This machine has an ATI video card--an el cheapo Radeon X1300 with a mere 64 MB of video RAM--so this issue does not effect me. But I had to think about it before I could breathe a sigh of relief.
Not that my situation helps Pixy Misa one whit but it does make me feel better.
And it also ensures I won't buy an Nvidia card if and when I upgrade the graphics adaptor in this thing to run Diablo III.
Pixy's primary mistake was in buying anything made by HP or Compaq. They used to build great stuff; now they build junk. (And it's not just me saying it, either.) Every time there's a Best Buy flier in the paper, and I read through it, I see this or that Compaq and HP laptop at some great price, and think, "Hey!" ...until I see the brand name. I won't wipe my nose on either brand.
Actually, HP never really made great PCs. Compaq, at least, did, even if they were finicky about hard drives, but in my experience HP computers were a royal pain to work on.
On the other hand, if you wanted a printer, plotter, or scanner that just worked, approximately forever, HP was the way to go. People are still using HP LaserJet IIs and IIIs out there. (You can still get the toner carts at office supply stores, for one thing.) They use the Canon SX laser engine; and since I was a PC/printer tech in the 1990s I know that printer engine inside-out. I go so far as to say that I'm an expert on repairing them.
But a maximum print speed of 8 pages per minute, and 300 DPI resolution--they're slow and grainy by today's standards--they're obsolete. Heck, I got a printer for under $100 that prints 20 pages per minute at 1200 DPI to replace my Brother HL-8e, which used the same engine as the HP LJet II and III. The printer, over a decade old, still worked fine; I just wanted something smaller and more efficient to print with. Something I could leave on all the time without the lights flickering when the fuser switched on.
Compaq virtually started the business of PC clones. They weren't actually the first, but they were the best, and survived the early years when other manufacturers were almost 100% compatible with the IBM PC. For a good long time, if you wanted a PC but didn't want to pay IBM's prices, Compaq was your only realistic alternative. But in the late '90s, Compaq products turned to crap.
In 2001 I originally bought an HP computer at Best Buy. I got it home and went to install my preferred video card only to find that the thing didn't have an AGP slot--so back it went, and I bought a Gateway instead. (The video card that came with the Gateway was better than the AGP video card I had wanted to put into the HP. But the HP's on-board graphics controller was decidedly not better.)
And HP used to support the hell out of their products, too--when a new OS would come out, HP would build drivers for just about everything they ever made. These days? "Vista? Ah, just buy a new one."
The days when you could go to a place like Best Buy and peruse the aisle of flatbed scanners is over, douchebags. For me to get a new flat scanner, I have three choices: 1) buy a Canon; 2) buy a stupid "multifunction" machine I have no desire, use, or room for; 3) make the hour-long drive each way to Fry's to see what they have.
(Oh: 4) internet searches. Still.)
I don't want a "scanner/fax/copier/printer". I want a dedicated flatbed scanner. What I actually want is to use my perfectly fine HP ScanJet 4300C which I bought back when HP still made stuff that worked, but which won't function with Vista because HP would much rather sell me a new scanner.
...so that's put me off HP products of any kind, permanently.
As for Nvidia, the linked article makes me want to avoid them permanently, too. I know they make plenty of good products, but a corporation which pulls this kind of crap on people doesn't deserve my money. IMHO. Especially when there's still ATI.