TechSpot

Toshiba Satellite A200-TR6 - Video Card Problems

By patmcpat
Apr 6, 2008
  1. First off I am new to this site, so if this is in the wrong forum, Im sorry.

    I own a Toshiba Satellite A200 TR6 Laptop and it is my main computer. For a wile now I have been trying to get some games working (Age of Empires 3). The game requires a 64mb video card, and I currently have a 32mb. The game does not work properly because of the video card.
    These are the things I know:
    1) You cannot (usually) manually update a laptop video card.
    2) It is possible to change the memory through the BIOS, but my BIOS wont let me do this. I have looked into updating my BIOS with no success.

    I currently have - Mobile Intel(R) 945 Express Chipset Family, as my display adapter (dont know if this helps)
    I downloaded - IntelĀ® 82Q963 Graphics and Memory Controller Hub (GMCH) onto my computer and tried to install the driver, but there were no changes.

    Any suggestions to solve this problem and get this game running well would be awsome.

    Thanks
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Update the laptop!
     
  3. patmcpat

    patmcpat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    also i have a very minimal budget
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,984   +168

    First things welcome patmcpat,
    you laptop does not have a video card. It has a video chip located on the motherboard. If you can increase the total system memory, you might automatically increase the video memory at the same time. You really need at least 512MB to run these games. If you have less than 256MB, you are really out of luck
     
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Some laptops can update the video Ram on (ie buying a physical ram card for the video)
    You may need to download the manual on this, for you Toshiba
     
  6. patmcpat

    patmcpat TS Rookie Topic Starter


    that makes alot of sense
    ill see what increasing my RAM will do
    BTW i have 1gb of RAM, or would 2gb be better

    since my laptop is lacking a video card, is it an easy process to go out and buy one and get it installed?
     
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    For Xp 1 Gig
    For Vista 2 Gig

    This may not fix your issue though.

    Also either using the manual, or physically taking your Laptop to a Computer Tech store (to find out what's installed) will do
    Why?
    Because you may not actually have any Ram slots available.
     
  8. patmcpat

    patmcpat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    for RAM spots available i have 0
    there are 2 slots and each is housing a 512mb stick

    ill bring it back to the techs, seems like the best choicd
     
  9. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    There's no need. 1 Gig is enough anyway.

    If you do not have the option in CMOS to adjust the Video memory, then that's that.
    Limitation of the Laptop
     
  10. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,984   +168

    This laptop comes with Vista Home Premium installed... You could try installing 2GB of memory (2 1GB modules). It will go up to 4GB total. I have seen lesser laptops run these games pretty well
     
  11. patmcpat

    patmcpat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    so what im not understanding is if the reason the game is not running is because of the low RAM on my laptop, or the lack of a video card?
    or is it one in the same?
     
     
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Some Laptops (actually most) have the ability to take Ram (from your Ram cards, presently 1 Gig) and add a specified amount to your Video Ram

    You stated that your CMOS does not have this option

    So therefore even 2 Gig of Ram, will still leave you with 32Meg Video card (i e not enough!)
     
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,984   +168

    Then only a bios update might allow increasing the video memory. So 1GB RAM= 32MB video RAM, and might 2GB System RAM= 64MB? I really can't believe that there is no video RAM adjustment in the bios now. The adjustment might be "hidden" in the system memory settings
     
  14. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    many games are graphics intensive and simply won't run or will run very poorly on laptops that have integrated video.

    If your game will play at all, you will need to increase the system memory on your motherboard by adding more ram. Read the appropriate guide in the guides forum.

    Most laptops borrow ram from the system ram for video. But the bottleneck is also with a low end video processor like the 945 chipset. There is no way around it. So either you get a gaming system (expensive), or find another computer to play it on.
     
  15. patmcpat

    patmcpat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the game runs properly without any lagging issues
    the graphics just dont show properly (pixels look like stretched)
     
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