Improve laptop game performance?

Toshiba Satillite A105-43
September 10, 2008 at 09:42:42
Specs: xp media ctr. ed. ser. pa, 1 G
Hi Guys/Gals,
There seems to be a lot of really technically smart people helping people like me who have limited computer knowledge on this site so I am hopeful that someone will shed some light on my options. I just like to play microsoft simulator games and train simulator games by other manufactures. The games tend to jump a bit and the screen image quality is not as clear as it could be. A tech friend of mine said my Laptop has a poor quality graphics card (Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 with 8-128MG dynamically allocated/shared graphics memory) and that is the problem. He said that it is not practical to replace the card as it is part of the motherboard on the laptop. He said I may get some improvement by repacing the system ram. I am planning to upgrade my computer ram from 1G to 4G using 2 sticks of G. Skill 2G DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) laptop memory with the heat spreaders, which is already confirmed as correct for my laptop and it is also the maximim ram limit for my laptop. Do you think the ram will help improve performance? Do you know of any other download or improvement that could be made to improve the image clarity and smoothness and overall performance of the games I like. I really am limited by space and money, to using only this laptop. A desktop computer is not an option. Overall, this is a very good laptop, and I do like it a lot.
Thank you kindly for helping an old fart that likes trains.

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#1
September 10, 2008 at 10:42:39
"A tech friend of mine said my Laptop has a poor quality graphics card (Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 with 8-128MG dynamically allocated/shared graphics memory) and that is the problem"

100% correct >> http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-...

"Do you think the ram will help improve performance?"

It *might* help somewhat but it's not gonna help the graphics. If you wanna play games & play them well, you need to invest in a gaming laptop.

"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions" - Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction


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#2
September 10, 2008 at 17:11:43
you could also allocate some of your new ram to be graphics ram: Video Cards that attach to the motherboard have separate, dedicated RAM chips built right onto the card. "On Board" video like you've got (where the motherboard and CPU do the graphics processing) requires a certain portion of the system RAM be dedicated to graphics. Currently, it sounds like you have 128MB of your 1024MB RAM allocated for graphics. If you boosted this to 256MB, or even 512MB (depending on what's available), you would probably see more improvement in games than just adding more system RAM.

I'm not going to do your Google-ing for you, but that kind of memory allocation setting is going to be in the BIOS. You could boot into the bios and look around for anything that refers to "graphics" or "video," or you could look online for instructions and/or screenshots for your laptop's bios (because different computers have different bios).

good luck!

(ps - also be saving up for a replacement machine =)


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#3
September 10, 2008 at 17:51:57
Obviously you didn't click on the link I supplied:

"The Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (also known as GMA 950) is an integrated (onboard) graphic chip on the Mobile Intel 945GM chipset for Intel processors. It is a faster clocked version of the GMA 900 and does not support hardware T&L (Transform & Lightning) calculations (which is required for some games)."

"The GMA 950 can not be described as a graphics card that is sufficient for gamers."

"For office programs and surfing the performance is more than sufficient."

Also from Intel:

"Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT) 3.0 supports up to 224MB of video memory"

http://www.intel.com/products/chips...

This is a general purpose laptop, not a gamer. Adding another 3GB RAM isn't gonna change that.

"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions" - Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction


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#4
September 11, 2008 at 07:24:42
Thank you all for your suggestions. I will have my tech friend check my bios and see if more memory can be alocated to the video card. On a different note, I recently updated the bios because it was highly recommended to do so before installing the additional 4Gs of ram. Maybe with a little luck the bios was updated to include a method for increasing the videocard ram if it did not already have that capeability. I inadvertantly noticed there was also an important service bulletin telling me and many other toshiba owners to upgrade to the new 6.0 ram for my model many other toshiba models, because earlier bios versions had the potential to permanently lockup the computer with a false password request if a portion of the bios file became corrupted.

My tech friend also told me to check "sourceforge.net" for free optimizing programs that might improve graphics and also dvd video playing performance. There were hundreds of results but i couldn't make anything out of the information. So if anyone knows of these types of programs, that improve graphics and dvd video performance please mention them in your replies.

Also, is there such a thing as a video card that can be plugged in to a PCMCIA slot etc? It seems like a plug-in like that could save a lot of people a lot of money if it were available as some sort of an add-on. I think I'll ask this as a separate question. It seems like a logical thing to manufacture.
Again my thanks. You have all been very kind and helpful with your replies.


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#5
September 11, 2008 at 09:44:25
You obviously don't get it. The graphics memory isn't the problem, the graphics processor (GPU) is the problem. It wouldn't matter if you allocated 1GB of system RAM toward the graphics...the GMA950 sucks for gaming & there's nothing you can do about it. An external card isn't gonna fix the situation either unless you're willing to pay over $400?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105...

If your "tech friend" knows his stuff, he'll tell you the exact same thing.

Like I said earlier, if you wanna play games & play them well, you're going to have to buy a gaming laptop. Lower end ones start at about $1200.

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/...

http://laptoping.com/category/gamin...

"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions" - Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction


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