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Toshiba Satellite Takes Gaming Into Orbit

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April 24, 2007 2:16:16 PM

With it's Satellite p105-S9330 notebook, Toshiba takes aim at gamers. We test the p105 and show you its major features.
April 24, 2007 6:36:51 PM

What is the point of the charts showing the test results?

It appears to have finished last in every test done.
Is that good?
Well, I guess it finished 1st as well.
I guess that is good.

Unless you have something to compare it against,
the numbers are pointless.

You should have also noted in stronger words that the 200GB 4200RPM drive is a crime in this computer.

These drives are not a LITTLE slow, they are EXTREMELY slow.

Laptop HDDs are far slower than Std HDDs at the same RPM level because the platters are small.

It's critical for any type of performance to get faster drives.

7200 RPM are very nice.
If you can get a 5400RPM with PMR, its decent too since more data is packed in an area and the drive does not have move as fast to read as much data. A 5400 PRM drive is still not as fast as a 7200RPM drive, it does come close and has a lot more storage.

Also, which Tier of Screen Display is included.
It would seem the lowest tier, which often are not nearly as nice on most laptops I have seen.
April 24, 2007 8:00:28 PM

Yea... you think they would have put at least a hard drive that has the 7200 RPM in it. On side note, last time I checked, this laptop costs around $1999 whereas, a person could easily get this Gateway for $1499.99 which has the same parts, but a better hard drive and a higher resolution.

Gateway NX860XL
Related resources
April 24, 2007 10:04:06 PM

Yep, that Gateway is a steal!!! I was going to suggest a 17" display with WSXGA minimum, but then WUXGA is sooo much nicer. :D 

Agree with the 7200RPM drives too - gamers want quick load times, not battery time.

Toshiba used to offer "configurable" gaming laptops on their website but they don't have that any longer. I think if Toshiba wants to attract serious users and increase their sales, they should offer customers the ability to configure their laptops to their needs, as many other manufacturers let you do.

I like Toshiba. They make very good laptops.

BTW: Those scores for outdoor Oblivion are, as the graphic suggests, a SLIDESHOW. :lol: 
April 25, 2007 12:24:25 AM

sorry but I agree that the HD is a crime . WOW battery life is better but the extra 20mins that u might get will just be load times and chugging along.Man if I was going for a GAMING LAPTOP i would atleast want a 7200rpm or raid.Or if they want to make something cool give it 2 batteries to make it last longer , seems needed because of how much people that would need that kind of game machine would want to play.Im sure that the dual battery would enable you to swap to a fresh , charged battey while the other was still in so no outlet would be needed to change to a new battery.I would pay for a few extra batteries if I spent that much on a laptop.
April 25, 2007 8:10:20 AM

sorry but i think laptops are not made for gaming... laptop= mobility and battery life, in my opinion, is one of the most important parameters...

I wonder how many people buy these gaming solutions...

...I'll just stick to gaming on desktops...
April 25, 2007 9:58:26 AM

Quote:
Yep, that Gateway is a steal!!! I was going to suggest a 17" display with WSXGA minimum, but then WUXGA is sooo much nicer. :D 

Agree with the 7200RPM drives too - gamers want quick load times, not battery time.

Toshiba used to offer "configurable" gaming laptops on their website but they don't have that any longer. I think if Toshiba wants to attract serious users and increase their sales, they should offer customers the ability to configure their laptops to their needs, as many other manufacturers let you do.

I like Toshiba. They make very good laptops.

BTW: Those scores for outdoor Oblivion are, as the graphic suggests, a SLIDESHOW. :lol: 


I have this exact laptop....minus one thing......windows vista ult...and am I glad. My computer was $600 cheaper. All I did was change out the HDD with a Seagate 100 GB 7200rpm drive for around a 100 bones and I was set. this laptop is pretty kick ass for 2 G's. I was looking at a comparable Dell and it was again $600 more. I feel very fortunate to get this when i did. toshiba makes some good equipment.
April 25, 2007 10:02:35 AM

Quote:
sorry but i think laptops are not made for gaming... laptop= mobility and battery life, in my opinion, is one of the most important parameters...

I wonder how many people buy these gaming solutions...

...I'll just stick to gaming on desktops...


why aren't laptops made for gaming? I game with mine. I do other things as well and it is not my main gaming machine but when i am away on business and I feel the need for a little CoV then I have my trusty toshiba. And if I am headed to a little LAN at a friends house for a few hours whats the point of draggin my beast across town when I have a laptop that provides very good performance. just my opinion..
April 25, 2007 11:16:39 AM

I think that with a good laptop there is no reason why you couldn't game with it. Think about it. You can easily take it anywhere in a bag, if you travel in a train, plane etc. you can just plug the powercord in and enjoy (atleast we get those in trains, Finland....). And they take less space than a desktop.
Some people complain about HD's of the Toshiba. Okay, it's crap, but it doesn't cost much to get an external HD. Just a thought
April 25, 2007 4:02:58 PM

I game on my Laptop all of the time.

I have a nice set of PCs in my office that are game worthy, but I like to game all over the house. Living Room while wife is cooking dinner, THeatre room while watching the game on the Big Screen TV, Bed Room while watching a movie at night, etc... etc.. etc....

That is on top of gaming while traveling, in the airport, etc.. etc.. etc...

My Wife's Laptop is not a gaming laptop w/o the high-end Video, etc...
I can use her's if I need super long batter life and light weight.

Mine is user for the heavy duty stuff.

And I concur about the HDDs.
I don't think I've ever owned a laptop that I did not manually upgrade the HDD at some point. (More speed, space, etc.... - Laptop vendors surcharge way to much for the upgrade.)
April 25, 2007 4:38:37 PM

This *may* come as a surprise to some ...

I recently purchased this notebook, specifically the 9337 model, with a 2 gig c2d, the 7900gs, 200 gigs of slow hdd, and 2 gigs of ram. Sounds like a great set of specs for a notebook, I think, and in fact it is quite decent ... just not in the way it is configured by Toshiba. While Nvidia's drivers seem to work fine for other notebooks (non-toshiba's) using this exact GPU, there is a problem with Vista and this notebook. Personally, I wouldn't be shocked it was something other than a bug in the Nvidia drivers. Whatever it is, it is impossible to get even a decent game playing experience out of this notebook with Vista installed, so only buy it if you can find it with XP or if you don't mind paying for a copy of Vista that this notebook (not being dx10) will never need/be able to use.

Here's the problem, and as far as I can tell *everyone* with this notebook experiences this with Vista: When playing any game, the framerate is sweet - for about 4 out of every 5 seconds. The other 20% of the time, the framerate drops right down to 15 fps, about, and is essentially unplayable. I ended up installing XP (which totally solved this issue), but now I'm going to return the notebook to costco for a full refund - I really resent paying a premium on a notebook and an OS, only to find that it will only work with a different OS, the drivers for which are not made available by Toshiba. That's right, Toshiba doesn't offer any XP drivers for my notebook - I had to find a comparable toshiba notebook model (essentially the same notebook, with a different model number and shipped with XP) and force-install most of those drivers.

Add to that the fact that updates for the gpu drivers are, for the lay person, only available through Toshiba (unless you modify the Nvidia drivers, they won't work on the notebook; and not everyone will want to modify drivers or download modified inf files) and you have on your hands one raw deal for most people who bought this notebook.
I'll stop ranting in one second ... I just want to drive home my dissatisfaction with this purchase.

A little background - I am a 25 year old chemist with about 10 years of IT work under my belt. My previous job was network and system administration for a california university (UCR), where I was in charge of hundreds of computers. I have built numerous personal computers, tweaked every computer I've owned in a variety of ways, and I've never had a problem short of hardware failure that I couldn't fix.

Fixing this notebook took me HOURS - and while others will not have it so tough, as there is some documentation online (on forums, not Toshiba's website), this is far from acceptable. I could imagine Toshiba releasing this notebook with Vista, despite it's massive bug (what's the point of a shiny new notebook with this cheesy "ultimate gaming machine" sticker COVERING the inside, if it ... doesn't play games? Did someone test this?), if they would make installing XP easy. However, the only way to get audio drivers for this beast is to pick a toshiba model with the same audio card (a rare one, relatively, and one which is not advertised anywhere, so it was no easy task to figure out which other Toshiba notebook used the same version (venice version) of the same audio hardware (Conexant HD Audio ... they make audio cards now?), and then to try (and fail) to install the drivers, THEN to use the now uncompressed drivers on the HDD (from the failed installation attempt) to do the manual, have disk method for installing drivers. And the rest of the drivers can be tricky, too, until you know exactly what to do.

In short, I am now a die-hard Toshiba hater. I will never buy one of their shitty products again, even if it is not shitty - just out of spite for this pathetic experience. Furthermore, I'm returning this notebook for a full refund, and hopefully others who were suckered into this will do the same.

One last thing, in case any execs at Toshiba are reading this. Look, we like games ... that's why we buy gaming machines. That does not mean, however, that we want an advertisement for a video game put onto a *large* sticker and then affixed to our brand new notebook. Especially if the game picture looks ... well ... silly and childish. Many games who are buying these expensive machines are not 12 years old, and the ones who are may not be making as many of the purchasing decisions as you appear to think. Next time, omit the childish sticker and put the extra time into seeing if your products will actually work as intended (and no, just because something is able to boot up under vista does not mean that it is working flawlessly. There's a little more to it than that.).
April 25, 2007 9:38:05 PM

I'm sorry to see that you've had a horrible experience with your Toshiba laptop. I got a Toshiba Satellite for graduation in 2003. It had a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz w/ 533 FSB, 512 DDR PC2100, and a 40 Gig 4200 RPM hard drive with a 15" screen @ 1024x768 with Windows XP Home Edition and a DVD/CD-RW drive. The laptop has not giving me any issues, other than being slow (hard drive is the culprit). The laptop had a GeForce Go 440MX w/ 32 MB DDR VRAM which wasn't too bad. I was able to play FFXI and regular CS and GTA 3, as well as Jedi Academy 2 or whatever. Till this day, the laptop still runs. The casing has a few cracks from over use and handling. Overall, the laptop has been great!!! With a new battery (battery crapped out after 2 years), I can get 2 1/2 hours of battery life with regular internet browsing and word processing and music listening. Not too bad. It wasn't a gaming laptop, but by God, it sure did last a long long time!!!

I'm sure the Toshiba laptop would have been great had they gave you the option of having Windows XP installed.

I like what Dell is doing. They will continue (they discontinued for a little bit) to offer computers to their consumers with the option of XP over Vista.

I have Vista on my main computer and must admit, it's nice and pretty, and stable and good at multitasking... but when it comes to games, graphic card producers need to pick up the pace on their drivers! I was trying to play STALKER last night and was getting 15 FPS average!!! When I had XP, I was getting around 45-60 FPS!!!

But anyways, all in all, I agree that Toshiba is partially to blame for your troublesome with the laptop.
April 25, 2007 10:16:05 PM

Quote:
This *may* come as a surprise to some ...
Here's the problem, and as far as I can tell *everyone* with this notebook experiences this with Vista: When playing any game, the framerate is sweet - for about 4 out of every 5 seconds. The other 20% of the time, the framerate drops right down to 15 fps, about, and is essentially unplayable. I ended up installing XP (which totally solved this issue), but now I'm going to return the notebook to costco for a full refund - I really resent paying a premium on a notebook and an OS, only to find that it will only work with a different OS, the drivers for which are not made available by Toshiba. That's right, Toshiba doesn't offer any XP drivers for my notebook - I had to find a comparable toshiba notebook model (essentially the same notebook, with a different model number and shipped with XP) and force-install most of those drivers.


Did you try turning off file indexing in Vista...?
April 25, 2007 11:01:58 PM

Quote:
On side note, last time I checked, this laptop costs around $1999 whereas, a person could easily get this Gateway for $1499.99 which has the same parts, but a better hard drive and a higher resolution.

Gateway NX860XL


Yeap, I love that laptop. I have the NX850, but it's the same chassis and many of the same features (although X700 instead of GF7), I love it, and it's great for the price, and has just great component options including the wider screen for true HD playback.

If they update it with a GFGO8600 or MRHD2600 it'll likely be my replacement again (nice to reuse the batteries too since I have 2 laready 8) )

These toshibas are terribly hobbled IMO, and the only ones that had good options were their gaming class from build your own which is pricier, or the HP DV9xxx series fully kitted for less money than this.

The depth (as in LxWxD) of the Toshiba is also huge with alot of unused realestate for plastic, the HP and Gateway aren't are deep, which makes a HUGE difference on flights. This Toshiba will no fit in Economy Plus, and even in Business Class I'd be hard pressed to fit it on the Drop down table that fit the Gateway perfectly. The HP has a similar sveltness that attracts me to it.

When also handling the Toshiba it feels cheep cheesy (like brittle plastic) compared to the HP and Gateway, and the buttons below the touch pad are very unresponsive compared to the others, they seem to be location sensitive where you have to press squarely on a certain part of either button to ensure a click-drag, etc. Not good for fast typers/mousers.
April 25, 2007 11:26:05 PM

Quote:
sorry but i think laptops are not made for gaming...


That's just ignorant.

Quote:
laptop= mobility and battery life, in my opinion, is one of the most important parameters...


So one size fits all?
I don't buy mine primarily for gaming, but just like every other aspect it's included, because I've moved to only having a portable computer, no more desktoip, notebooks are now powerful enough to do the editing I require, and the gaming that I enjoy, and I chose to have a balanced laptop.

If I can game on my laptop, that's an added benefit, and the power that was finally brought forward from the gaming trend has allowed me to get rid of my two other computers and consolidate everything in one place, for a 50-100% premium over the 'basic laptop' I would've bought, but for about 1/2 the price of having two seperate modern computers.

And once Lasso arrives, we'll have the best of both worlds. Which is great for those of us who not only need them for business, travel, etc. but also just like to flop down on the couch and surf, or take it to a friend's place for a mini LAN party, or over to the GF's to play HD-DVDs.

With everyone moving from desktops to laptops, you're going to see far more of these solutions than ever before. Who wants to return to the days of crippled laptops of the late 90s early 2000 being our only choices? :roll:
Remember if it wern't for the push in laptop for efficient performance there'd be no Core2Duo desktop.
April 25, 2007 11:38:24 PM

The Gateway is a killer..
I think the 4200 RPM drive was used to save battey life.
I am still looking for a good sub 11" notebook with internal DVD drive. (cheaper than the Sony)
April 26, 2007 2:18:18 AM

I disabled many fancy features (including file indexing) in Vista to see if I could resolve the problem with my toshiba, and nothing worked.

I definitely think some of the blame ... no, ALL of the blame falls on Toshiba. I don't care about drivers issues being the norm with a release of a new issue, or any other excuses. If you are a manufacturer of notebook computers, no system should be shipped to stores unless it has been tested and it performs as it should. It's bad enough that games and such are regularly shipped with bugs ... I personally think this is unavoidable and somewhat acceptable, as developers cannot afford to thoroughly test every single component combination. However, had Toshiba tested even a single game (like, for instance, the very same game that there is a BIG sticker advertisement for on the notebook itself ... yes, the game has a sticker, a large sticker, advertising Dark Messiah of Might and Magic ... which, like all of the games that tried, did not work), they would have realized that this notebook simply should not ship with Vista.
April 26, 2007 5:19:24 AM

Quote:
I am still looking for a good sub 11" notebook with internal DVD drive. (cheaper than the Sony)

Take a look at the Fujitsu P7230 - 10.6" widescreen, 1GB ram, 9+ hour battery and DVD burner for $1899.

Fujitsu P7230

Trust me, you'll like it! My boss has one, he loves it, and I use one for travel purposes. It works great for me because it is small, light, feature-packed and it plugs into everything I have.

Quote:
I disabled many fancy features (including file indexing) in Vista to see if I could resolve the problem with my toshiba, and nothing worked.

You've got a real bummer of a machine there - I would have never thought Toshiba support was THAT bad, or that their hardware was so "Vista Uncapable". It seems gaming IS one area they need to improve on, with issues as yours.
April 26, 2007 7:45:42 AM

In my opinion Windows Vista should not ship with any laptop that the manufacturer considers to be a gaming system. Games+Windows Vista=Crap Until the video card drivers and M$ get their sh!t together stick with XP. Unfortunately Toshiba doesn't even sell XP machines anymore, I don't think. I too had an experience with Vista on a Toshiba similar to mattc. I have built and modified many computers over the years and when a friend showed me an add for a Toshiba Laptop with Vista I thought well the specs seem good for the price I will just add XP to the machine and take Vista off. Well this proved to be impossible. It all came down to the sound driver. I don't understand why a driver would be different for this. It makes no sense at all not to have parts that are backward compatible and Toshiba was pretty useless when it came to looking for drivers for the machine. Toshiba is asking me why I want to change to XP. I told them for many reasons and preceded to lambaste the guy for not being able to help. So after trying almost every sound driver I could think of I gave up and re-installed Vista and took it back. So to all the manufacturers out there please offer XP. Vista is pretty but not game friendly at all.
April 26, 2007 11:27:38 AM

I own the Gateway, and a friend of mine has the Toshiba. I put in a 100gig 7200 drive and side by side, he wishes he had bought the Gateway.

However...depending on what games you are going to run...a friend told me about this sale going on at Office Max of the Everex XT5000T, for 699.00.

Yeah that's right, 699.00.

Has the 7600 Geforce Go, not the 7900GS, and will take any s1 turion. AND it has 2 drive bays, not one, and the best 17" screen I've ever seen...comes with a single 1gig stick so another 50.00 gets you 2gigs...and a 3 year warranty for around 130.00 more...in other words, you can have a pretty darn good Wow or LOTR online lappie, for less than half, FAR less than half of not only the Toshiba, but also the Gateway...

I bought two, one for my son, and one as backup for my Gateway....and the 'bang for buck' is so impressive, the 7.1 spidf output, or the 2.1 with subwoofer built in...(the BEST speakers I have EVER heard in a laptop btw)
that..guess what... Havn't touched the gateway in a week. So far I've played everything up to and including Oblivion, with near maxxed settings with no problems. Wow and LOTR play at full everything without a stutter, and that's on VISTA, not even Xp Pro....

Sure its not as fast as the 7900GS but guess what, so far, it hasn't needed to be...and the damned thing was only 699.00.......

long long LONG before I shelled out 2500 for the Toshiba...I'd spring for the gateway...and now that i've seen it with my own eyes, and had a chance to wring it out...if I had seen the Everex first...I wouldn't have the gateway either...Like I said, I bought two...and spent less than a third of the toshiba for each, far less than half than the gateway...

oh and that everex screen?...If you put the acquarium screen saver on, people will try and feed the fish...

heck of a deal (oh, one other thing, the two drive bay, lets you put xp on its own drive and dual boot thru bios, instead of a bootloader...so if something goes wrong and you corrupt the bootloader, you're not looking at a total wipe/reinstall of either Vista, or Xp, or both...


...kindof nice really...



seer
May 14, 2007 7:26:18 PM

Hey all,

I purchased the S9339 version of the Toshiba P105 model. In Tom's review they used Windows XP Pro for testing. Where in heaven's name did they get the drivers for it?!

The specific problem/issue I'm having is that I cannot get any of the results they did using Windows XP and a faster hard drive. The video driver I got from nVidia and it recognizes fine.

Out of desperation I decided to reload Windows Vista Ultimate, stripped out all the extraneous programs and services and tried running games again. Nothing.

Here's something interesting: In Windows Vista Display Settings, the video card is showing as having 256MB of VRAM, but sharing 271MB with system RAM. Whaaaa?!!! I thought the RAM was dedicated! Nowhere in Toshiba's blurb about this model does it say anything about sharing RAM.

Another odd note: For giggles and grins I loaded the plain old 158.16 Forceware onto the laptop and forced it to use the regular 7900GS driver. The driver took, and now the shared RAM has jumped to 527MB. This brings the total video RAM to 783MB. Yeah. But it still does nothing for performance.

How do I disable this shared RAM in Vista?
August 19, 2011 9:56:50 PM

Paul_gren said:
sorry but i think laptops are not made for gaming... laptop= mobility and battery life, in my opinion, is one of the most important parameters...

I wonder how many people buy these gaming solutions...

...I'll just stick to gaming on desktops...

yeah i will lug my desk top down to starbucks the next time i want to do gaming somewhere else besides home..
a b 4 Gaming
a c 572 D Laptop
August 19, 2011 9:59:37 PM

@ 10drxtc;

Drink less coffee and don't hit four year old topics.
!