Can Laptops (centrino) run games well?

Discussion in 'Mobile Technology' started by harakim, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. harakim

    harakim Big Geek

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    The CPUs on laptops run at way lower frequencies than other computers. I am probably going to get a T43 for school and then I'll put a 7800gtx video card and some ram in it. Will I be able to run games well on it? Will it be too slow for games by the end of the year?

    1,86g/533m centrino
    2048mb pc4200
    60gb 7200rpm
    geforce go 7800gtx

    If anyone has experience playing games on centrino, I'd really appreciate it.
     
  2. Addis

    Addis The King

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    Exactly how are you going to add a GTX to a laptop?
     
  3. harakim

    harakim Big Geek

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  4. Exfoliate

    Exfoliate Geek Trainee

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    So you mean you're going to opt for a built to order option with that card or you're really a master techie I guess. I know there are moblie 7800's but I just seems a little tricky to add to a laptop. And I woul 't imagine the Thinkpad line offers any more upgradablility than any other standard brand but you'll think of something I guess.

    Anyway...To answer your question yes games run fairly well on a Pentium M proc. Not great mind you, I've seen my friends PM 1.5Ghz or so get pretty bogged down with some games but they have more going for them under the hood then meets the eye. With a 2MB L2 cache they prove to be quite the efficient beasts off the bat and there's other improvements people have told me but unfortunately I've forgotten. But the bottom line is a 1 or so GHz Pentium M is more or less like a 2Ghz P4 or so. So 1.86GHz would translate into a litting less than 3.0Ghz for gaming I would say. So that's more than enough to play anything I would bet. My friend plays Cronicles of Riddick on his Laptop with a 1.5GHz PM, 512MB's or ram, and a X300 gfx card on high settings but at 640x480 (weird I know) without a hitch. You should be fine than. Sure FEAR might not appreciate the mobile chip but eveything is more GPU intensive and I doubt that will ever change so I'd say in a year you'll be fine. Save perhaps the upcomming Oblivion game for PC.
     
  5. harakim

    harakim Big Geek

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    That was pretty helpful. I forgot to mention my options were having a laptop that does games well, or
    a laptop (acer celeron m) and a desktop computer

    since the thinkpad costs 500 dollars more, it might be cheaper to get a low end laptop and a real nice gaming station
     
  6. Big B

    Big B HWF Godfather

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    The Centrino would be the platform that'd be better, but if you want the 7800 Go, you'd best make sure the laptop is equipped to facilitate that upgrade---not all do. The extra cache of the Pentium M over a Celeron M will help as well as the efficient architecture. That, and I can't see any mobile laptop pairing a 7800 of any sort with any Celeron, as it's the value chip line from Intel.
     
  7. Anti-Trend

    Anti-Trend Nonconformist Geek Staff Member

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    Still, gaming with a laptop is like towing with a motorcycle. It may be possible given the proper circumstances, but it's not ideal. If you have an option to game on a desktop rig instead, it'll be much more enjoyable and affordable.
     
  8. Addis

    Addis The King

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    The article link you gave showed the notebook had a proprietary PCI-E connector. The bus may be the same, but the connection interface isn't widely standardized. So unless you buy one built in then you're IMO.

    Pentium Ms will be decent for gaming, but if you're going through the expenses of getting a 7800GTX Go card, then you're better off with an Athlon64 notebook. Otherwise it might be a bit bottlenecked.
     
  9. Exfoliate

    Exfoliate Geek Trainee

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    I'd get a nice desktop myself, I mean you can upgrade it way easier and for cheap (ish) and it won't burn a hole in your legs yet will play all day, instead of about an hour or so. Thats the biggest problem of mobile gaming, you only do it for a level or two and then you've got to recharge:(
     
  10. harakim

    harakim Big Geek

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    Thanks guys. If you could give me a little more information about the AMD alternatives and their battery lives, that would be great.
     
  11. wompshmack

    wompshmack Geek

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    My laptop is a toshiba satelite with a 1.3 celeron in it. When I first got it, I couldnt play any games at all on it, then I upgraded from 256mbs of ram up to 768 cause best buy had a sale. Now I can get it to run WoW perfectly, and I can get it to run CSS(but not half life 2.. strange). CSS gets a little choppy sometimes, like if theres a lot of people on a server or something, but mostly runs pretty good. And thats a pretty low end model of laptop overall. Really depends on what your trying to play though, I guess.
     
  12. harakim

    harakim Big Geek

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  13. Addis

    Addis The King

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    You really have to be careful analysing info like this. The comparison puts the fastest chip as the PM at 2.8GHz. Good luck overclocking to that. Remember, overclocking to those speeds will also increase power consumption, and heat output is going to affect your laptop aswell. That comparison used a desktop PM, using desktop motherboard. Seriously its a good CPU, but its just not going to be worth trying to overclock that in a motherboard. Might as well save yourself some bother and get A64 and not overclock. I'm not sure on the AMD Turions, they might have similar performance of A64 in gaming while also providing low heat output.

    Are you trying to game on the laptop while mobile? Don't bother. You simply can't have excellent battery life with a desktop replacement gaming laptop.
     
  14. Exfoliate

    Exfoliate Geek Trainee

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    I can see the desire for mobile gaming easily and there are some decent alternatives that fall under midrange. Something like a AMD Turion 1.8GHz or higher processor or a Pentium M around the same frequency and a Geforce 6600 or X700 (preferably with 256MB's or vram) will give a good comprimize between price, performance, and battery life. Something along those lines should give you 3+ hours or gaming goodness according to review sites. Sure it won't max FEAR but at least you'll make it though a few levels before it craps out on you.
     
  15. harakim

    harakim Big Geek

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    I think there is a bit of confusion and I need to clarify a bit.

    My options were:
    1) Gaming computer at home and a cheaper laptop, or
    2) Get something like an IBM T43 2,26mhz and upgrade the video card (and possibly get the larger battery) and just play games on that.

    I'm not looking to get 100 fps or anything, 40 would probably be fine. I just want to play games and have a laptop, and I think buying a gfx card for a good 1200 dollar laptop may be cheaper (I figure it will be upgradable soon if not now); any advice though is welcome. I would only play power-sucking games when connected to electricity.

    What I meant by posting those results for the pentium m at 2,25ghz is about at the same level as the desktop processor I would buy, however...

    desktop and notebook
    -or-
    just notebook
    : )
     
  16. Addis

    Addis The King

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    I would go for a desktop and laptop. For the laptop, you won't need it for gaming, so you can keep power usage down to a minimum and have good battery life. Then you can at least have a powerful desktop computer which can be upgraded. Problem with this is it'll cost more than just getting a laptop.
     
  17. Exfoliate

    Exfoliate Geek Trainee

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    If you don't expect amazing fps in everything spend $1200 on a good Desktop computer and just get a cheap servicable laptop. The thing is you can't just pop in a new graphics card on nearly all current laptops. Yes a select few offer that option but you play through the nose for it and it's really not worth that much more. IBM is really not a gaming company in any respect so theres pretty much no hope of fitting any 7800GTX in there let alone upgrading in the first place. New ram and a harddrives are pretty much all you can do:(
     
  18. harakim

    harakim Big Geek

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    lol That's not the answer I wanted if you can't tell by the rest of the thread.

    I will get a desktop and laptop, but I still want a nice laptop. What are recommendations for specs for a laptop I can use fine for a few years, including upgradability. I wouldn't mind dropping 500 dollars on a new cpu and hard drive in a year instead of replacing an entire laptop, and I probably won't play many demanding games if I have a nice desktop. So what are some good things to look for?
     
  19. Addis

    Addis The King

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    As far as I know, you can't upgrade the CPU on many of of the modern laptops. RAM and HD is all you can do really. Laptops don't tend to have such a standardized interface as desktops do.
     
  20. Exfoliate

    Exfoliate Geek Trainee

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    http://www.cyberpowersystem.com/system/ntbkx56700.asp?v=d
    This is probably about as good as you'll get without blowing a crapload of money on some Voodoo PC model for example. You get MXM upgradability and a good price. Don't be fooled by the humble looks of the site, from what I've heard people are very satasfied with what they get. Keep in mind MXM is not ideal. It will only currently support 128-bit memory interfaces I believe and no more than 256MB's or vram. The size of the card itself is a big factor and it's not like you can shove just any card in there either. But if you want a upgradable laptop this is probably your best bet. Anyone feel free to add to that.
     

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