Hello all, Ive been playing STO since launch on the basic video settings, but Ive notice when watching the films on the season 1 or 2 previews the ship explosions look great. I went into the game option for video and when I increase the graphics, though everything looks great now, the game speed crawls.
I have an ASUS model N80Vb laptop running windows 7 Ultimate. 4GB of RAM, Intel Centrino 2 duo @ 2.0GHz T6400, 64 bit OS, Video card is a nvidia GeForce 9300m GS 512MB.
Unfortunately increasing the graphic detail is always going to slow down the speed of the graphics unless you spend money on a dedicated video card that's made to handle it. To get the best bang for your buck consider cards similar to the Nvidia ones I'm listing; 9800 GTX, GTS 250 or higher, or GTS 450 or higher. Basically the first numbers mean little. It's the 2nd number that gives you an idea on how good the card is i.e. a GTS 250 is much faster then a GTS 410.
You have a dedicated video card, yes, but it is a mobile video card, and as such has less power and memory than a similar desktop model.
Also in my experience Centrinos aren't exactly powerhouse chips; they're more business-class processors.
You'd just have to play around.
Anyway, here's some of the settings in the Video list that you could try fiddling with. Keep in mind, don't change these all at once; change them incrementally and one at a time, because otherwise you could end up crashing the game or hard-locking the video driver and need to reboot.
Shadows (should be off)
Max Physics Debris
Visual FX Quality
I'll just have to swap out the car with a newer one.
Yeah, which would be a great plan if you didn't have a laptop. Most laptops video cards are soldered add-ons to the motherboard and are not removable/upgradable. Maybe you have the exception to the rule, but its unlikely.
Also, most really good video cards (like a really nice Nvidia 460GT, or to some extent the older 9800 GT) are going to have built in fans that will make the card too big to fit in a laptop. My 460GT covers over two card slot on my PC due to the width of the fans, If your laptop had a bus to accept the card (not likely), room to house it (probably not), it'd still run too hot because there isn't enough air flow inside a laptop case.
Your final stumbling point will be the power supply. The nice newer cards need a fairly robust power supply to power them and the built in fans.
So, to summarize, you won't have anything better than meh graphics if using a laptop to play most PC games unless you buy a gaming laptop (alienware maybe?) and those things aren't practical laptops for anything but gaming.