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Laptop Gaming Guidelines 
Published 2006/6/13
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When considering the specs for an awesome gamer, five considerations are of paramount importance if you want to get the maximum effect out of the gaming experience. Let's take a brief look.

Processor:
Don't settle for anything less than a Pentium 4 1.6Ghz. Anything slower will bog down your gameplay dramatically, especially graphics-intensive titles. If you can afford it, go with a Pentium 4 2.8GHz or above that employs Intel's Hyper-Threading technology.

System RAM:
Minimum 512MB. Period. Again, anything less will slow you down. If you can swing for 1GB of RAM, you'll love the difference it makes in response time.

Hard Drive:
At least a 40GB hard drive spinning at 7200 RPM. 5400 RPM is okay, but the 7200 RPM is better. If you can manage a 60 or 80GB drive...go for it. With gaming, bigger is always better.

Graphics Card:
Look for the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 or 9700 Pro with 128MB of VRAM (video RAM). Another excellent card is the Nvidia GeForce Go 5700, also with 128MB of VRAM. The high-end cards also offer 256MB of VRAM as an option. Whichever graphics weapon you choose, you're machine will never fail to please you while you zap those invading aliens or save the world from unwarranted carnage.

Display:
As mentioned above, a 15-inch screen is great, with 16 or 17 top-end. WXGA is acceptable, with WSXGA and WUXGA still better. Solid resolutions are (1280x800), (1680x1050), and (1920x1200).

As a final note, there are laptop manufacturers who specialize in laptop gaming machines. Alienware and VelocityMicro are good examples. But, don't rule out the mainstream manufacturers whose product lines now include laptops suitable for desktop replacement and some of these models make excellent laptop gaming machines. And the price is not quite as breathtaking. Just look for models that feature video cards from ATI or Nvidia and offer at least 64MB of VRAM.


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