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-   -   External Graphics Card for Laptop (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=196020)

Archived Post 01-03-2011 05:34 PM

External Graphics Card for Laptop
 
Here's the short story of my "problem." I used to have a custom gaming rig that ran STO at all its highest settings without problem. For various reasons I got rid of it and got a maxed out Sony Vaio F-series. Basically what is wrong is that the video card, while it has more video RAM, is a mobile version of a video card and that is limiting performance. It's working, and working relatively well. But now I have to run the graphics at a notch down, and I'd love to get back to the really shiny version!

So I was wondering if anyone had ever personally or known anyone who has used an external graphics adapter for their laptop. One of the ones, in particular, that I've found is this one:

ViDock
http://www.villageinstruments.com/ti...hp?page=ViDock

Any ideas, comments, suggestions, thoughts, etc. on this or similar product?

Archived Post 01-03-2011 05:53 PM

Heh, that's the first time I've heard of that. Pretty cool.

Back when I had to game on a laptop, I felt good about it. Those things use hardly any power at all. It's karma points to do that! :p You get a "save the planet" accolade if you game enough using a mobility card. The game knows...

Not really, but wouldn't that be a sweet accolade?! It could give you a custom leaf bikini uniform for the Orions or something. :D

Archived Post 01-03-2011 07:13 PM

You'd better download a new video card!

Archived Post 01-03-2011 08:14 PM

Hmm, interesting. . . never heard of it before either.

The thing is it means you'll have to drop another $500-$600 or more for the device, video card and a monitor to get a little more performance. Plus I expect there will be latency between the laptop and the monitor so you may end up not gaining much at all. May be wrong, but I doubt it.

Doesn't really seem cost effective. You may as well have bought a good desktop for that extra cash.

Archived Post 01-03-2011 11:23 PM

I just got rid of my 4 year old gaming laptop. It was able to play STO fairly well, so long as I turned off dynamic lighting and either kept AA and AF off or on their lowest settings. The biggest problem was the amount of heat running STO caused. It wasn't uncommon to see CPU core temps (on an Intel Core2 Duo) in the mid to high 80's, and the GPU ran hotter than that.

I built the new machine around a GTS250, and STO runs with maxed out settings at 1680x1050 with good FPS.

If I didn't have the option of getting the GTS250 for $65 after rebates, I probably would've gone with a better card. But, the point is you can build a computer that can handle most MMOs at relatively high settings for well under $1000. If you don't mind a trade-off here and there, you can do it for around $500 if you're patient enough to wait for sales.

I've seen the Vi Dock; it works well enough. There is some latency when compared to an onboard or discrete (on the mobo) card, but it's not as noticable as if you were using USB or Firewire. It's something I would only use if I didn't have the option of having a desktop PC.

Archived Post 01-04-2011 08:56 AM

This ViDo looks good in theory. But I fear that the USB 2.0 bandwith (~50MByte/s) is too low. The PCIe has a bandwith of ~500 MByte/s. If you need to copy a moderate amount of textures, around 400 MByte into the GPU's memory then you have a massive lag (8 sec instead of 0,8 sec).
USB 3.0 will not have that bottleneck, but USB 2.0 does at the moment.

Archived Post 01-05-2011 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pendra37 (Post 3262695)
This ViDo looks good in theory. But I fear that the USB 2.0 bandwith (~50MByte/s) is too low. The PCIe has a bandwith of ~500 MByte/s. If you need to copy a moderate amount of textures, around 400 MByte into the GPU's memory then you have a massive lag (8 sec instead of 0,8 sec).
USB 3.0 will not have that bottleneck, but USB 2.0 does at the moment.

The dock uses an Expresscard card to connect to the laptop. Expresscard does support PCIe connection speeds. That being said, you will still get come performance degradation when using something like this.


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