High Performance Visual Processing Units

Written by James McLean
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These days, it can be difficult to find laptops that properly qualify as high performance visual processing units. Usually these portable machines are better suited for office work or mobile computing than multimedia, which is why it can be so tricky to find one that can hold its own as an entertainment powerhouse. What makes matters more complex is most manufacturers' reluctance to classify their products as anything other then broad-based, versatile machines.

Visual processing takes a certain very specific kind of hardware, however, and the truth is that many manufacturers simply aren't up to the job. Graphics designers and gaming buffs will tell you that today's 3-D virtual environments take blazing processing speed, generous RAM stores and the kind of ultra-sharp screens only found on a few very high-end models.

The Other Guys

Look at HPs or Dells, however, and you may find yourself wondering whether any of the machines they carry truly fit the bill. Because visual design and media have become so specialized, the major manufacturers have largely left this market to smaller companies who can focus exclusively on these demanding endeavors. Likely as not, the best candidate from each new generation of notebook computers will come from a builder you may not have heard of.

Fast Pentium 4 chips, a minimal half-gig of RAM and the latest Radeon video cards all contribute to the proper function of a visual processing powerhouse. If you want to render, alter and undo quickly as you build art, you may want to invest in a machine that is equal to your abilities. The right company can get you a good deal on parts that might cost 20 percent more through major dealers.


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