Windows Laptop Question from a Mac Desktop user

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by erkang, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. erkang

    erkang Guest

    Although I've been around for a while I'm a total clueless newbie when
    it come to windows laptops. I'm basically a Mac user and have been for
    years. The only Windows machines I know are the ones I have to use at
    work.

    I was recently given an hp pavilion ze4600 laptop. As far as I can tell
    it runs at 518MHz and has 576 MB of RAM. I can't quite figure out how
    to find out what the video card is. I'd really like to be able to use
    this to play Second Life but clearly the video card it has is waaaaay
    inadequate.

    Is it possible to upgrade the video card in these machines or am I
    stuck with what I have? It works fine for the Web. I expect that I can
    add a wireless PCMCI card. Besides upping the RAM is there anything I
    can do to give this machine a boost.. particularly with graphics?

    Thanks
    erkang, Dec 29, 2006
    #1
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  2. Howdy!

    "erkang" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Although I've been around for a while I'm a total clueless newbie when
    > it come to windows laptops. I'm basically a Mac user and have been for
    > years. The only Windows machines I know are the ones I have to use at
    > work.
    >
    > I was recently given an hp pavilion ze4600 laptop. As far as I can tell
    > it runs at 518MHz and has 576 MB of RAM. I can't quite figure out how
    > to find out what the video card is. I'd really like to be able to use
    > this to play Second Life but clearly the video card it has is waaaaay
    > inadequate.


    Depending on which ze4600 it is (that's a series - it's like saying
    "Chevrolet" which could be any of a number of machines), it's one of several
    northbridge-type video circuits (that use main RAM for video RAM, aka "UMA"
    or "Unified Memory Architecture" designs.) For instance, the ze4600 AMD
    uses an ATI-Radeon based chipset, that can use up to 64M of RAM for video
    (stolen from the base RAM of the computer). It also has an Athlon XP CPU at
    speeds of 1.47, 1.53, 1.67, 1.8, 2.2, or 2.08 GHz, with either a 15" or
    14.1" XGA LCD module at 1024x768 or a 1400x1050 SXGA+ LCD module built in.
    (See? Series. There's several models in the family.).

    To find out exactly what you DO have, you can go to the System
    control panel, go to Device Manager, and see what video is in the "Display
    Adapter" setting.

    The 518MHz is probably because the machine has idled down due to
    being mostly idle, to help keep it cooler and extend battery life.

    >
    > Is it possible to upgrade the video card in these machines or am I
    > stuck with what I have? It works fine for the Web. I expect that I can
    > add a wireless PCMCI card. Besides upping the RAM is there anything I
    > can do to give this machine a boost.. particularly with graphics?


    You're pretty much stuck with what you have. But what you have, at
    one time, would have been high end (yah, it's basically bottom of the barrel
    in today's world - but it could easily be good enough to run Second Life,
    since minspec on that is a Radeon 8500, 9250, or better. Not knowing WHICH
    Radeon is in the machine, I dunno if it's a 7000 class or a 9500 or better
    class ... but hey, you can find out by checking the device manager!

    More RAM would be nice. Again, you'll need the exact model number
    (HP's web site has info on how to pull that out), but most of the family can
    do 2G of RAM, with 64M set aside for UMA video. As long as it's a new
    enough Radeon under the hood, you'll be OK with Second Life. If not, well,
    sorry, but you're up that unsanitary tributary with insufficient means of
    propulsion on that.

    RwP
    Ralph Wade Phillips, Dec 29, 2006
    #2
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  3. erkang

    erkang Guest

    Ralph,

    Thanks for the information. I'm sure I can up the RAM to an adequate
    level. When I check the device manager for display adapters Radeon IGP
    320M. I don't know what that IS but it surely does not look like 8500,
    9250 etc.

    I suspect I'm up the creek...right?

    Oh, and you're right about the CPU. The figure I had was based on
    running on the battery. Running off the plug it's 1.79 GHz
    Ralph Wade Phillips wrote:
    > Howdy!
    > You're pretty much stuck with what you have. But what you have, at
    > one time, would have been high end (yah, it's basically bottom of the barrel
    > in today's world - but it could easily be good enough to run Second Life,
    > since minspec on that is a Radeon 8500, 9250, or better. Not knowing WHICH
    > Radeon is in the machine, I dunno if it's a 7000 class or a 9500 or better
    > class ... but hey, you can find out by checking the device manager!
    >
    > More RAM would be nice. Again, you'll need the exact model number
    > (HP's web site has info on how to pull that out), but most of the family can
    > do 2G of RAM, with 64M set aside for UMA video. As long as it's a new
    > enough Radeon under the hood, you'll be OK with Second Life. If not, well,
    > sorry, but you're up that unsanitary tributary with insufficient means of
    > propulsion on that.
    >
    > RwP
    erkang, Dec 31, 2006
    #3
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