Computer jargon help....please.

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Ok, I have a question to ask about computer hardware. Basically I want to get a couple of games for the laptop but I have no idea about graphics cards etc...just that I certainly have never installed one, lol. All I know about PC games is that they have all these system requirements on the back of the cases. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I know nothing about this. At all...Thanx in advance guys! :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

To figure out what specs you have:
RAM: My computer, on the side click on "System Properties" and then look under "Computer", it should say 1.00GB of RAM (I think you said that you had a gig of RAM a while ago)
CPU: It should be displayed right by the RAM in System Properties
Video Card: Again go to System Properties, but the go to the "Hardware" tab, and then "Device Manager". One of the first things there should be "Display Adapters"...Expand it, and there you have your video card.

I think those are the main requirements covered by games.

posted by  chris_knows

Thanks, Chris. That should help me alot, I'm off to bed now but I'll look at it in more detail tomorrow, thanks again! :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Yeah, do what Chris said or hit the Start menu and go to Run. Then in Run write in 'dxdiag'...that'll give you everything you need.:wink2:

posted by  Newspeak

Whoa...that's awesome lol.

posted by  chris_knows

Ok, I done what both of you told me to, great help, thanx guys! Just another quick question though. From what I've read in my system settings, I have a 32-bit graphics card in the laptop. I know this probably isn't that impressive, but I wasn't even aware I had one, lol, do all PC's have them installed as standard?....:ohcrap: :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

I'm pretty sure that's just your display settings. In the dxdiag window, click on display. What does it say under "Name:" and "Approx. Total Memory:"?

posted by  chris_knows

Name = SiS Mirage Graphics, and Approx Total Memory = 32.0 MB. I'm thinking that I might have got confused somehow? lol

posted by  Cliffy

Ahhh...that answers your question about your laptop having a video card.:hi:
Your laptop doesn't have a video card installed, instead that "SiS Mirage Graphics" that's shown under "Display" is your ON-BOARD video chip.

In essence, this means that the SiS graphics are embedded into your motherboard/ mainboard (your motherboard itself is made by SiS...thus I know this). The 32 MB that it can have isn't provided or 'produced' by the SiS Mirage either but rather, your motherboard borrows 32 MB (maximum) from your overall memory (RAM/Random Access Memory). So...I'll take a guess that you have 512 MB RAM? If so, then when using your motherboards onboard/embedded visual processing to its fullest potential...you only have 480 MB RAM (512 subtract the 32 used for visual processing).

Your motherboard has to have built in video in order to display anything whatsoever on your screen. If you opened your laptop/ PC up you'd notice that your AGP or PCI-e (I doubt you have a PCI video slot...they're outdated/obsolete) video card slot is empty...waiting to have a card plugged right in.:wink2:

A video card on the other hand...has its own graphics processing unit (GPU) that doesn't share any memory from your overall RAM but rather creates it itself and processes images onto your screen solely. Video cards either have 32, 64, 128, 256, 512 etc. MB. (in doubling increments).

Hope that clears some things up there, Cliffy.:thumbs: If you need any more advice or have any more questions about this or about what I've said (or even about purchasing a video card/which type), I'd be glad to help more.:thumbs: I'm a hardware geek...I love hardware.:orglaugh:

posted by  Newspeak

If he's got a laptop, there's not much chance of upgrading the video card, correct?

posted by  Mathew

Much less chance of it than with a desktop for sure, but there's still quite a market for laptop video cards nonetheless. There's the whole "Mobility Radeon" series by ATI or the "GeForce Go" series by nVidia made solely for laptops...with the higher-end ones being just as good as the ones for desktops.

posted by  Newspeak

Right....seen a few laptops with that card in my day. But not all laptops will have a slot for a seperate video card, correct? I mean, onboards graphics is the only option..?

posted by  Mathew

That's correct. Most of the older laptops didn't have any possibility of enhancing graphics due to the fact that onboard was the only way to go (no slots). I'm quite sure there's quite a few modern ones that don't either.

posted by  Newspeak

Thanx, that was very informative!. So just to varify, if a game requires X amount of space, or X video card...it wont play?

posted by  Cliffy

Not necessarily...but that's close to being right. I'll just say that with any kind of onboard graphics (especially 32 MB)...modern games are next to impossible to play without them playing like a slide show (lets say 1-10 frames per second).:wink2: List some of the games you're wanting to play and I'll tell you if your laptop would be able to pull them off. :thumbs:

Rule of thumb though...onboard graphics aren't made for gaming.

posted by  Newspeak

Thanx for the help once again. I'm not sure on any games I was looking at getting in particular though. I've always liked those Flight Simulator thingys, but I think that they'll be far too advanced for my trusty laptop? :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

The new Flight Simulators...yeah they'll run pretty poorly. You can play some of the older ones though (FS '95 for example:mrgreen: ).

posted by  Newspeak

Actually, FS 2004 only need 8MB video memory...

That can't be right? lol...

posted by  chris_knows

I had that. :thumbs:

posted by  Mathew

I've found that alot of Flight sims are just expansion packs, and require MS Flight sim for them to run....which costs about £60...:ohcrap:

posted by  Cliffy

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