The games you sited have low res settings so enable a broad compatibilty of cards and manufacturers, especially WoW. They have like an 11million subscriber base and to keep all those people happy they need to really scale back what the graphics are capable of. (Look at the blocky unchanged models, even with a hi-res skin the models themselves are terribly low poly counts.
Like Nick said, a 64mb video card you can BARELY run WoW or anything that is current and graphic intensive(i.e. Arkaos, since we ARE on the Arkaos forum)
256mb is the bare minumum you should be using for apps like Arkaos... the bigger the better. The 1gb cards are now sub $300 and perform AMAZINGLY. I know for ESPvision they have done side by side render tests for Nvidia vs ATi cards. Nvidia cards of the same class actually outperformed the ATI cards by 2 to 1 in render speeeds and polly count limits . Basically for video cards its all about the flavor of the week for who is better for the money. For gaming I have found that I am much happier with Nvidia Cards 8600m GT is in my laptop right now and it runs VERY strong for all apps. ATI cards have always given problems if for no other reason thier lack of driver support after 6 months of a card being out. A good source of Vid card information is MaximumPC. They do a vid card round up eveyr month or two and are REALLY helpful when picking current high end components.
Also 512MB RAM... you are doing yourself a HUGE disservice, office 2007 now require 2gb. 2GB is now the standard with anything above and beyond helping greatly. I ran WoW on a laptop with very similar stats to the one you were saying and the performance was HORRENDOUS. Especially in WoW in the busy trade hubs. I went to 2GB of RAM and the performance was VASTLY improved. It wasn't till I upgrade to 4GB RAM and a 256 vid card that I didn't lag in EVERYTHING I did.
My current laptop run Arkaos VERY smoothly. Media Master not so much... I find that i hiccups when I am running multiple layers with Video. Best adivce for gaming AND media server... GO BIG. RAM and VId cards are not THAT expensive and ther performance you get from spending an extra 300 dollars will last you several years AND be a HUGE boost in how much you can run concurrently on the system.
Hope this helps.
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