rathalian writes: "After spending many a year wrestling home built PCs and working through the inevitable issues seen with increasing performance including heat and noise reduction, I decided to investigate purchasing a 'gaming' laptop. As the salary sacrificing options I have make it very appealing, particulary as I have an IT business that requires some mobility, it was interesting to see how over the last 4 months the online specifications available for laptops is changing fairly rapidly as we have approached Vista's release. Notably the premium that was charged for a laptop containing a 'decent' GPU to play games has dropped sharply. You can now get laptops with Core 2 Duo's, ATI X1700 GPUs and 1 gig of memory for under $2000 (Australian) as these chips are now more mainstream. And why are they more mainstream ? — see Vista GPU requirements for one... A classic example of this has been Dell's site. Previously their 6400 and 9400 Inspiron series of laptops offered the Intel 950, ATI X1400 and in the case of the 9400, the Nvidia 9700GS. Just over a month ago the Intel line was dropped from both the 6400 and the 9400's catalogue and it is standard on the 6400 to get an X1400 at a much lower price than Dell was offering around the end of October 2006. You can now get Toshiba's laptop that includes an Nvidia 7900GTX for $3400 (Australian) which was previously unheard of in a laptop re bang for buck. Now I know that prices change, however there has been a clear surge in the amount of laptops running higher performance GPU's and for a lower cost. So, does this mean that 2007 will mark the year where there is an across the board drop in GPU prices as the higher performance GPU cards become the standard cards in the 'average' PC or laptop due to Vista requirements? What are your thoughts?"
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