April 18, 2008
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! I hope this newsletter finds everyone well! This week's topic is all about the confusion over video memory that many people find themselves in when they're shopping for a new computer. As our member Sheldon found out, there are terms such as "dedicated video memory," "shared memory," "integrated graphics," and even "discrete video memory"--a whole lot of different terms that can be quite daunting, especially if you aren't familiar with them. But never fear--our community of members is here to help out! And hopefully after reading through this week's answers from our members, you'll have a very good idea of not only what these terms all mean, but also get a good sense of what video memory is best for your needs. (Oh, and Sheldon, there are no dumb questions. How else are you supposed to learn if you don't ask?) So to get the ball rolling on this topic, here are a fewselected answers. Most members' answers shared the same explanation between all the different types of video memory--some a little more in detail and some as simple as it gets. All in all, they will be very helpful to all who find themselves in this predicament. So thank you for sharing and taking time out to contribute! Have a great weekend, folks!
Member Question of the Week
Hi everyone. Sorry if this sounds like dumb question. I'm in process of buying a new desktop computer. When I'm looking at the specification on many desktop PCs I often get quite confused over the video memory aspect of these desktop. Some read 128MB dedicated video memory, some read integrated graphics with up to 128MB shared memory, and some read 256MB discrete video memory. Dedicated, shared, discrete? Talk about confusion! All I know in general is the more video memory the better. But can someone please explain what the difference are between these type of video specs, and what is best suited for what type of computer usage, so I can make a decent buying decision on a desktop without any future regrets. If this helps, my main goal for this new PC is for multimedia--the casual music listening/steaming, Internet surfing, e-mailing, watch videos online or DVDs, photos editing, casual gaming--nothing hard core. I don't want to limit myself to these as my interest may expand down the line. A little help in the confusing video memory area would be most appreciated!
Vote for the most helpful answer
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Vote for answer by Ankit B.
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Vote for answer by Watzman
Vote for answer by stanmorganVideo
Vote for answer by Alain Martel1
For the member whose answer was voted the
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Previous week's Q&AThe votes are in! Below is the answer voted most helpful by our community to last week's question.
I need to upgrade my PC because I am using graphic-intensive
programs including Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and
Illustrator. I intend to stick with Windows XP (I have no
interest in Vista at this point) and do not want to change to
a Mac. Do I really need 3GB or 4GB of RAM, or is 2GB
enough? Will an Intel dual-core processor work well enough,
or do I really need the more expensive quad-core? I have
never spent more than $1,000 on a PC, but realize that my
current requirements push me close to $1,500, including a
wide-screen monitor. I have looked at the Dell Inspiron 530
and XPS 410. I welcome any and all suggestions. I do not
want to spend for more than I need to, but I am having trouble
figuring out the necessary essentials. Thanks so much for
Joan, well, first, you are suffering from a common misconception about graphics programs: In general, the programs you list are not "graphics intensive," and you could do quite well with a low-end video solution. Programs become "graphics intensive" when the video card has to CREATE 3-D content. This does not happen when processing photographs, video (DVDs, video editing, video capture from, say camcorders...with one exception, that being very fancy scene-to-scene transitions) or creating Web pages. It does happen when playing...
CNET member: Watzman
Congratulations to the winner!
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More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
This isn't exactly a technical how-to question, but I would really like to know how widespread this phenomenon is at this point. I've been getting phone calls lately that sound for all the world like phishing. They disguise themselves by saying something about my credit card (no specific one) or the car I now own (no specific brand). The two incidents I specifically remember involve a prerecorded message announcing 1) we need to discuss your credit card although there is no problem right now, and 2) the deadline is approaching to obtain an extended warranty on the vehicle you now own. Then it says to wait for the operator to come on. I hung up. Another very suspicious message was left on my answering machine to call a toll free number about my credit card. I think that one mentioned a specific card. However, I started getting a bit freaked out when they wanted me to give them a whole bunch of information (card number, address, etc.) before they would tell me what they had called about. I hung up on them, too.
Is this becoming more common? Have any of you experienced this? I have not really seen anything about it and didn't really know where to post this type of information in order to get an idea. It certainly seems like someone should get the word out, as was done with e-mail, before a lot of people really get messed up! Is there anything we can do to stop this? Thanks.
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