lag behind, but they will be in a position to really start supporting modern features very well and get good performance.

    So I expect that GEM/KMS/DRI2 and such will be mostly done by the time Ubuntu has their next release. It's probably going to be another release after that until performance hardware features start to get on par with the proprietary Nvidia drivers in terms of features and compatibility.

    After the next Ubuntu release I'd see what issues people are running into and then start to seriously shop for a new laptop.

    If your very lucky then ATI stuff may have matured to the point were they are a option for a mobile graphics workstation.
    Last edited by drag; 11-19-2008 at 04:24 PM.

  10. #10
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    If you want something thats nice performing and cheap (I assume so since you are looking towards buying X4500) I suggest you take a look at Acer Aspire 4530 laptop.

    Configuration:

    AMD Athlon X2 QL-60(or whatever its called, but I know its a 65nm die CPU) 1.9GHz
    2GB Dual Channel DDR2 RAM at 667MHz
    NVidia GeForce 9100 Chipset with GF9100 GPU
    14.1" WXGA 1280x800 Screen
    Acer Gemstone Design
    Black Mat finish
    Windows Vista Home Premium SP1

    This I saw on NewEgg for 499.95$ - quite good indeed.

    However, the bad thing is that you need to buy vi$ta with this thing. See if you can find a cheaper model without windows vista, or try to refuse windows eula and get a refund, or keep it if you like windows.

    Anyway, it would make a perfect basic portable linux machine IMO.

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