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Thread: 256mb HD3450 (Dell Studio 15)

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    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    256mb HD3450 (Dell Studio 15)

    Im looking at getting the Dell Studio 15, which uses a 256mb HD3450, but im worried about the gaming side of things. I wont be playing any games like Crysis/Bioshock etc, but i wouldnt mind a bash on left 4 dead or team fortress 2 once in a while. Would the graphics card be up for this? Its the mid spec'ed, 2.0ghz, 4gb model id go for.

    Thanks guys
    (any comments on the laptop itself would also be welcomed!)

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    jim
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    Re: 256mb HD3450 (Dell Studio 15)

    I've got the Studio 15, and the graphics suck. Well, actually that's being a bit unfair - they aren't that bad. I can play CoD4 online quite easily with the graphics tuned down, and this is on the model with the worst C2D available (ie not a celeron) and upgraded to 4GB RAM. It's just frustrating having to remove graphics options for the sake of grabbing a few extra FPS out of my laptop when I've got an 8800 GTS sitting around on the floor doing nothing.

    It's surprisingly powerful for a reasonably low priced mobile graphics solution - my advice is to expect very little (as I did) and then you'll be pleasantly rewarded.

    EDIT: As for the laptop itself, the standard battery is more than enough for me - it seemed to do over 3 hours on a single charge, but these days I just keep the charger with me. I was going to go with the bigger one, but trust me it weighs more than enough without a bigger battery. Also, I went nuts and got the backlit keyboard, and I reckon it was well worth the money - it's pricey, but turning the lights off feels like a real pain, and I end up half-closing the laptop lid to see where all my keys have gone. The 1440x900 display is very nice, but don't go any bigger or you won't be able to read it - also that type of screen takes more power, so I'm told, which reduces the battery life. The touchpad is a real PITA, with stupid scroll bar sections that zoom in and out of the page when you least want them to, so as always you'll be needing a good mouse. The coloured skin feature is quite nice - it was on free upgrade when I got it - but you wouldn't catch me paying for it, as you might have expected. HDMI out works well, wireless works well, but I'm starting to run out of things to say. I'm definitely very happy with it though, has served me tremendously well as a hybrid notebook/desktop replacement. It was never meant to be a desktop replacement, but with my desktop spending more time at Scan than at home, it's more than done the job.

    Hope that helped - if there's anything else, feel free to ask.
    Last edited by jim; 21-04-2009 at 01:04 AM.

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    Andeh13 (22-04-2009)

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    Formerly known as Andehh Andeh13's Avatar
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    Re: 256mb HD3450 (Dell Studio 15)

    Many thanks mate, just was i was hoping someone would post!

    If you dont mind me asking;
    Whats the laptop like for watching films on?
    Have you tried any game from the organe box (poral, Tf2 etc?) or left 4 dead on it? How did it perform?
    Did you go for the WLED option, is it any good? does it make a difference?
    Did you go for the backlit keyboard? and as above, is it any good?


    Sorry for all the questions mate, thank you again

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    jim
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    Re: 256mb HD3450 (Dell Studio 15)

    Quote Originally Posted by Andehh View Post
    Many thanks mate, just was i was hoping someone would post!

    If you dont mind me asking;
    Whats the laptop like for watching films on?
    Have you tried any game from the organe box (poral, Tf2 etc?) or left 4 dead on it? How did it perform?
    Did you go for the WLED option, is it any good? does it make a difference?
    Did you go for the backlit keyboard? and as above, is it any good?


    Sorry for all the questions mate, thank you again
    Films, I'd have no problem doing it - my screen is 1440x900 which is a little restrictive for HD, but in the end nothing noticeable - I haven't really watched any on here so I can't comment too specifically, but I would definitely be doing it if I had long journeys to fill up. The sound quality is very poor, but then that's nothing new.

    The only game I've played is CoD4 I'm afraid, but I'm guessing that it's more demanding than TF2 or Portal - the best way is probably just to compare the benchmarks on the net for CoD4 and L4D/TF2/HL2 - my gaming has been pretty limited due to time constraints and the fact I'd always rather play on a desktop.

    My screen is the WLED - as I said before I heard it was better for power consumption, and I can't really see any major differences between it and my HP w19 panel that I used on my desktop. 1440x900 is more than enough though.

    I mentioned the backlit keyboard in my first post, if you'll be using it in the dark I reckon it's well worth the money, as I said it feels like a real pain having it turned off. One of those things where you don't notice its benefits unless you have it.

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    Re: 256mb HD3450 (Dell Studio 15)

    Thanks matey, didnt mean to make you repeat yourself! Read your post one day, replied next day and didnt re-read it properly inbetween.


    Does seem like a gd laptop, read several reviews and aside from the generic laptop problems (heavy, lack of graphics, sound quality) it seems one of the better ones! Now its just a matter of getting my finances in order and making the jump to buying it! thanks again for your help!

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    jim
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    Re: 256mb HD3450 (Dell Studio 15)

    No problem, it's an easy thing to do.

    Hope it all works out well, I've been really happy with mine so far so I'm sure it will do!

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    Re: 256mb HD3450 (Dell Studio 15)

    I've got the Studio 15 as well (specs to the left) and I have no trouble playing any of the Source based games - Portal, HL2 series including Ep.2...I doubt TF2 is any different though I don't think I've tried it yet. I can't whack the AA up to full or anything but I get decent performance with a lot of the important visual effects turned up (full resolution, high texture detail, maybe 2x AA...I can't remember exactly but it looks nice and plays smooth enough ). I'm afraid I can't comment on L4D performance as I don't own it but I'm sure you can make an educated guess.

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