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Mobility gaming cards

adarryladarryl Decatur, IL Member
edited Sep 2011 in PC Building
Getting ready to order a new gaming notebook (Sager) and am a bit confused as to video card choice. I am looking at the AMD 6990M vs. nVidia GTX 485 or GTX 580. I don't have to have the fastest, but I want to extend longevity well into the future. I am concerned about driver updates for the AMD/ATI card vs. the nVidia cards. Any reason to choose one over the other (other than $$)? My gaming is largely first person shooter new releases. Titles that I have played, when new, were COD Black Ops, Crysis 2, Portal 2.

Comments

  • primesuspectprimesuspect HumanGarbageDisposal Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Sep 2011
    What do you mean you're concerned about driver updates? I don't understand.
  • adarryladarryl Decatur, IL Member
    edited Sep 2011
    Sorry about that. It is my understanding or maybe misunderstanding that amd/ati driver updates are not kept as current with new releases as nVidia's.
  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA Icrontian
    edited Sep 2011
    I don't know about that. I get the impression AMD is pretty on-the-ball with driver updates. Usually every 2-3 months at most. Not to mention we have some fine folks from AMD here that can give us at least a peak into how things are going in that neighborhood.
  • adarryladarryl Decatur, IL Member
    edited Sep 2011
    Thanks. My info is from years ago when you had to wait for months to get an ati video driver update so you could run new game releases. I didn't think it was that way now, but it has been 20-25 years since I last had an ATI card.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Sep 2011
    Some notebook designs are technically limited by their OEM in such a way that AMD cannot provide regular driver updates to them. There are many reasons why this might be so, but it's pretty safe to say that the more powerful the GPU is in your notebook, the less likely this is.

    That said, we release a new driver every month. The current release is Catalyst 11.8, and Catalyst 11.9 will be arriving very shortly.

    For example, you can see on this page that a huge number of mobile GPUs are supported by Catalyst 11.8.
  • adarryladarryl Decatur, IL Member
    edited Sep 2011
    That helps considerably, thanks! I am aware of notebook manufacturers that use proprietary video drivers and getting any update for newer software can be a booger at best, impossible at worst. What I don't want is to go with a high dollar mobile gpu only to find I can't get a video driver update for a newly released game title. So I guess it is fairly safe to say I should not run into this issue with these gpu's providing the OEM hasn't restricted their gpu with proprietary drivers.

    Anyone care to comment on the merits, one over the other, in regard to the gpu's I mentioned in my OP?
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Sep 2011
    Well, I can tell you that the 6990M is quite literally the fastest mobile GPU on the planet right now. Yes, I work for AMD, yes I am biased, but the numbers pan out. It's extremely fast.
  • adarryladarryl Decatur, IL Member
    edited Sep 2011
    Thx! I am tempted to go with the 6990M. Am I going to run into cooling issues with any of these upper end gpu's in a notebook? Where I am right now is either go big on a mobile gpu or not buy a new gaming notebook at all. Not having a gpu upgrade path with a notebook gives me the shivers so I don't want to buy anything but the top tier video card available.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Sep 2011
    Notebooks are designed with the cooling capacity to handle the hardware. If they weren't, the hardware would die. Quite costly for the OEM, if you think about it--and doesn't make a whole lot of sense for them not to design that way!

    Just keep in mind that a high-end gaming notebook isn't really a notebook so much as a desktop replacement. They're big, they're heavy, they have lots of cooling. That's the tradeoff for real performance.
  • adarryladarryl Decatur, IL Member
    edited Sep 2011
    That's what I am looking for............a desktop replacement.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Sep 2011
    Well then you'll find what you're looking for. :D
  • adarryladarryl Decatur, IL Member
    edited Sep 2011
    LOL! No matter where you go, you are there.
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