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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default A laptop for gaming

    My girlfriend wants to play video games with me. So that's grand.

    However, her laptop - which she loves with scary intensity - is one of those childrens toy computers (ie. an apple product ), which isn't any good for this sort of thing. So I need to go out and buy her a machine with the power to play.

    Now, I'd buy her a stationary computer if we had the space for it. We do not. We do however have an enormous tv, which may be an option, display wise.

    But what sort of system should I go with? I've built computers, but that's years ago, and I've frankly never purchased a laptop. Do I need to buy some sort of expensive high end Shark or Predator or whatever they're called?

    We will, most likely, be playing WoW Classic and Trine 4, so it's not like it needs to be able to run Cyberpunk 2077 =)

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Cant say much about the specs but definitely look into a high quality cooling pad as gaming laptops tensdto get very hot

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporeegg View Post
    Cant say much about the specs but definitely look into a high quality cooling pad as gaming laptops tensdto get very hot
    ... I don't really do laptops - so, um, what is a cooling pad? Actually, I'll just google that for myself - ok, it's an additional cooling gimmick - but the testing I've seen seems pretty hazy on the actual benefits of having one.

    Is it really necessary? Or even relevant?

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Unsure if it is worth it. But I have lost a computer and a graphics card to heat problems. And I know people that use gaming laptops that become extremely hot

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    "Desktop" PCs don't have to be very big at all. If you're planning to hook it up to the TV, it can basically be the size of a regular TV appliance (like a game console - a PS4 is basically a regular PC that only runs Sony's OS) and fit in the same cupboard. Get a Mini-ITX case and a Mini-ITX motherboard and something like a short-length GTX 1070 or 1660 Ti, or maybe an RX 580. You can look for a Mini-ITX pre-built as well, they should exist, though some of them might have similar cooling issues to a laptop. Building your own machine gives you more control.

    Gaming laptops generally amount to paying double the price for half the longevity, for similar performance, or the same price for much lower performance (and still half the longevity). If you're not actually going to use the gaming laptop as-is - in hotels and such, as a frequent traveler - a Mini-ITX PC should be better.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    My girlfriend recently got a refurbished post-lease laptop specifically to play her favourite low-mid spec games: Terraria, WoW, etc., and to use programs that would facilitate the use of her Wacom tablet. She spent like 380 euro on it, which was not a bad deal considering her low expectations.

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    Maybe this is what you need. Though bear in mind that this is probably not a setup with a grand future; it will probably run indie games and the like 'til the end of time, but we never checked if something like The Witcher 3 runs on it. Overwatch works on it, for example, but it does spin the fans into overdrive.

    But if you mostly want to play Classic WoW, then this is probably not the worst thing you could get if you're on a budget. For what it's worth, 25-man raids and crowded "main city" hubs work very well on this setup.

    Anyhow, yeah, consider my input as a possible vouche for a low-budget option, and then work up from there.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    The cheapest Shark model is .. just a wee bit more expensive than my stationary. I'm unsure whether anyone knows Shark Gaming, they're a huge deal here in Denmark, but it's unclear to me whether they have any presence abroad =)

    But that's a price tag of around 830 euro. Not exactly cheap, and while it has stats comparable to those of my machine, I imagine it's not entirely comparable?

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Are we talking about this thing?

    It doesn't seem completely awful to me. A GTX 1050 can run anything fairly well, even if you have to dial down settings a bunch for AAA stuff. It's the most limiting component in terms of game performance, though, so you might want to consider the model one notch higher, priced at 8000 dkr, since it has a GTX 1650 instead. It does about 50% better than the GTX 1050 in benchmarks, and your i5-9300H should be able to handle either comfortably, so you should see all of those 50% in practice.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
    Are we talking about this thing?

    It doesn't seem completely awful to me. A GTX 1050 can run anything fairly well, even if you have to dial down settings a bunch for AAA stuff. It's the most limiting component in terms of game performance, though, so you might want to consider the model one notch higher, priced at 8000 dkr, since it has a GTX 1650 instead. It does about 50% better than the GTX 1050 in benchmarks, and your i5-9300H should be able to handle either comfortably, so you should see all of those 50% in practice.
    I have some manner of the 1050 card on my stationary, so I know the card (well, one of it's iterations, anyways) - and it runs Witcher 3 quite effortlessly, although that's likely on moderate settings.

    But yes, that is indeed 'that thing'. They claim it's custom built, but I'd wager it's more true to call it a limited production run - because they become obsolete so fast.

    8000. My girlfriend will balk at that much money, but you may well be right. Thanks =D

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    that's a price tag of around 830 euro.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
    priced at 8000 dkr
    What are dkr? how do they relate to euros? if it's one for one, then a jump from 830 to 8000 sounds very excessive.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    The thread mentions multiple references to Denmark. Kaptin Keen's listed location is Denmark. I posted a link to Shark Gaming, the Danish hardware site Kaptin Keen was referencing. I would have assumed that, looking at the context, there is little room for confusion.

    I will admit I used the wrong abbreviation for the Danish currency, the kroner. Should be either kr. or the ISO code DKK. I hope Kaptin Keen will forgive me that dreadful oversight.

    Anyway, I used Google to convert from one currency to the other, like I imagine most people do.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
    The thread mentions multiple references to Denmark. Kaptin Keen's listed location is Denmark. I posted a link to Shark Gaming, the Danish hardware site Kaptin Keen was referencing. I would have assumed that, looking at the context, there is little room for confusion.
    I don't live in a nation with a border with Denmark. I kind of assume that Denmark is in the EEC (Switzerland wasn't last time I checked, but I thought the EEC ended at Russia now).
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    ... I don't really do laptops - so, um, what is a cooling pad? Actually, I'll just google that for myself - ok, it's an additional cooling gimmick - but the testing I've seen seems pretty hazy on the actual benefits of having one.

    Is it really necessary? Or even relevant?
    The embedded/extra fan may or may not do anything, but I think the biggest benefit of them is just getting the laptop elevated a bit so there's airflow underneath it; lets it radiate naturally and not have heat trapped on the bottom, so the fans/internal cooling doesn't have to work extra to shove it all out the side.

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I don't live in a nation with a border with Denmark. I kind of assume that Denmark is in the EEC (Switzerland wasn't last time I checked, but I thought the EEC ended at Russia now).
    Your information is outdated.The EEC hasn't been called that since 1993 and ceased existing in 2009. If your are talking about the socalled Eurozone, only a third of EU members are actually part of that. All the skandinavian countries stayed out.


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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    The cheapest Shark model is .. just a wee bit more expensive than my stationary. I'm unsure whether anyone knows Shark Gaming, they're a huge deal here in Denmark, but it's unclear to me whether they have any presence abroad =)

    But that's a price tag of around 830 euro. Not exactly cheap, and while it has stats comparable to those of my machine, I imagine it's not entirely comparable?
    Looking at the link Silfir posted, the Shark-branded laptops appear to be cosmetically modified Clevo laptops (a Taiwanese laptop manufacturer who specializes in easily modified and reasonably priced gaming laptops.) Clevo laptops are sold under a variety of names in the West (Sager, Prostar, etc.) but are generally pretty good quality. My last two laptops have been Clevo (Sager branding) and my next laptop will almost certainly be another Clevo (when I get tired of the current one.) I'd highly recommend them, especially because they tend to ship with zero bloatware (not sure about Shark, some resellers have different levels of bloat) and their components are easily accessed. As an example of their quality, I bought my first Clevo laptop about 8 years ago and it still runs well (I gave it to my younger brother when I bought the new one), though it has fallen behind the curve with regards to tech specs (as expected of a machine that old.)
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    What are dkr? how do they relate to euros? if it's one for one, then a jump from 830 to 8000 sounds very excessive.
    Danish kroner - this literally translates into crowns - are the only currency the world should have needed to bother with. Our coins actually contain copper, silver and gold, in amounts close to equivalent to their minted value.

    It's utterly bonkers, but I'm strangely proud of that fact* =D

    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
    The thread mentions multiple references to Denmark. Kaptin Keen's listed location is Denmark. I posted a link to Shark Gaming, the Danish hardware site Kaptin Keen was referencing. I would have assumed that, looking at the context, there is little room for confusion.

    I will admit I used the wrong abbreviation for the Danish currency, the kroner. Should be either kr. or the ISO code DKK. I hope Kaptin Keen will forgive me that dreadful oversight.

    Anyway, I used Google to convert from one currency to the other, like I imagine most people do.
    Dreadful oversight reluctantly forgiven =D

    Quote Originally Posted by Battleship789 View Post
    Looking at the link Silfir posted, the Shark-branded laptops appear to be cosmetically modified Clevo laptops (a Taiwanese laptop manufacturer who specializes in easily modified and reasonably priced gaming laptops.) Clevo laptops are sold under a variety of names in the West (Sager, Prostar, etc.) but are generally pretty good quality. My last two laptops have been Clevo (Sager branding) and my next laptop will almost certainly be another Clevo (when I get tired of the current one.) I'd highly recommend them, especially because they tend to ship with zero bloatware (not sure about Shark, some resellers have different levels of bloat) and their components are easily accessed. As an example of their quality, I bought my first Clevo laptop about 8 years ago and it still runs well (I gave it to my younger brother when I bought the new one), though it has fallen behind the curve with regards to tech specs (as expected of a machine that old.)
    It would in no way surprise me if this 'premium brand of custom built' danish laptops are nothing more than cheap foreign knock-off's with new paint jobs. We have some of the highest wages in the world, we're not really hugely competitive on manufactoring =D

    What's a bloatware? oO

    * Not an actual fact - if I understand correctly (they don't tell me things at the royal mint) there are precious metals in our coins, but not enough to be worth the value of the coin. But the idea was but forward, and taken under actual consideration.

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    What's a bloatware? oO
    Bloatware is all the software you don't really want/need that comes preinstalled on something. When I got windows 10 it was a whole bunch of Candy Crush type games. Some phones come preinstalled with NFL or IMDB apps or something. It's almost always super annoying, and entirely (in my experience) just something pushed onto you because app company X paid money to device creator Y so that more people would use their software.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    It's worth noting that some Bloatware just comes with Windows 10 these days - like that Candy Crush demo. Difficult to avoid, thankfully uninstallable. It's just a shame Solitaire and Minesweeper fell victim to Microsoft's naked greed.

    Apart from that, yeah, it can get pretty obscene. On the flipside, a laptop (or phone) loaded with bloatware is probably like 50 or 100 cheaper than it would be if it was pristine. Laptops (or phones) are a market with a ton of competitors, and this is one way to lower the price to undercut the opposition without completely killing your profit margin. Obviously it's a major hassle to the consumer, but the time spent reinstalling a clean OS from another source at least got you some kind of benefit.

    On a phone, I suppose you're essentially forced to uninstall apps individually. I have little experience there since I still use my first smart phone, a Moto G3, and Motorola uses almost completely unmodified Android.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    I can't stand using laptops and the few times I do they end up as desktop replacements.
    Unless you're actually trying to move it regularly you're much better off getting a compact case design and building the system yourself. Wireless mice, keyboards, headsets means you can do everything from a couch and you can probably hide\store even a regular sized case so it would effective not take up any more space than a laptop. Even the people I know that insist on laptops are sitting in the exact same place every day to use it 90% of the time.

    As for laptop coolers, there are two things they're most useful for. One is that if you've actually got it on your lap, in bed, or anything besides sitting on a table, that surface is probably soft, so all those vents on the bottom\back\sides are probably partially to fully blocked by the laptop sinking into the soft surface. The other is that it heats up whatever it is sitting on too, and that gets uncomfortable for the user in a lot of cases too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El'the Ellie View Post
    Bloatware is all the software you don't really want/need that comes preinstalled on something. When I got windows 10 it was a whole bunch of Candy Crush type games. Some phones come preinstalled with NFL or IMDB apps or something. It's almost always super annoying, and entirely (in my experience) just something pushed onto you because app company X paid money to device creator Y so that more people would use their software.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
    It's worth noting that some Bloatware just comes with Windows 10 these days - like that Candy Crush demo. Difficult to avoid, thankfully uninstallable. It's just a shame Solitaire and Minesweeper fell victim to Microsoft's naked greed.

    Apart from that, yeah, it can get pretty obscene. On the flipside, a laptop (or phone) loaded with bloatware is probably like 50 or 100 cheaper than it would be if it was pristine. Laptops (or phones) are a market with a ton of competitors, and this is one way to lower the price to undercut the opposition without completely killing your profit margin. Obviously it's a major hassle to the consumer, but the time spent reinstalling a clean OS from another source at least got you some kind of benefit.

    On a phone, I suppose you're essentially forced to uninstall apps individually. I have little experience there since I still use my first smart phone, a Moto G3, and Motorola uses almost completely unmodified Android.
    I generally spend hours trying to see how much crap I can get rid of. My most recent work phone comes with Bixby - which it took me a long time to kinda-sorta get rid of. When I install windows, I spend hours removing Microsoft junk I don't want, like Edge (which, far as I can tell, is not removable). Same when installing drivers, right? I just want the driver, please, not your random borderline malware add-ons. Dammit =)

    So that's called bloatware. Didn't know the term =)

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    I can't stand using laptops and the few times I do they end up as desktop replacements.
    Unless you're actually trying to move it regularly you're much better off getting a compact case design and building the system yourself. Wireless mice, keyboards, headsets means you can do everything from a couch and you can probably hide\store even a regular sized case so it would effective not take up any more space than a laptop. Even the people I know that insist on laptops are sitting in the exact same place every day to use it 90% of the time.

    As for laptop coolers, there are two things they're most useful for. One is that if you've actually got it on your lap, in bed, or anything besides sitting on a table, that surface is probably soft, so all those vents on the bottom\back\sides are probably partially to fully blocked by the laptop sinking into the soft surface. The other is that it heats up whatever it is sitting on too, and that gets uncomfortable for the user in a lot of cases too.
    I heartily agree - I despise laptops. But it's not for me, it's for my girlfriend. And as initially stated, she loves the bloody things with burning intensity, to such a degree that it feels like I simply shouldn't be watching her with one.

    On the cooler pads, I had the same thought - that it might be more comfortable when sitting with it on your lap, and also, when you place the laptop on say a blanket, I guess a lot of dust gets sucked into the vents.

    Meh .. I dunno =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    On the cooler pads, I had the same thought - that it might be more comfortable when sitting with it on your lap, and also, when you place the laptop on say a blanket, I guess a lot of dust gets sucked into the vents.

    Meh .. I dunno =)
    A powerful laptop can and will be pretty danged hot. My Surface 3 Pro (tablet so even more limited active cooling) gets hot enough that I wouldn't want to hold it if it runs very heavy work for extended periods.

    I actually got a coolerpad thing for my old laptop, had it's own fans. It's nicer than having a really really hot spot pressed against your thigh.
    Though you'll want to try them out for real before you buy. You want something that is actually comfortable in the lap.

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    So it looks like the kroner is still about 6:1 to the dollar, about what it was when I was there. But I spent all of a day in Copenhagen driving from Stockholm to Germany and my experience with the kroner was finding a 200 dkk bill on the ground.
    At any rate...
    The upgrade from the 1050 to the 1650 is a pretty big jump and if gaming is important, probably worth it.
    Many parts of a laptop are hard or impossible to change, but RAM and hard drive space tend to be easy. So if they're got an upgrade to either of those you might find it cheaper to just do it yourself afterwards. Secondary hard drive especially. 256GB just doesn't go very far, having a single game be 50+ GB is not that uncommon anymore.

    After a very brief search, this laptop seems to be a pretty good price vs specs. https://www.amazon.de/Asus-FX505DT-I...dp/B07VBK4SYS/
    It may not be the best option (not speaking Danish makes it tricky to search what's available) but it seems like a reasonable point of comparison for checking other manufacturers and sales sites.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    After a very brief search, this laptop seems to be a pretty good price vs specs. https://www.amazon.de/Asus-FX505DT-I...dp/B07VBK4SYS/
    It may not be the best option (not speaking Danish makes it tricky to search what's available) but it seems like a reasonable point of comparison for checking other manufacturers and sales sites.
    Dang, I do like the look of that one. That's barely 6000 DKK.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    A Raspberry Pi 4 can deliver medium-low end desktop performance pretty easily. Granted, you're going to have to get familiar with WINE if the games in question you want to run don't have native Linux ports, but hey... you can't beat the $60 price. And as a bonus, because of the ARM architecture, you can also run Android apps pretty seamlessly.

    I mean, it's not remotely a gaming desktop, or even a high-end gaming laptop, but it's surprisingly beefy. Can run just about any console emulator you want, although you'll probably want a USB SSD to store your ROMs on if you're going to run some of the higher-end ones. Can also run Steam and any game that is SteamOS compatible natively, and with Steam Play and Proton, you can play a hefty chunk of other games as well, right out of the box without needing to muck about with WINE.

    As an intermediary step while saving for a more serious rig, it can be a lot of fun.
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    I don't think Kaptin Keen ever said he was so short on budget that a Raspberry Pi would be in his sights, and even if he were, he's apparently doing this for his girlfriend, who I'm not sure is going to be hugely grateful when given a small circuit board rather than her desired all-in-one laptop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I don't think Kaptin Keen ever said he was so short on budget that a Raspberry Pi would be in his sights, and even if he were, he's apparently doing this for his girlfriend, who I'm not sure is going to be hugely grateful when given a small circuit board rather than her desired all-in-one laptop.
    CanaKits are available online that have everything you need to get going. From there, it's just a keyboard and mouse, since he said he was going to be hooking it up to his TV anyway
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    A Raspberry Pi 4 can deliver medium-low end desktop performance pretty easily. Granted, you're going to have to get familiar with WINE if the games in question you want to run don't have native Linux ports, but hey... you can't beat the $60 price. And as a bonus, because of the ARM architecture, you can also run Android apps pretty seamlessly.

    I mean, it's not remotely a gaming desktop, or even a high-end gaming laptop, but it's surprisingly beefy. Can run just about any console emulator you want, although you'll probably want a USB SSD to store your ROMs on if you're going to run some of the higher-end ones. Can also run Steam and any game that is SteamOS compatible natively, and with Steam Play and Proton, you can play a hefty chunk of other games as well, right out of the box without needing to muck about with WINE.

    As an intermediary step while saving for a more serious rig, it can be a lot of fun.
    I'm hearing stories that the Pi 4 is about as processor capable as a 300 MHz pentium 3? An actual comparative benchmarking would be interesting.

    I'm sort of squinting at one for web-browsing, but I wouldn't consider it for games beyond Minesweeper.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    I'm hearing stories that the Pi 4 is about as processor capable as a 300 MHz pentium 3? An actual comparative benchmarking would be interesting.

    I'm sort of squinting at one for web-browsing, but I wouldn't consider it for games beyond Minesweeper.
    Uhhh... no. We're looking at a 1.5 GHz quad-core proc with 4 GB RAM. And actually, due to the 64 bit ARM proc, it's actually quite a bit more efficient than a desktop's proc of similar speed and core count.

    I can easily run, for example, emulators like Dolphin for the GC, N64 (which were shoddy on the 3b+), and 3DS.
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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    Uhhh... no. We're looking at a 1.5 GHz quad-core proc with 4 GB RAM. And actually, due to the 64 bit ARM proc, it's actually quite a bit more efficient than a desktop's proc of similar speed and core count.

    I can easily run, for example, emulators like Dolphin for the GC, N64 (which were shoddy on the 3b+), and 3DS.
    But the GC and N64 are from about '97-'01, which is contemporary to a Pentium 3 chip. So saying a system can run games from those consoles is by no means proof that it is more powerful than a contemporary desktop CPU. I have no doubt a Raspberry PI 4 is more powerful than a Pentium 3, but saying it can play those games isn't saying anything.

    Also there is no way to directly compare completely different architectures and their clock rate. You can't even compare Intel and AMD X86 desktop CPUs directly to each other based on clock frequency. Even desktop versus mobile chips of the same family can't always be compared on a clock-to-clock basis.

    I'm also not sure what you're actually referring to a efficiency. Power efficiency ARM chips have some very good advantages, but Instructions Per Cycle (which seems to be what you're implying here) ARM is way behind. AMD and Intel's CPUs have a higher average IPC, but even those are averages and don't give exact numbers (one type of command might do several per cycle, others commands might take several cycles to complete).

    I have no doubt Raspberry PI can run some games, maybe even quite a few games, but that doesn't mean it is better at it than an X86 chip. You can still run games on ATOM chips, and they're about as close to equivalent to an ARM chip as is available on X86. They have similar clock rates and power ratings, and are also designed as a SOC solution. You can also run games on ATOM based laptops and tablets


    And if you're really interested in a super small and simple computer, the "PC sticks" are even smaller than a Raspberry PI, albeit a bit more expensive, they also don't require figuring out running games on a different OS.
    *Not that I think Kaptin Keen is interested in that, but saying.

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    Default Re: A laptop for gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by ShneekeyTheLost View Post
    A Raspberry Pi 4 can deliver medium-low end desktop performance pretty easily. Granted, you're going to have to get familiar with WINE if the games in question you want to run don't have native Linux ports, but hey... you can't beat the $60 price. And as a bonus, because of the ARM architecture, you can also run Android apps pretty seamlessly.

    I mean, it's not remotely a gaming desktop, or even a high-end gaming laptop, but it's surprisingly beefy. Can run just about any console emulator you want, although you'll probably want a USB SSD to store your ROMs on if you're going to run some of the higher-end ones. Can also run Steam and any game that is SteamOS compatible natively, and with Steam Play and Proton, you can play a hefty chunk of other games as well, right out of the box without needing to muck about with WINE.

    As an intermediary step while saving for a more serious rig, it can be a lot of fun.
    This is certainly interesting - but almost certainly not what I'm looking for.

    Had I been 20 years younger, I'd have loved to nerd around with something like this, it seems wonderfully adaptive. But these days? I just buy something other people have fiddled with.

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