Without knowing my system, would you or someone be able to suggest in general terms what a good configuration might look like, or to point me in the direction of an online knowledge scource I might find helpfull?
I Only just installed my first ATI card. It has it's own menu for settings. I'm not sure about yours as it is intagrated.
You can download current drivers and the Catalyst Suite here - LINK at the bottom of the page. (They have lumped a bunch of XP and Vista drives together)
Then - control panel>system maintenance> Performance Information and Tools to update your WIndows Exxperience.
When you right click on your desktop, the Catalyst control center should be your first choice in the right click menu. You can use the Basic Interface or Advanced. You can always set everything back to default.
Your card is supposed to be fine with aero and 3D in Vista. Your drivers may just be out of date. I haven't done much with laptops, but have replaced quite a few video cards in desktops. Most recently a very hard to find PCI express low-profile for a slimcase desktop. You can find decent cards at affordable prices on and off line. You might want to look into a new one for your laptop just to brighten things up.