Any games playable on a Netbook?

I am considering purchasing a netbook for my travels and presentations (Dell mini 10 or HP Mini 311) and using a "gaming laptop" at home for Diablo III, Starcraft II and Bioshock. I am considering a Dell Studio Xps 16 or a HP HDX 18T)
I am tired of taking my heavy laptop everywhere, and i think the netbook (with external optical drive) could take its place as well as that of my portable dvd player. (The only portable blu-ray player on the market now runs $700, the Netbook is almost half the price!)
But i am curious if a netbook can handle some simple or old games like the original starcraft.
Anyone had any experience with playing anything on a Netbook?
Thanks for any thoughts.
10 answers Last reply
More about games playable netbook
  1. They should be able to.I don't have a netbook but considering today's processor's power, they can easily run games older than 2-3 yrs from now.
  2. Download shareware Doom from the id software FTP then go to sourceforge & get PrDoom Plus - which includes a 3D OpenGL renderer executable.

    Remember most netbook CPUs only have half the MIPS / GFLOPS of their desktop counterparts, SMT or not.

    Should get a min FPS 'above 70', ideally above 700 fps, but take what you get.

    On iPhone, may post links later.
  3. you cant run bluerays on netbooks simply the graphic card isnt that powerful to do so you'll get crappy video that's why they didnt give them cd drives in first place
    you can play simple games like mario, tetris, the 3d games online like the penguin surfer or those flash games but not

    COD, sims, that geeky game world of warcraft..ect..
  4. I think The Sims and World of Warcraft (much as I dislike it) would run on a Netbook depending on the GPU/IGP.

    Sure the CPU would hold it back somewhat, as would the GPU/IGP, but not as much as some people think.

    Many Netbooks are based on the Intel i945 platform, just the Atom CPU sucks at Out of Order execution (rather, it lacks it).
    Search around for the chipset (945) stuff too.

    They don't hold a candle to the latest offerings from Via (sadly, at least not yet), although that's mostly due to the S3 Chrome series GPU taking the load off the CPU during DVD playback (yes, DVD, not CD).

    Doom through to Quake III era 3D OpenGL games should run fine, this includes Half-Life (Original), and maybe even Half-Life: Source (not Half-Life 2, or Counter-Strike: Source though, well, not until the GPU/IGP gets more powerful). is also worth a browse.

    Doom went GNU/GPL 10 years and 8 days ago (pretty sure that's right), don't underestimate it though.
    Check Wikipedia for the exact dates, I could be a year off.

    (I used to be someone else on these forums a long time ago).
  5. Yes, I'm aware Half-Life is Direct3D, but I said 'era' (before someone else corrects me on that).
  6. Return to Castle Wolfenstein Minimum System Requirements:

    3-D Hardware Accelerator (with 16MB VRAM) with full OpenGL support.
    Pentium II 400 MHz processor, or Athlon processor.
    English version of Windows 95 OSR2/98/ME/NT4.0 (SP6)/2000/XP Operating System
    128 MB RAM
    16-bit high color video mode
    800 MB of uncompressed hard disk space for games files, plus 300 MB for the Windows swap file
    A 100% Windows 95 OSR2/98/ME/NT4.0 (SP6)/2000/XP compatible computer system (including compatible 32-bit device drivers for CD-ROM drive, video card, sound card and input devices).
    DirectX 8.0a (included)
    100% DirectX 3.0 or higher compatible sound card and drivers
    100% Microsoft compatible mouse/keyboard and drivers
    Quad-speed CD-ROM drive (600 KB/sec sustained data transfer rate).

    Multiplayer over TCP/IP and IPX is supported with compatible 56.6 Kbps MODEM.

    It lists the nVidia Riva TNT, TNT2, GeForce, ATI Rage 128/128 PRO, 3dfx Voodoo 3, ATI Radeon (game supports TruForm), Matrox G400 as tested OpenGL solutions.

    The Intel IGPs all support OpenGL.

    Question is: Is the Intel Atom at X MHz faster than a 400 MHz Pentium II, or ideally a 1 GHz Pentium III or Athlon / Athlon XP ?

    Pretty sure the answer is: Yes / Maybe (as it lacks OoO / Out of Order, and/or Register Renaming technologies to make the CPU core 'simpler').

    Benchmarking the Atom effectively is quite a difficult task: It has a good ALU in some tasks, and the FPU is quite amazing all things considered - per clock tick.

    Frankly I believe people above are underestimating the Netbook platform from a gaming perspective, and underestimating just how well coded games from the Doom to Quake III, and 2 years afterwards 'era' are (including several Direct3D titles that I got working on a 486, albeit at 2.5 fps).

    It's bringing wireless networking to 'peak era' coded gaming titles. (None of them suffer the 2G-1 byte Win32 process 'crash to desktop' bug* that most current titles eventually 'reach').

    It'll tide people over until every (major) gaming executable is a Win.x64 EXE or a .NET 2.0 (or higher, as it sports x64) executable.

    It's just a shame the Mac and Linux are not the gaming targets id software 'tried' to 'present to the world' (the source code is all there, and free - as in GNU/GPL free).

  7. Back on track: ; only requires a Pentium 90 MHz, and 16 MB VRAM, so yeah, any Intel Atom clocked at above 450 MHz should absolutely blitz it.

    I'd like to imagine every IGP GPU blitz's the ATI Radeon 9000 Pro, with just 64 MB VRAM and texture compression, but I reckon there might be a few around that still get beaten by it in 'certain scenarios'.

    A x86 Netbook should run any x86 game that's primarily 2D (StarCraft, Red Alert, Command & Conquer, Rise of Nations series, etc).

    I put the Intel Atom 1.6 GHz on about par to a Pentium M @ 733 MHz, it's just the weird screen resolutions *might* be a *slight* issue (including the aspect ratio's, which can be 'very strange' on some Netbook / Nettop PCs).

    Dude, I don't even know why you'd worry about something modern being outgunned by a Pentium 90.
  8. If you want to do any gaming, make sure you get a netbook with an ion chip.
  9. Any computer can play Starcraft
    my cell phone could play it, if the OS was compatible
  10. Here are all the games I have ran with my HP mini 1000 and Ubuntu 9.04

    - World of goo
    - Open Arena
    - Quake Live

    Without the limitation of Linux, I have seen netbooks (EEE PC1000H running XP) running the following
    - Quake Live
    - CS1.6 (marginally at times)
    - WoW (12-20 fps, ok for grinding etc)

    Both my HP and the EEE have the n270 1.6ghz Atom and 2gb of ram with the Intel GMA950 for video. I hear that with the Ion platform you can play battlefeild heroes, but I've never seen it with my own eyes.

    So the short answer is yes, there are games that can be played on many netbooks but you need to be realistic about your expectations.
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