Why, hello, my little portable friend

September 8th, 2010 in .Laptops & Netbooks
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Is it just me who gets really excited by new developments in gaming wondrousness? It’s just that, I started gaming in the days when PCs were very nearly powered by pedalling and random bolts of lightning, so every time a new, shiny product ambles onto the market I am struck by how far we have come.

Today’s case in point is the Nvidia Fermi line-up. These DX11 enabled mobile GPUs are just delicious. They also offer the user that sweet combination of power and cost-efficiency that is so rare these days. Usually, a gaming laptop with powerful graphics is, let’s face it, an expensive investment.

Obviously, the sweet spot will depend on your own personal income and which manufacturer solutions with the Fermi-based GPUs you choose to buy.

So there are seven of these Fermi-based GeForce GT and GTX 400M mobile GPUs sidling onto the scene and they cover the mid- to high-end range of GPU demands. Lurking menacingly at the high end of the gaming scale are the GTX 460M and the GTX 470M. These are for those of you that drool and slobber over graphics like untamed face huggers from HL2.

The ones that are likely to cost less and still deliver enough performance to make the tamer gamer happy, are the GT 445M, GT425M, GT420M and the GT 435M. Sheesh, can’t they give these guys some decent names? What’s wrong with Cliff and Storm for the high-end GPUs, and Cyril, Max, Cedric and Humphrey for the lower end ones?  Anything but lengthy numbers for once, please?

Of course, ASUS are on track to being among the first to deliver products that incorporate these new guys and have announced some real corkers for gamers to slobber over. Two of the delicious Republic of Gamers laptops, the G53JW and the G73JW, are going to be shipping with nVidia’s GPU.

The G53JW has 15.6 inches of loveliness while the G73JW offers 17 inches. These two guys are likely to cost you over £1k though so you’re going to want to look at your budget before you start dreaming of cuddling one of these tonight.

It’s going to be interesting to see what ASUS bring out for the middle range of the market as I think this is where the most interesting developments are. Here you can get some pretty impressive gaming results using the Fermi GPUs without having to fork out too much cash to get started. They’re an excellent start for people wanting to get into gaming without too much expense.

I also think that by bringing out mid-range solutions like these, especially in the realm of the gaming laptop, the whole barrier to entry is being challenged. Currently PC gaming is battling for a hold against the console market and one of the biggest issues is that it comes across as too complex.

Consoles are seen as “pick up and play” (yes, even with their hideous controls in the FPS. I don’t get it either) whereas PCs are seen as high maintenance and expensive. I’m hoping that the market will continue with similar ideas and price points so that soon PC gaming will be seen as an easy and superior alternative to the console.

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