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Help with an art installation that will use cheap laptops


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#1 vetsanctified

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:23

I've done installations before when one machine control two video outputs efficiently. The problem now is that I need to do this in a bigger scale, like five or six laptops with double output each, so I need cheap devices. A friend of mine have six IBM Thinkpads T43 and he's willing to give them to me for almost nothing. However I think the Centrino cpu in them is not up to the task.

Is there anyway to optimize these machines for it? Or should I look for some decent netbooks?


#2 OP vetsanctified

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 18:06

200 views and no one can tell me anything? :(

#3 Detection

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 18:12

Depends what you are wanting to display per device, if it is only images, they should be fine, video... maybe depending on resolution, rendering graphics might struggle again depending on resolution

Don't know your budget, but sticking a few half decent GPUs into 1 machine might work fine

#4 HawkMan

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 19:04

Probably need to know exactly what centrino chips are in them.

but if they're just playing video or showing pictures, I guess it should be ok.

Also I wish people would stop making
"xxx amount of views and noone bothers to help me" posts

firstly they seems very ungrateful, secondly, chances are none of those 200 could help you, hence why they didn't post, instead of filling up with useless posts. if you want/need to bump for help, just do a polite bump. chances are people who can help see that post and hit the back button right away thinking that "ah, I don't want to anymore".

#5 OP vetsanctified

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 22:45

Depends what you are wanting to display per device, if it is only images, they should be fine, video... maybe depending on resolution, rendering graphics might struggle again depending on resolution

Don't know your budget, but sticking a few half decent GPUs into 1 machine might work fine


Each device will display an 800x600 mp4 video in loop. No video will be over 10 seconds.

The tricky part is that one of those machines will be displaying an 1600x600 mp4 video that will split over two tv sets.

Probably need to know exactly what centrino chips are in them.

but if they're just playing video or showing pictures, I guess it should be ok.


Centrino 1.7ghz. Dont know the model, its the one present in IBM Thinkpad T43s

#6 Detection

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 23:16

Each device will display an 800x600 mp4 video in loop. No video will be over 10 seconds.

The tricky part is that one of those machines will be displaying an 1600x600 mp4 video that will split over two tv sets.


I think definitely the 800x600 video should be fine pushing to two displays for each laptop

1600x600.... I'm only guessing but I would say 1 device for 1 display would cope, only a guess though, possibly could cope with two, but couldn't be 100% sure

#7 OP vetsanctified

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 23:22

I'm only guessing but I would say 1 device for 1 display would cope, only a guess though, possibly could cope with two, but couldn't be 100% sure


That's what I thought. I tried to do that using an old aspire netbook with an atom chip and the video was quite slow. I still asked because many friends have told me that atoms are even slower than old Pentium 4's.

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 15:06

That's what I thought. I tried to do that using an old aspire netbook with an atom chip and the video was quite slow. I still asked because many friends have told me that atoms are even slower than old Pentium 4's.


I think it would have a lot to do with which onboard GPU they have too, if it is something half decent, NVidia or AMD with a decent amount of shared memory, you might get away with it, but the lesser powerful ones like Intel then it might struggle

#9 Rana Bilal Manzoor

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 14:10

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