I'm thinking about getting a new laptop. I have a 2 year old HP with an i3 and intel graphics. It works fine but the graphics performance is really weak. It's video play back isn't very good. I get frequent banding because it doesn't have the decoding horsepower. 3D graphics limits me to pretty much 2D strategy gaming. My question is will an APU only laptop be okay or do I have to get something with a dedicated card? And if so which one? I don't have to be able to run Crysis but I would like to be able to play something like F.E.A.R or Doom 3 without having to dial everything down.
I've been using integrated graphics for a while with mixed success, but it gets better every generation. Today they are pretty damn good, even for advanced gaming, albiet at lower resolutions.
I went from a desktop with a dedicated GPU many years ago to an Intel IGP (either GMA 950 or X3100, I can't remember). It was pretty bad even when it was new, but good enough for basic desktop stuff. Then I went to an NVIDIA 320M and it was a HUGE leap. Solid performance, light gaming, could even power an external display at high resolution. It became dated pretty fast, but it felt dated compared to the dedicated GPU models even when it came out.
I just got a new machine with an HD 4000 and I'm incredibly impressed. It really shines where my 320M failed. It can even handle some of the more advanced effects in new games that were simply impossible on my 320M (shadows, AA and the like).
For a long time integrated graphics solutions have been a step (or even two steps) below even the cheapest dedicated cards. I don't really see that as being true anymore, at least in the mobile arena. The integrated solutions are reasonably competitive with the dedicated chips, in some cases actually better performers.
How would something like this work? The CPU is not the strongest but it has 6650M graphics. I will not be doing any CPU intensive work. Do the APU graphics core and the 6650M crossfire? I was looking at the new Trinity core review on Tomshardware but I don't think it is available yet. I was planning on driving an external display.
For gaming and entertainment purposes the APU series are definitely way ahead of Intel. Unless you plan on doing CPU intensive stuff like encoding video then an Intel CPU doesn't really help much. I basically want a gaming/media computer in my bedroom but have no room for it. Even a basic build would cost me ~750 or so a laptop looks like the way to go. I'm thinking a Trinity APU would be the way to go. It looks like it is 10-15% faster than the Llano.