Which Laptop System Should This Reader Buy?

Since yesterday, reader Jason L has inquired about which laptop should he buy and is trying to compare the difference in a 256MB or 512MB video display adapter, when it comes to gaming. In his first request Jason L. said:

Hi Ron,

Great forum. I recently purchased a high-end gaming laptop with the following: (my question concerns mostly the video card RAM)

Core2Duo T9300 2.5Ghz 6MB/800Mhz
512mb dedicated nvidia 8600gt
64-bit VISTA premium

This is an iBuyPower machine from COSTCO (i am trying it out because it was cheap and despite the bad reviews of ibuypower, costco warranty backs it and so will I)

I am a gamer and would really like to know your opinion. Do you think the 512mb of video card RAM is too excessive (or perhaps more on par with the 4gb system RAM)?

Thanks in advance for your help!!

This was my response to his request yesterday:

Hello Jason L.
It sounds like you have a sweet machine. 512MB video to much? Nope. Not at all. IMHO.

So this morning Jason L. asked this question:

Thanks for your quick reply, Ron. I have one more question and I hope it’s not too tough (unlikely, right? )

The laptop I ordered has an Nvidia 8600GT. So does the Dell XPS1530. Check out the difference in video cards and maybe you could tell me which one you would choose. Thanks again, in advance.

Dell XPS 1530: 256mb GDDR3 Nvidia 8600GT
IBuyPower CRZ: 512mb GDDR2 Nvidia 8600GT

If I’m going to utilize the graphics card, I’d like to know I’m going with the best choice. Both are dedicated.

That leaves the question: Do current games utilize 512mb of GDDR2 RAM, or are they more likely to prefer the faster 256mb GDDR3 RAM?

To which I replied with the following:

I’m not sure about the gaming requirements for the specific card that these systems are using. But I can share one thought. I personally would buy a Dell before a unit from IBuyPower.  Not because an IBuyPower is bad, I am just not personally familiar with their warranty policies nor their track record. Hopefully someone stopping by here can add to the comments and offer their opinions as well.

Buy just giving my WAS [wild ass guess], I think a 256 MB card with faster RAM would be more appealing.

What about OS? Windows XP or Vista?

So what is your opinion? The Dell or the IBuyPower unit?

Comments most appreciated.

[tags]reader, questions, dell, ibuypower, laptop, computer, system, ram, windows, microsoft, xp, vista, gaming,  [/tags]