PC gaming question (need hardware advice)

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by Valkysas, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    Soon (I hope, I think) I'll be getting an HP Pavilion dv9500t laptop with the following specs:

    OS: Windows Vista Premium
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7250 (2.00 GHz, 2 MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
    RAM: 2GB
    Graphics Card: 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS (best selectable option for the system)

    What can I expect from it as far as games? I looked online, and couldnt really find any info on the graphics card. I have never been a PC gamer (and I know almost nothing about PC hardware), but since PC games get cheap pretty fast, I figure I'll jump on board if I can. I'm not expecting to play Crysis or anything like that on it (I'm not stupid), I'd just like to know if it's a setup I can expect to get some use out of with games, and what some of the newest games released are that this could play, even if they're a year or two (or more) old.

    My current machine crashed trying to run the old halo PC demo, so no matter what, it's an upgrade.
     
  2. DevilzFan

    DevilzFan CobraIsland.com Veteran

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  3. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    Thanks, but as I don't own the system yet, that's not useful to me right now. I don't intend on owning it until I know if I should get that card or not either.
     
  4. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    Where are you buying it from? And what's your budget?
     
  5. Primal

    Primal Moderator

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    Dunno if this helps but your specs are similar to mine (just a bit below for Processor, but a different graphics card. Also I'm a desktop)

    OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 (2.33 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache, 1333 MHz FSB)
    RAM: 2GB DDR2 800 MHz
    Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD 2600 Pro 512MB DDR2 PCI-e
    Vista Score: 5.1 out of 5.9 - based on my lowest result which was Gaming Graphics - 5.6 for Windows Aero graphics

    Laptop Magazine says this system you're looking at got a 4.5 Vista Score - don't know which category scored the lowest but the graphics was 4.6 for Windows Aero, gaming graphics score unknow.

    Anyway, some games I've tried on Vista: Sorry, I've only played demos :p 
    Bee Movie demo: Would not run on Vista for me.
    BioShock demo: Ran smoothly with my XBox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows. I lost audio for some reason and it didn't come back until the end of the demo. Don't know what mode I played the game in - DirectX 9 or 10 - whichever the default is.
    Crysis demo: Ran a bit slow during the cinematics but I also set my video card to do high quality on everything (In game and in the Catalyst Control Center). Also I think I noticed a slight decrease in performance when I plugged in my 360 controller but not too sure. Also I only played it in DirectX10 mode.
    TimeShift demo: Ran smoothly. Demo didn't give me an option for using a GamePad, can't comment on if there was any slow down. Anyone know if the actual game lets you use a GamePad?
    Transformers The Game demo: Would not run on Vista for me. Saying I was missing some DirectX 9 files, I gave up trying to get it running after the 3rd missing file. (I shouldn't be missing files, its a new system and I had similarly named files - probably just doesn't work on Vistas DirectX 9L)
    Unreal Tournament 3 demo: Installed fine, loaded fine, then it asked me to provide a login. I didn't play it cause I think it's only online play. There's an offline button, but you still need to register to play. Lame. Most likely will work fine on Vista, just don't know about performance.

    Note: BioShock was the only demo that told me that my graphics drivers were old (initial release drivers). Since BioShock I only tried UT3 so previous games that didn't work might now with updated drivers. Also I play my games in 1280 x 1024 resolution if it gives me that option.

    I've noticed that a lot of the game demos show the NVidia "The Way Its Ment To Be Played" slogan when you load them, so you got that going for ya.

    As for older games, I've tried a few that I had. Realease dates in brackets
    Escape from Monkey Island (2000): Needed a new installer that would run on Vista. The game had clipping though (you could see where the background was put together - FYI, works with 360 controller, but I found it easier with the keyboard)
    Star Trek: DS9 The Fallen (2000): Installed and worked for the most part. It crashed once during a level, then repeatedly during the 2nd or 3rd last level at the same spot.
    NHL 2002 (2001): I haven't tried it but the site below states that NHL '06 and '07 work. (FYI, NHL '02 does work on XP with 360 Controller)
    Madden NFL 2003 (2002): I haven't tried but the site below states that Madden 07 freezes during field goals. (FYI, Madden '03 does work on XP with 360 Controller)
    Spider-Man: The Movie (2002): Installed but when I went to play it was just a black screen with the audio going. I have since upgraded my graphic driver but haven't retested it.

    You can google Vista Game Compatibility, and there are a few lists (such as this one - check all three sections for Games: Works, Has Problems, Heavy Problems) that will tell you if the game will run or not.

    Hope this helps you gage if the system is good enough (since you can't use the link DevilzFan provided yet) and if Vista can play the games you want.
     
  6. Dinobot Nuva

    Dinobot Nuva Johnny 3 Tears Veteran

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    I've got similar settings, but one gig RAM and XP instead of Vista, and I can still pretty much run anything if I tweek the graphics a little. Crysis, Bioshock, Gears of War, Orange Box, its all fair game.
    And...what the hell are you running with anyway to get Halo PC to crash 0.o I could run that game with 256 RAM and a 128 MB card back in teh day.
    DN
     
  7. ShockWave_AZ

    ShockWave_AZ Shock and Awe

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    That looks ok but how much are you looking to spend on a laptop?

    I have dell XPS that I have used for a year of gaming and just replaced the hard drive. If you want a "gaming" laptop go with a XPS. You cant beat a portable 17 widescreen LCD.
     
  8. Weirdwolf

    Weirdwolf TFYLP Podcast Founder TFW2005 Supporter

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    Okay, since this question rose up (about hardware advice), I figured I'd ask this here.

    I've got a homebuilt PC. Here's the specs:

    AMD Athlon 64 2.20 Ghz Processor
    over 110GB of free HD space (on main HD)
    2 GB of RAM
    ATI Radeon X1300 graphics card
    Diamond Extreme 7.1 Audio card with SPDIF audio output
    I've run the latest driver updates and installed them.

    According to the link DF gave above, my computer should run the Transformers game just fine, but it doesn't. The video and audio is extremely choppy. I've tried deleting and reinstalling a couple of times, but to no avail. Strange enough, it actually played better on my original AMD Duron 1.6 Ghz setup. I essentially have the same hardware, just a new mobo/CPU. What could be the problem?
     
  9. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    your computer loves you too much to run it.

    My computer is miraculous in it's shitty-ness.

    Well, this laptop has a 17 inch screen, so it will be sexy. and I've had bad, bad, bad experiences with dell in the past that have made it impossible for me to get one of their computers again. I stick to HP, or home-built.

    budget really doesnt come into play, as this is the computer I'm getting. I just wanted to know if the graphics card (best option out of three offered on the system) would be worth the money, or if I should just go for one of the other two options. from what I've found out, this option is worth the 175 it adds to the total price.
     
  10. DevilzFan

    DevilzFan CobraIsland.com Veteran

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    Ah, apologies. It was late and I misread.
     
  11. ShockWave_AZ

    ShockWave_AZ Shock and Awe

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    Well if this is the computer you are getting, then try to get XP instead of Vista. Either from HP or getting XP from the store and installing it. It will save you a lot of headaches if you want to game.
     
  12. DevilzFan

    DevilzFan CobraIsland.com Veteran

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    Unless he wants to play Halo 2, or quite a few of the new upcoming games that are Vista only...
     
  13. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    I think I'll just end up getting an external hard drive and put XP on that.
     
  14. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    Seems to me that running XP and any XP-driven games off of an external drive would slow everything down considerably.

    I could be wrong.
     
  15. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    nah, you're probably right.
     
  16. Dinobot Nuva

    Dinobot Nuva Johnny 3 Tears Veteran

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    Yeah, I'd thought about buying an external for all the games coming out, but all my much more techy amigos said not to bother. If you install everything on an external it slows it down considerably more no matter how much RAM you have b/c you have to transfer all the data through USB, etc. You could always get an external and put all your other non-gaming files on it.
    DN
     

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