Sunday, July 03, 2005

BF2 on an HP laptop... I think not!

Over the past week it’s been pretty much all about Battlefield 2 around here, and I’m loving it. An FPS that isn’t set in WWII… What a novel idea.

For me, I have one big problem, and it really has nothing to do with the game itself. Although, it does crash every time I try to load it up on my laptop. That is the problem I have, (with HP that is).

My notebook is not exactly ancient, its nine months old, and I forked over two grand for the thing, with the idea in my head to be able to do a lot with video, and play some games on this behemoth. I mean a “notebook” that weighs in at nearly 9lbs; you’d expect that there’s going to be something to it. It has the horses under the hood, a 3GHz P4 HT, and 128MB mobility Radeon (9000IGP), and 768MB of DDR RAM. This should be enough, and my nearly identical desktop can run it, even when I slap in a Radeon 9000 AGP card with only 32MB on it.

And here lies the rub. I had to update the 9000AGP drivers before I could get BF2 to work, normal for most brand new games on the market. I can download the generic catalyst drivers from ATI for the desktop, but need to rely on HP for the drivers for my laptop’s IGP. The absurdity is in the fact that the driver that HP has available was released in 03/2004 well over a year ago, and the latest ATI drivers are only 2 weeks old.

I get that the drivers need to be optimized to work with the onboard hardware, especially the display, but come on. I realize that manufacturers of PC aren’t really caring when it comes to a product that is more that 3 months old. But the IGP driver was released several months before my line was even available. I really wish I had gone to some company that cares about supporting the models that they sell. The only updates that HP releases are ones that “accidentally” apply to previous machines, like when they decide to use a 2 year old WiFi chipset in a new machine, and need to have a new driver written to work.

HP, if you’re listening, (which from my experience, you’re not)… If you are going to tout the graphical abilities of your giant, hefty, widescreen notebooks, then PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, I beg of you, feel some type of obligation to keep the drivers current. Or at least, within the realm of reason, say 3-6 months. Heck, just turn it all over to ATI, they’re excellent.

I knew, I should have gone with the Toshiba.