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Graphics card and RAM upgrade Q's

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Interstate, Jan 19, 2005.

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  1. Interstate

    Interstate Thread Starter

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    Nov 17, 2004
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    Although my computer is less than a year old, I think it's time to upgrade some of its parts. Mainly speaking the RAM chips, and video card, all in the name of improving gaming experience. (Half life 2 on full power requires one helluva beast of a machine to run flawlessly).

    I've got a Toshiba Satellite A75 (not sure on the other 4 numbers, but I will find them) dual 3.06 Ghz P4's, ATi Mobility Radeon 9100 IGP AGP internal DAC (400Mhz) (128Mb) I think 512MB RAM, but on the system info screen it says I've got 384mb RAM. 60 (56)GB hard drive. Matshita DVD-ram RW. My screen can run up to the 1280x800x60hz setting, which it's on normally, and sometimes reduced for games. Anything else I left out, let me know.

    I think I've found the RAM chip that I want, the Kingston 1GB DDR SODIMM . It's the most RAM I can cram into this Toshiba, or at least the most that is listed as per Toshiba's website. A member an another board recommended THIS. It looks like the same product and has the saem specs, anyone think it's different or see and conflictions? I think this needs to be upped as sometimes during HL2DM, I get a blue screen of death saying that a memory dump is being performed, and I have to restart.

    I was hoping to stick with ATi as the current chip I have now has been good to me, and HL2 seems to run a little better on an ATi chip.

    I can't really find another Mobility Radeon chip for sale, even though ATi has them listed on their site. Or does it matter if "Mobility" is labeled on the chip? I would think it would, as all the pictures on newegg look too big for a laptop. Anyone know where else to look for a graphics card other than newegg as they don't seem to have any laptop cards for sale? Maybe an online store or know of a place that would be able to special order it?

    I was eying the MOBILITY RADEON 9800 as long as it wasn't breaking my budget by too much.

    Anyone have experience upgrading hardware in a laptop? Easy? Hard? Tools?Tips? Is it possible? On another non-computer forum a couple guys said is wasn't because the card is tied in with the MoBo.

    Or if you have any opinions on these products or if you would like to suggest a different (but simialar) product, please feel free to share.
     
  2. Interstate

    Interstate Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
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    There was some confusion about the chipset on the GFX card, so I'll post exactly what it says under the adapter tab in the properties menu of the ATi icon:

    Adapter info:
    Chip type: MOBILITY RADEON 9100 IGP AGP (0x5835)
    DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
    Memory size: 128 MB
    Adapter String: ATI MOBILITY RADON 9000 IGP
    Bios Information: BK-ATI VER008.017I.057.001

    I guess my main questions are;
    Can I replace my GFx card in my laptop with a more powerful card designed for a laptop? If so, where can I purchase the card?
    Will that second, cheaper (KINGMAX) memory chip work in my computer as opposed to the Kingston one?

    Thanks!
     
  3. Elvandil

    Elvandil

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    51,988
    Laptops, as you know, are pretty tightly packed. Everything is integrated with everything. Chances are good that your video card is embedded in the machine and can't be changed. If it can, the machine manufacturer would be the only one with upgrade parts suitable for a particular machine.

    Though it's possible that a memory upgrade will improve gaming performance, it really isn't very likely. XP seems to reach the point of reduced marginal benefit after 512 and it is rare to find that it even uses near that much memory.

    Your memory dump is certainly something that needs investigating. Those only occur under dire circumstances and indicate a serious problem with either your machine or some software. These dump files take quite a bit of space (512 megs each for a 512 machine) and you ought to delete them if you are not planning on using them. The dumps have nothing whatever to do with the amount of RAM you have and more RAM won't eliminate them, but I'd suggest you investigate what the problem may be.
     
  4. Interstate

    Interstate Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
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    It only happens when I play Half-Life 2, single and multiplayer. Usually a few hours into the game. I figured there was just too much erroneous game info still floating around the computer's memory, then when enough piles up the system "dies". I don't really know enough about the internals, so don't flame me on that. It'd be a 1.5gig setup though: the 512 factory RAM can't be removed, only added to.

    On a side question, woudn't increased ram help programs load faster?

    I'll try and write down or remember what exactly it says next time it happens. (It's only happed 3 or 4 times BTW)

    Is there a page with a direct link on how to contact toshiba? I looked around there general products page, their computer page, and their laptop page. All I got was a few lists of FAQs. I was thinking of emailing them to see if I could swap out the cards myself or even send my computer in to them (or have one of their certified repairmen locally) do the swap.
     
  5. Interstate

    Interstate Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
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    The guy on the other board said this:
    It sounds right to me. But while going through ATi's FAQ, I found this: http://www.ati.com/support/infobase/4061.html . Which may be an answer provided I have an AGP (?) slot inside my caseing, and have room for the new card. How do I go about seeing if I have the correct slot inside my computer? (Other than actually opening it up, which I don't really want to because I don't want to screw up my $1300 machine)
     
  6. Interstate

    Interstate Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    Back to the memory dump. It happened again during HL2DM. It's a physical memory dump. I didn't write the numbers down though.

    Any clues on how to fix it or what's causing it?
     
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