Laptops and Gaming

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Duckman, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. Duckman

    Duckman Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 18, 2005
    I was considering buying a laptop for gaming purposes, seeing I am now often on the move for longer periods of time.

    My budget would have to be no more than about AU$2000 (US$2500 say). I won't be playing the most recent games out, but I would have to get something as powerful as possible for my price range. I have no idea about laptops, so any advice is great.

    Also, are there any limitations laptops have with playing games, when they match system requirements?

    Cheers,
    Duckman
     
  2. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Admin

    May 27, 2004
    most of all you should be cautious of what kind of graphics card and CPU is in the laptop. (research both thoroughly, or you'll regret you didn't)
    you also need to be sure the laptop packs enough RAM, which is something many producers slack on to cut the overall costs.

    if you want to play old games, you also need to be careful what kind of screen you choose. many laptops have an aspect ratio and resolution that older games cant handle.

    as far as i'm concerned, a little brand overview (all of which is entirely arguable of course, it isn't the word of god...):

    good: Acer, IBM/Lenovo
    decent: Toshiba, MSI
    hit&miss: Fujitsu-Siemens, Sony
    bad: Dell, HP/Compaq

    but i dont know what brands are common in Australia. you might have a bunch that we don't have overhere.

    anyway, best is probably for you to pick one that is closest to your needs & let us comment on it (and work from there).
     
  3. Duckman

    Duckman Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 18, 2005
  4. Wooz

    Wooz Vault Sweeper Admin Orderite

    May 18, 2003
    As far as my experience with laptops go, they're generally crap for gaming, as they tend to overheat very quickly. Sometimes, to the point the whole rig would freeze, and its underside would be boiling hot.

    I could iron shirts with that laptop.
     
  5. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Admin

    May 27, 2004
    that is by no means a gaming rig. hell, it's even too light to run Win XP well.

    "The A6K is the perfect game machine" my ass... if that's true, my swiss army knife is the most advanced and lethal killing tool ever created.

    too little ram, craptic graphics.

    better, but not a game machine yet.

    graphics are still pretty light, so don't hope to run the recent games too well (without killing detail etc). a second problem is that there are 2 sticks of ram, thereby making it impossible to add more later on if needed. CPU could use a tiny bit more spunk, but it'd do i guess.
     
  6. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Orderite

    Mar 18, 2004
    My experiments with adding extra RAM to a laptop later didn't work out to any satisfaction. Beware of overheating.
     
  7. SkynetV4

    SkynetV4 Mildly Dipped

    Jan 25, 2005
    SuAside made very good points. Those graphic cards look "good" on paper but they are Turbocache and Hypermemory equipped cards. That means that they have a small amount of dedicated memory and then dip from the main system banks to get what they need. Differences in latencies and delays in the graphics pipeline are not good for gaming. I hate Nvidia and ATI for creating such contrived solutions. So you have none of the benefits of discrete hardware and you don't have the cost of an integrated graphic chipset. Have you tried Newegg? They have reasonably-priced hardware but shipping might be pricey to Oz.

    If you do end up purchasing an big brand system, remember to reinstall cleanly to clear all the bullshit software that the OEM crams in it. They are paid for that crap but you shouldn't have to pay for that.
     
  8. Duckman

    Duckman Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 18, 2005
    OK thanks for that information guys. So what system specifications would I need to be considered a "gaming" one. Like I said, I won't be using very many new games that will tax the system too hard.

    I mean, this is all with a budget of around AU$2000, maybe I will have some more to spend by the time by tax return comes in late July :P
     
  9. Maphusio

    Maphusio Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Sep 25, 2004
    I recently went out and dropped 1K on a laptop.

    2.0GHZ AMD Turion 64
    1Gig of RAM (try springing for two gigs)
    ATi X700 128megs of ram
    80gig HD

    Just... what ever you do.. DO NOT BUY FROM www.cyberpowerpc.com

    There are some goood con artists there let me tell you. I REALLY wish I paid for a name such as Alienware (aka Dell)... At least then I would have received tech support instead of a month of calling and e-mailing the company every day...

    Edit: other than a hardware failure, that rig played and functioned just fine, especially if you're not worried about the latest and greatest.
     
  10. Duckman

    Duckman Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 18, 2005
    Maybe if I post some games and game specs, then we can see what type of rig specs I need. Well, these are "recommended" game specs anyways :P

    SimCity 4: Rush Hour

    CPU: 500mhz
    Ram: 128mb

    Civ4:

    CPU: 1.8ghz P4 or AMD equvalent
    RAM: 512mb
    GFX: 128mb with DirectX 8 support (pixel and vertex shaders)

    Rollercoaster Tycoon 3:

    Similar, if not, less than Civ4

    Rome: Total War:

    CPU: 1.0ghz
    RAM: 256mb
    GFX: 3D Hardware Accelerator Card Required- 64mb


    They aren't the newest games, but I guess it shows what I need in a nut shell.
     
  11. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Admin

    May 27, 2004
    should work on the laptops you mentioned, but that wouldn't make them game laptops. ;)
     
  12. keyser Soeze

    keyser Soeze Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 15, 2005
    Agreed. My friend have a pretty good laptop and it overheated like 5 times in 2-3 hours. And then i was only surfing + using msn and a webcam :?

    don't even want to think of how it would react if i where to start gaming on it :)
     
  13. SuAside

    SuAside Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Admin

    May 27, 2004
    if you are having those problems with laptops you've had a while, you probably just need to clean it out. dust on heatsinks & fans = hotter than usual.

    however, i wouldn't advice you to do it yourself if you're a total noob, so ask the nearest friendly neighbourhood geek, or the local official distributor for that brand.
     
  14. 10mmCurator

    10mmCurator Mildly Dipped

    Jan 23, 2007
    Eh laptops.... I had one and only used it for note taking in high school... I'm deaf and had to use an interpreter so I had the laptop... Hard to write neatly when you can't look down at what you're writing unless you want to miss some vital info on whatever subject.

    Of course that was like 10 years ago.... So don't listen to me
     
  15. Demonslayer

    Demonslayer Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    Aug 8, 2005
    Laptops weren't really made for gaming..
     
  16. Wooz

    Wooz Vault Sweeper Admin Orderite

    May 18, 2003
  17. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003


    I have a Toshiba A110 laptop. It's pretty good for gaming. Unfortunately, the Radeon 200M doesn't suppor particle effects. No KOTOR for me. Fallout runs like gold, though.
     
  18. SkynetV4

    SkynetV4 Mildly Dipped

    Jan 25, 2005
    If you want to game on laptops you can take heed of this advice.

    1) If they are brand new, visit a forum for that specific model or brand so that they can point out which programs can be deleted. A format/reinstall might be a good idea. Really shitty systems ran like a gold when I started ripping out crap that didn't have an applicable function.

    2) Stay away from Intel integrated graphics. They suck horrendous cock for anything that requires advanced graphics processing (if you must buy a laptop with Intel chipsets, go to the Intel website and read the specs. Doing so will save you a LOT of undue anger.

    3) Cheap laptops use Hypermemory and Turbocache technologies to have lower the cost of the system. Don't automatically equalize desktop cards and laptop cards. Usually laptop cards are clocked lower to avoid overheating.

    4) Battery life depends solely on how you use the laptop. Don't expect a specific lifetime just based on the number of cells (4 cells = 1 hour of charge, aprox.) because those estimates are usually based on having the system on idle with the LCD turned off. Batteries degrade over time even if they are not being used, so don't buy spare batteries unless you really need them. If you store them properly they MIGHT last a little bit longer but take my word on this. I have had to explain this to customers, probably dozens of times, why their battery that was bought with the system and never used only lasts 50 minutes .

    I'll be watching this topic if you guys have any questions.
     
  19. Arachnivore

    Arachnivore First time out of the vault

    Feb 13, 2006
    Sim City seems to require much better hardware than what is recommended. I'm not sure why or which resources it eats up, but, in my experience, the game cannot be satisfied even with a fairly high end computer by today's standards.
     
  20. keyser Soeze

    keyser Soeze Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 15, 2005
    I really think the battery evolution is many years behind the rest of the components in a modern laptop. I mean most batterys as you say cant handle more than a few hours. I think its laughable. I hope they get will make some überbatteris come out soon so you can have it on atleast 12+ hours with out worrying about them.