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aptop Questions, General Information,
& Upcoming New Computers

 Answers from

El Presidente of Voodoo Computers


Updated Pictures - September 28th, 2003


Click on the links to read the full threads, there's a lot of information inside
Links to Pictures at bottom of this Q&A page


Thread by El Prez - The New Envy M-460 Laptop
Go Directly to the Pics of the M-460


Press Release from ATI - July 16th:
VoodooPC chooses ATIís MOBILITY RADEON 9600 for worldís most powerful gaming notebook

GamesSpot Article - July 15th:
First Notebook with upgradeable graphics - M-460

The Register Article - July 16th:
Voodoo offers laptop with upgradeable graphics - M-460

Gamers Depot Review of the new - July 7th:
Voodoo Envy M-460 Laptop

Tech TV Review of the M-355 Notebook - July 15th:
Voodoo Envy M-355


Voodoo First to Release 7200RPM Notebook Drive

(June 16th, 2003)

We now have the Hitachi Travelstar 7200 RPM 60 Gigabyte Drives for our notebooks. They are heavily allocated at the moment but we've received our first batch of inventory.


Voodoo to release "Codename T-Class" Media Center PC

So for 2 years now we've been developing our own Media Center style system. Much better than any other competing Media Center, built on top of Windows XP with our own custom software - our system is ideal for a TRUE High-End home theater experience. Watch for it, because it's coming...

...soon.


First Radeon 9600 Mobility already Shipping?!?

Well actually as early as mid to late June there will be one ODM shipping a 9600 platform in small quantities. None of the new platforms will be based on Pentium M technology, and the most compelling technologies won't show up in the mainstream for a bit yet. (if they aren't compelling, we won't carry them).

(Update June 2nd, 2003):

Voodoo will be introducing - yet another - laptop featuring Mobility 9600 at the request of ATI. This laptop will feature Pentium 4 M technology up to 2.6GHz, it's 1 inch thin, we're still testing the platform.

Any ideas on when? Just a guesstimate. We won't hold you to it.

Depends on our tests - so far the M355 is better for battery life and processor performance, but the new laptop has pretty damn good video performance.

El P, any new word on the likelihood of the 9600 in current laptops you have now?

Bimbs, nothing yet - no word yet.


Tattoo's on Laptops

If someone requests a tattoo we will do it as long as they supply the graphics. If it's questionable we may not do it - but we will certainly do our best to tattoo whatever a customer requests of us.

(Price dependent on design.  Dafftronic's cool custom tattoo was $340 US.  Best advice to call a Voodoo Sales rep: 1-888-708-6636)


M700 Upgrade Policy

Only the F-Class ships with Premium Upgrade Assurance (the first you described). All other systems ship with Standard Upgrade Assurance.

Several differences between the two Upgrade Policies:

Standard Lifetime Upgrade Assurance, the Customer pays for Shipping, and up to 5 hours of labor (approximately $60 US an hour).  This is on all computers, notebooks included, except the F-Class.

Premium Lifetime Upgrade Assurance, Free Shipping with all Major Upgrades, and maximum 1 hour labor. F-Class only.

Manufacturers Limited Warranty:

Voodoo warrants to the original purchaser that any part of the hardware system excluding software, documentation, peripherals, exceptions and similar items will be free of defects in workmanship and materials for the period of your warranty from the date of delivery. During the warranty period, Voodoo will repair or replace, at its sole discretion, the defective hardware system, free of charge for labor and parts and TWO WAY shipping.


Voodoo Notebooks Thread

I was wondering which notebook you guys would suggest for college. I'm looking for a desktop replacement, so I value power over mobility and battery life. My notebook will probably be in the dorm for the majority of the time , besides when I come home for breaks. Oh and I also think that $3k would be the maximum my parents are willing to spend. Thanks.

I would say either the M700 (which is amazing as a desktop replacement) or the M355 which you can carry around to classes - have the battery life, and still enjoy very good power.

How's the quality of the tv tuner on the m700 compared to a real tv? I basically told my dad that I've narrowed down my choices to a voodoo, hypersonic, or a powerbook so he says he will call voodoo during the summer(probably july) to see what you guys are all about. I think he thinks I'm easily impressed.

TV tuner is better quality than a real TV. It looks better on a laptop screen then it does on a TV.


Looking to buy a notebook Thread

Well, I'm going to be heading off to college pretty soon (University of Oregon) and i'm lookin to get a notebook for school. Don't play games much, but i'll be majoring in multimedia design which I imagine involves a good amount of web/graphic-authoring, flash, and audio and video. M355 is looking pretty nice, but will it be able to handle all those flash/audio/video/graphics programs? Also, about how long does it take for one of these things to be created and shipped off? Iíll want to time my purchase so that it arrives before I head off at the end of August.

>>but will it be able to handle all those flash/audio/video/graphics >>programs?

Not only will it handle it, but by the time we're done setting it up it will beat most of your friends desktop P4 3GHz systems.

>>Also, about how long does it take for one of these things to be >>created and shipped off?

Roughly 30-34 days right now, we're extremely busy. We can ship it directly to your school if you want.

On a side note, what's the easiest/cheapest way to get TV onto my desktop? I was looking at an ATI 9700AIW but it's just too darn expensive. Any word on those usb tv tuner things?

Yeah those USB TV Tuner from ATI are fine. We'll also offer those on our laptops as an option, people are always asking for them. They were good, then they sucked, now they're good again - so they'll be back.

How would a centrino notebook outperform a 3ghz desktop especially since notebooks have subpar graphics card. Either way it would be really awesome tho.

Depends on the desktop - I didn't say all, I said most. It's actually true because the processor and chipset combination is deadly. The processor has 1 meg of cache too.
 


Notebook Longevity Thread

Iím seriously considering buying an M355 notebook. While Iím not looking for it to be a desktop replacement, I would like to play games on it from time to time. My concern is that the technology might become obsolete quicker than normal given the new game engines that will be coming out later this year, e.g., the engines powering Doom 3 and Half Life 2. Upgrade insurance notwithstanding, I would hate to drop the cash only to find out that the M355 (or any other notebook currently offered for that matter) chokes while playing games six months from now. (I can live with upgrading in a year and half to two years from now, but Iím not looking to do it six months after making my purchase!) What does everyone else think about the longevity of the current technology (specifically the graphics chipsets) that are going into the notebook? Those who own M550s and M600s, how are you finding the notebooks holding up?

You're in luck. You can easily upgrade the videocard in the M355. I have the ATI 9000 Mobility in my Hypersonic Aviator GX6 (same chassis as the M550) and I have been using it exclusively for gaming for the past couple of months. It's awesome!

Bastage is right, you really can use the Mobility 9000 for gaming. I play all games at 1024x768 and it runs great!


Centrino Performance Thread

Does anyone know what the ratio performance for the new Centrino processors is? El P posted 1.8x in a previous post, but that doesn't seem right. That would make the 1.6 Centrino equal to a 2.8 GHz CPU (1.6 x 1.8 = 2.8. And El P already said (in another post) that the 1.6 GHz Centrino is about equal to a 2.2 GHz P4-M (although some publications have stated that it actually performs equal to a 2.4 P4M).  Based on those numbers, that gives us a ratio of about 1.375.

If you're talking about straight processor performance with no advantage from dual channel memory then the 1.8 theory holds water.

So, it's right, it's 1.8X1.6 - that's the performance you'll get roughly. Sometimes alot more, sometimes a bit less.


M-355 Centrino Gaming Laptop Thread

(Battery Life, Paint)

I've been looking through old threads, but I still haven't seen any pics of this new laptop, or any 3DMark scores.  Can anyone point me in the correct direction.

Also, I'm very curious as to the 1400xsomething screen resolution. I was wondering why Voodoo didn't just go with a 1280x1024 screen for 15" LCD included with the laptop. I wonder if 1400xsomething might make my desktop too small. Plus 1280x1024 is a great resolution for 3D games.

Another question, will the M-355 be available in finishes other than Allure? I'm thinking I might want one of the Electro static finishes for the laptop.

Along those lines, what material is the laptop made of? Is it primarily Titanium, plastic, aluminum, something else?

You'll see pictures next week.  I have a Ferrari Red M355 scoring 7500 in 3DMark 2001SE right now. - It's running at 1.6GHz.

They sound like amazing scores for a laptop.  Impressive indeed.  How do you like the 1400x1050 desktop resolution? I'm assuming based on the specs, that this is it's native resolution. Are you running your games and demos at this res, or a lower one?

I'm going to assume that allure is the only paint type available because the case is plastic, and the other paints won't adhere to it. Is the frame of the laptop made of metal?

The paint adheres well, it won't flake or peel. We spend a great deal of time making it work right

The material is plastic, but we make it look like metal, as we do with all our laptops. It's really just a matter of not cutting costs on cheap primers or cheap paint materials. The allure paint is well worth it, and you can get a custom logo or tattoo if you really want (although it adds a bit to the cost depending on the detail).

Anyways, the scores are amazing. I've been running on battery for almost 5 hours today (although I've walked away a few times and it goes to sleep).

By the way the system runs great at 1024X768 or 1280 for games. That's what I always run my games at on a laptop.
 


Notebook Help Thread

I have been searching around the net for a notebook and found voodoo from ATI's website. I emailed AW (also found them from ATI), but they never got back to me and I have been hearing bad reviews. I need a laptop for increased mobility, however, I do not know much about laptops. I have always had regular PC's that I have made myself. I am a big gamer, so I want a powerful computer as a PC replacement, but I also want good battery life ( I couldn't find how long the M700 battery life is). I have an ATI 9700 AIW which I love, so I will be sad to give that up. However, I need the laptop by september and I want to be able to upgrade to the ATI 9600 mobility if it is not out by then (any idea on the cost to upgrade?). So, basically I need suggestions, I really would like to have a 17" screen if possible, however my limit it 3.3k dollars, but I want something that would last with a lot of storage. Should I look at the M335 or the M700?

Don't listen to anyone who says the performance of the Pentium M is slow 'cause "it's only a 1.6" - that's just not the case. As nice a work of art the M700 is, if you need battery life and performance get the M355. If you want looks and lots of screen real estate the M700 is good, but battery life is around an hour if you're lucky.


Centrino Laptop Thread

El P, does the m355 have a built in 1.44 floppy drive, or do am i gonna have to get a usb external?

There's a swappable floppy that goes in the option bay 1 if you want. We aren't offering it yet, I'm not sure that we will unless someone really needs it.

(plus much more from the talented members)



Radeon 9600 Thread

I really want to hold out for the 9600. So i ask...PLEASE SOMEBODY FROM VOODOO give me an update...even if it's not good!!!

Let me put it to you this way.  We just released a brand new laptop - the M355, using the Radeon 9000. We are taking PREorders on a laptop that is not YET available until end of June. This laptop has a Mobility 9000. I don't see the 9600 coming for awhile yet.


Laptop Ugradeability Thread

Which laptop is the easiest to upgrade and why? Since I will be buying one without the 9600, I would like to have it upgraded when they do become available.

They're all upgradeable, but the nice thing about the M355 is it has a removable card with video memory on it.

Thanks for the quick reply ELP. I just tried to configure one and I could "NOT" find an option to upgrade the ATI 9000 to 128 MB of VRAM. When I did the summary it showed the ATI 9000 as 64/128. Is it available as a 128 model?? I definately need 128!

The M355 is only available in a 64 meg version.


M-355 Upgrading

From reading the posts, I know that the M355 will be upgradable to the Mobility Radeon 9600 Pro w/128mb when (if?) it shows up. But does anyone know whether or not the Wi-Fi card can be upgraded? Voodoo is currently only offering a 802.11b option, but I'm hoping to pick up a 802.11g or 802.11a/g when they are available.

Also, the memory options top out at a gig, is this the max ram the system can handle (I know the chipset can handle more) or just the max that Voodoo is offering, i.e. can I add more later?

It will go beyond 1 gig - to 2 - but there are no chips that run at 1 gig that work in this unit yet.

The video card is upgradable.

The WIFI can be changed at any time - although to qualify for "Centrino" we have to use the Intel approved part which happens to be an Intel 802.11B part.   Our unit has a removable minipci ethernet card. Right now we use an Intel part, but luckily for us it's not soldered on the board. I can't say the same for others.

El P can you give any more information on this at all???? I am purchasing a notebook soon and the M355 is at the top of my list but if its not upgradable to the ATI 9600 I dont want to spend 4000 on it.

I can't offer you any further information unfortunately. All I can tell you is, there is a daughter board on the laptop, we're working on a few upgrades but it they don't work or they're not approved by a number of governing bodies than we're not going to make the move. That's about all I can say for certain at this point.

>>Any info you can give us on battery life?

Yeah, it lasts a long time. Using it hard I get around 3 hours or so.

>>Does the M355 have a modular bay or is the optical drive fixed?

Modular

>>Can the M355 carry two batteries at once?

Yes, but we don't carry the mod bay battery - most people want to keep the DVD. We do, however, offer additional batteries for $90.

>>Does the extra battery come with any sort of charger so that it can
>>be charged without the system?


Nope. We recommend you use the laptop charger and remove the battery and then put the discharged in, it charges when you use it.

>>Also, where are the Wi-Fi antennas located on the M355?

Inside the base you don't see them.

You said that you don't carry the modular battery. Where would one be able to pick it up?  With the antenna in the base, what kind of Wi-Fi reception do you get?

Good question. Taiwan I'm guessing Don't worry, we DO have a better battery technology which works with this unit, and it's coming (not soon - but FAST!).

With the Antenna in the base I get killer wifi reception. Way better than a PCMCIA card!

How about some benchmarks from your Centrino system? I mean we hear time and again that it is equal in performance to a 3GHz system but how about some scores for it as well as from a 3GHz M550 or M600? I know at one time you posted a 3dMark score for the M355 but how about some actual game benches?

Darkstar, more benchmarks will come out either in media or through customers. I just haven't had time to benchmark my unit fully yet - but there are a number of units in production right now and we'll start to see more numbers surface.


M-700 Video Question Thread

I just tried to configure the M-700 and noted that the video card Radeon 9000 only carries 64 MB of VRAM. Is there going to be a 128 version??  Also, does anyone have any idea when the 9700 or 9800 will be put in the laptops?? I noticed they are available on the Towers and the Rush systems.

The M700 has a 64 meg because the resolution of the screen doesn't warrant a 128 meg card. At 1440 by 900 or whatever it is, 64 megs is more than enough.


New 17" Wide Aspect M-700 Theaterbook Preorder

(May 7th, 2003)

This laptop is around 1.4" thick, it's very nice - uses the same screen as the MAC laptop. Check the laptop section for more details.  The MAC is 1.0" thick, the Voodoo is 1.4" thick. Although the Voodoo runs a 3GHz P4, has a built in video camera, a Radeon 9000 64 meg, wireless technology, blue tooth, subwoofer with killer sound - The MAC has, well, Itunes, Ihop, and all the Istuff?

The Centrino (M355) is available now, pictures up next week. The M700 is pre-order for now.  Our Centrino is 1.17" to be exact. If you take a look at the system summary you can click on the chassis for dimension and weight details.
 

>>3GHz P4 Well, the MAC G4 isn't as fast, so you got me there. Also not
>>nearly as hot.


Ahh yes, but we can also use the Pentium 4 M processors which run much cooler.

>>You mean it has a built in 802.11g like the 17" PB?

I mean a MiniPCI card, so you can use any technology - current or old.

>>subwoofer with killer sound A built in subwoofer? Well, I guess
>>that's why it isn't 1" thick and only 6.8 lbs.


Yeah, at 8.0 pounds with the TV tuner or 7.9 with the SW it's not too bad. It beats the 600, which I carry around with 3 built-in hard drives.

>>It also doesn't run Windows, which is the best thing about it!

That's a point I'm willing to debate.


What do you guys think of the M-600 Laptop Thread

I'm going to college soon and i would like to enter the voodoo family...because of mobility issues and space issues...i don't want to buy a desktop...i've configured a M-600 and it seems to get the job done pretty well...what do you guys think about it??....any suggestions??

I really like it. I use an M600 with the 15.7" Display (1280X1024). I have 3 hard drives in mine (removed the TV Tuner), and it's pretty awesome. The only caveat (sp?) is you don't really want to carry it around from class to class. It's large and in charge, 13 pounds yo. I take mine from work to home and back. I leave it on my desk all day and use it as my main PC. It's an excellent laptop, very quiet, no overheating problems, and offers great performance. Battery life sucks, but that's what you get when you slam a desktop processor into the laptop.

If you want mobility, light weight, power, and battery life with few options the M355 is a good choice. The battery lasts seemingly forever, and it's also built-in wireless.

Another problem i have is that the Intel with Centrino (sp?) tech...seems a little weak (like opting for a Celeron over a P4)...am i wrong in thinking this??

Well, you have the wrong idea about Centrino then. Take the processor MHz of the Pentium M - Assume 1.6GHz - then multiply that by 1.8 and that's about the performance equiv. for desktop processor vs Pentium M based on the Centrino package.

What about gaming on a Centrino system??....any loss in performance?? Or even DVD playback for that matter??

You will have no drop in performance with the M355. You'll have way better battery life with the M355.  You will lose additional options and features - things like MP3 Player, larger screen, extra hard drives, etc. These are the things you will sacrifice.

I like using my laptop anywhere and I prefer battery life over multiple drives.

"but Voodoo will give you an 802.11a+b card, so the notebook won't be 'centrino'"

We don't offer a non-Intel card in our M355. We won't do that - we prefer to stay with the Centrino Approved product.
 


Mobility Radeon 9600 Thread

Been trolling the boards and have been wanting to buy a M550 laptop for some time now. I'm ready to order it, but I don't want to order a 550 now with the Radeon 9000. I heard the 9600 is a daughter-card type that will allow easy video chip upgrades in the future and this just makes it all the more appealing, but not sure how true this is.

New laptops just posted on our site, take a look. No 9600 yet, sorry. All of our laptops are upgradable, motherboard and all. Sometimes, depending on the platform, you do have to replace the board. In the future the chips will be "flippable" but we're not there yet in the mainstream. These are the latest units out, the M700 is our wide-screen (same screen on the Apple).


Differences between Falcon NW, Voodoo, & Alienware

Just wondering the differences between the 3 companies of gamming computers. I want to hear it from real people like yall. I know this is a voodoo website so you preference is will most likely be voodoo but I would hope you have some fair feedback as to which you like and why.

The difference between Falcon, Alienware, and Voodoo - that's a great question, except I would say that Falcon is our closest competitor. Their quality is very much similar to ours.

I would also say that the BIGGEST difference between all of us is the guys at Voodoo hangs their laundry outside on a clothesline, and everyone else washes theirs in private.


Differences between Voodoo & Hypersonic Thread

Can someone out there explain the differences between the Voodoo and the Hypersonics, "Pro's & Con's?  Thanks!

A few notable differences I think;

I have seen some tests on the Hypersonic laptops - and if you take our M550 and compare it with their similar unit, ours has out-performed theirs on multiple occasions by around 10%. So depending on what you're looking for, it's your choice. I think CGW recently did a review of one of their desktop PCs where Hypersonic stated that they don't do competitions because they "don't typically do well in them". I'm not sure what that meant, but it's safe to say that our systems are typically faster.

In terms of warranty, perhaps they do answer their phones during the day, but it's true that they use the same company that Alienware uses for onsite support (and the 24/7 is handled by the same company). I can't comment either way on this company because we haven't had the opportunity to work with them yet.

In terms of warranty, Voodoo covers shipping both ways on the unit. I'm not sure if they do or not. I'm pretty sure that they don't offer onsite replacement of major components on laptops, but don't quote me on this. I am aware that many of the techs that do onsite work don't know their way around the laptops as we would our own.

The other thing to consider is, once again, Voodoo builds the laptop from the ground up. We do not buy them and put parts in them and sell them as our own. We build them from scratch. It was a bit rocky at first getting around a few of the cooling issues and whatnot, but we've had excellent results building them ourselves. We have learned from experience that our workmanship is only as good as we make it, and we continue to improve on it.

Bastage, IDOV must be referring to the fact that Hypersonic paints only what's easy to remove from the laptop, leaving the edges and key face the standard grey. I assume they buy the laptops from a distributer in small volumes and gets a body shop to paint only those components because it may possibly void their warranty.

Voodoo, on the other hand, paints the chassis before we assemble it, so we can do all the components without worrying about voiding any warranties, because we handle the warranties ourselves.


M-600 Thread

Long, but very informative thread about all the laptops
Many questions will be answered...wade on through!


Laptop Pictures:
 

Harticus Imola Orange M-355 Laptop  (Sept 28th, 2003)

cndart's Bavaria Blue Tattooed M-355  (Sept 27th, 2003)

upnygimp Pearl White M-355  (Sept 27th, 2003)

Laguna Seca Blue M-355 & M-600 with Tattoo  Updated Pics! (Sept 27th, 2003)

Keroyn's Tifosi Red M-355 & Booq Bag

Lifehost's Silverstone Blue M-355 Laptop  (July 20th, 2003)

Pictures of the New Envy M-460!  (July 16th, 2003)

APDux's M-355 Black Allure Tattooed Laptop (July 6th, 2003)

Dafftronic's M-600 Yellow Tattooed Lappy  (May 2003)

Cool Laptop Pics - Red M-355 Centrino  (May 2003)

Flash Gordon's M-550 Silverstone Blue Laptop Pics
 

Desktop Pictures:

Elrabin's Awesome Fury  (Sept 26th, 2003)

Mushroomhead's Wavemaster Fury  (Sept 26th, 2003)

Mike's Silverstone Blue F-Class

John's New F-Class Website (June 20th, 2003)

Pictures at The Vootique Website - Daryl Pinsdorph

GameMadness Website - Photos of his F-Class

Zwei's VooDoo Portal - Pics & FAQ

Quantum Man's Ferrari Red F-Class Pics

Fury Pictures taken from Voodoo Photo Gallery

Jayling's Nude VooDite  (Feb 14th, 2003)


Extreme Tech Review of the Voodoo M-355 Centrino


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