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Gaming On A Netbook? 13 Great Titles Playable At 720p

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a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2012 6:07:57 AM

How much does this little thing cost?
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2
May 17, 2012 6:21:24 AM

I can't wait to see how AMD's low power hondo platform will perform.
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May 17, 2012 6:58:00 AM

There are a lot of older FPS titles that play well on netbooks as well, although ive never tested to see if they support 720p. The ones that come to mind off hand are Max Payne (1&2), Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, etc. I played through Diablo II on my netbook and of course it ran great as well.

Plants vs Zombies is always great as well :) 
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2012 7:03:21 AM

I play Guild Wars on a C-50 based Toshiba netbook - plays well. Will try other titles after reading this article. I chose the C-50 netbook after reading another great article on Tom's comparing the C-50 and E-350. Looking fwd to Trinity ultrathin for the mobile space.
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May 17, 2012 7:32:28 AM

Not sure why so many people have issues with SW:TOR 1 or 2 and Win7.

Has always worked right out of the box for me after installing the latest official patch.
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May 17, 2012 7:35:41 AM

*cough* emulators *cough*
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12
May 17, 2012 7:52:18 AM

"Intel Atoms with integrated video will perform poorly in comparison"

You, sir, have not tried hard enough:

http://lgponthemove.blogspot.com/2011/08/tech-tips-gami...

The N570 is better than you suggest, never mind a Cedar Trail N2800. All rather moot though, as upcoming 11.6" ULV Ivy Bridge flavors will form a new class of netbook in 2012.
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May 17, 2012 8:05:07 AM

720p? My netbook (EEE PC 901) is 1024x600. I thought that was the "standard resolution" for netbooks... well I guess it was 3 years ago.
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May 17, 2012 8:43:27 AM

Halo 1 will have no issue as well
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May 17, 2012 9:05:44 AM

other great suggestions:
- the original ghost recon+the 2 expansions+numerous mods
- rainbow six raven shield+the 2 expansions
- unreal
- deux-ex
- swat 3
- serious sam
- prince of persia - sands of time
- GTR2
- C&C generals+zero hour
- empire earth
- Far cry (?)
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8
May 17, 2012 9:19:01 AM

PC>all :p 
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May 17, 2012 9:26:44 AM

hellfire24 said:
PC>all :p 


No s h i t?
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May 17, 2012 9:59:51 AM

Where is HL2, rise of nations , counterstrike , portal 1 ?
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a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2012 10:13:24 AM

I'm not sure why you wouldn't be able to play Diablo II on such a system. It will be stretched, but playable, and runs in Win7 if you set compatibility to WinXP.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2012 10:18:13 AM

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 runs perfect @1680x1050 on my old P4 @3Ghz with HT, 1GB DDR400 RAM, and 7600GS 256MB gpu... xD
Also + 1 to jtt283's comment. I was playing Diablo 2 on my quadcore system with GTX570 lol the game is amazing it should be on this list (I stopped playing cause of Diablo 3 :D ).
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a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2012 10:24:12 AM

...and if Torchlight runs well, pretty obviously then so will Fate. How about TitanQuest, or Fable?
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May 17, 2012 10:49:18 AM

How about minecraft? They might run too and I don't know why you didn't include it.
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May 17, 2012 11:02:53 AM

good budget gaming lap.
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May 17, 2012 11:16:14 AM

superflykicks03There are a lot of older FPS titles that play well on netbooks as well, although ive never tested to see if they support 720p. The ones that come to mind off hand are Max Payne (1&2), Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, etc. I played through Diablo II on my netbook and of course it ran great as well. Plants vs Zombies is always great as well

You could get Unreal Tournament 2004 to run on a netbook. I know I got that game to run on some seriously low end hardware back in 05'

Great list, though. First one of these articles that I've read in a while that was agreeable. Oh and NSF Hot pursuit, now that is a game I miss playing.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2012 11:43:30 AM

Ya, my 2 year old Atom netbook is just sitting in a corner crying after reading this :(  That said, the newer Atom netbooks should have no problem with any of these titles.
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Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
May 17, 2012 1:15:33 PM

League of Legends
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May 17, 2012 1:22:00 PM

good budget gaming
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May 17, 2012 1:35:30 PM

where's GTA san andreas and most wanted
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May 17, 2012 1:36:56 PM

Luscious"Intel Atoms with integrated video will perform poorly in comparison"You, sir, have not tried hard enough:http://lgponthemove.blogspot.com/2 [...] -n570.htmlThe N570 is better than you suggest, never mind a Cedar Trail N2800. All rather moot though, as upcoming 11.6" ULV Ivy Bridge flavors will form a new class of netbook in 2012.


Many of those won't work on an Atom at 720p with fluid frame rates, which was our target for this article.
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May 17, 2012 1:38:20 PM

hardcore_gamerWhere is HL2... ...counterstrike , portal 1 ?


Read the last page.

Half Life 2 and Portal are source games, even Counterstrike was too much for the C-50.
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May 17, 2012 1:39:28 PM

jtt283I'm not sure why you wouldn't be able to play Diablo II on such a system. It will be stretched, but playable, and runs in Win7 if you set compatibility to WinXP.


Because it struggles on a discrete graphics card. The C-50 won't have what it takes to run it at 720p.
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May 17, 2012 1:40:43 PM

s3anisterYou could get Unreal Tournament 2004 to run on a netbook. I know I got that game to run on some seriously low end hardware back in 05'Great list, though. First one of these articles that I've read in a while that was agreeable. Oh and NSF Hot pursuit, now that is a game I miss playing.


I've tried UT3 on an E-350 and it struggles at ultra-low resolutions.

A C-50 has far less juice, and if you *did* get it to work I doubt it'd be playable at 720p.
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May 17, 2012 1:51:54 PM

Just a small correction here. For the Quake 3 engine games you have listed Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight. That's not correct. Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast was the first of those games to use the Quake 3 Engine.
Quake 3 had a wonderful engine and gave birth to some amazing games.
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May 17, 2012 2:15:01 PM

I play Diablo II on my widescreen laptop all the time; I play the game in a maximized window with the windows taskbar taking up a portion of the right screen to preserve the 4 x 3 ratio. It's pretty doable, although not always perfect. It should be playable on a netbook based on C-50 or better, although games that offer native 720 (or 768) would be easier.

Maybe I'll give Torchlight a try.
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May 17, 2012 4:30:02 PM

Can my laptop read this Tom's article? Not if it's an "in pictures" slideshow.
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May 17, 2012 4:39:03 PM

I know some of these were already mentioned, but I love me older games, so here's a list of everything I have been able to run successfully in Win 7 64, and they should run fine on a netbook or older hardware (as they are older too!)

Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics. (Though Fallout 1 can be dodgy in Win 7. Check forums. Fallout 2 has a widescreen patch)
Mech Commander Gold (Read the forums to get it to work)
Mech Commander 2. (
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May 17, 2012 4:39:24 PM

surprise surprise these games are designed for this low cost platform...that's why it works well
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May 17, 2012 4:39:40 PM

CleeveBecause it struggles on a discrete graphics card. The C-50 won't have what it takes to run it at 720p.


Try the HP DM1Z (in either the E350 or E450 flavor). That thing handles L4D2 above 30FPS with no problems. A friend has it and games in it while traveling (using the battery, mind you).

Cheers!
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May 17, 2012 4:45:02 PM

Sorry for the double-post. It chopped my last one off.

I know some of these were already mentioned, but I love me older games, so here's a list of everything I have been able to run successfully in Win 7 64, and they should run fine on a netbook or older hardware (as they are older too!)

Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics. (Though Fallout 1 can be dodgy in Win 7. Check forums. Fallout 2 has a widescreen patch)
Mech Commander Gold (Read the forums to get it to work)
Mech Commander 2. (Awesome game)
Theme Hospital (There's a 3rd party dev who makes it work in Win 7 with some custom software)
Quake 2
Quake 3 Titles: American McGee's Alice, Heavy Metal F.A.K.K. 2 (Both really awesome, really long games that look fabulous)
UT, UT2003/4
Diablo II
STARCRAFT
Warcraft III
All Command and Conquer up to Generals Zero Hour.
Random Nugget of Awesome: WH40K Chaos Gate (Buggy, save often. AWESOME GAME)
Ghost Recon + Expansions
Duke Nukem 3D or really just about anything from G O G dot com (Wing Commander 1, 2, 3 FTW)
And every emulator you can think of (up to PSX emulators)
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May 17, 2012 5:26:23 PM

CleeveBecause it struggles on a discrete graphics card. The C-50 won't have what it takes to run it at 720p.

Diablo 2 can't be run on a C-50? Methinks you misread that as Diablo 3, considering you're reference to 720p.

But on that note: are you guys going to do any benchmarking for the HD3000/HD4000 and Llano/Trinity with Diablo 3? I think a great many people would be interested in how Diablo 3 runs on some higher-end integrated graphics.
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May 17, 2012 6:03:03 PM

Age of Empires I, II and III.
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May 17, 2012 6:03:48 PM

Great timing on this article, I actually happen to be using a similarly spec'd netbook as a stop gap while I am getting the funds together for a new PC (my last one came to an unexpected death a month ago). Even though my plucky little netbook putts along and struggles doing things I have long taken for granted, it does play a lot of older games just fine such as Dungeon Keeper 2 and many of those great point and click adventure games. GOG is a wonderful resources in this circumstance.

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May 17, 2012 6:29:14 PM

KyuuketsukiDiablo 2 can't be run on a C-50? Methinks you misread that as Diablo 3, considering you're reference to 720p.But on that note: are you guys going to do any benchmarking for the HD3000/HD4000 and Llano/Trinity with Diablo 3? I think a great many people would be interested in how Diablo 3 runs on some higher-end integrated graphics.



Quite right! I was thinking Diablo 3.

Based on feedback I think there might be enough interest for us to run another article on Diablo 3, with Ivy Bridge and Trinity included.
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May 17, 2012 7:28:45 PM

acerace said:
No s h i t?


you smell.................................... like a console boy :lol: 
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May 17, 2012 8:19:40 PM

CleeveMany of those won't work on an Atom at 720p with fluid frame rates, which was our target for this article.

What are you talking about? Everything on that list runs fine on the N570 at 1366x768. Those games that don't need a 30FPS minimum still run, while those that do like X-Plane run at close to 50FPS.

I'm not advocating that competing products don't perform, or don't perform better, but it's wrong to suggest that a high-end Atom is useless. I've had great success with my HP 210 Mini doing all manner of things from 3D gaming to HD video. True, the 1366x768 display and 2GB RAM do play a role. I prefer the 10" footprint for size/weight, but 11.6" isn't all that bad, and the improvement ULV Ivy Bridge brings is huge.
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May 17, 2012 8:24:51 PM

LusciousWhat are you talking about? Everything on that list runs fine on the N570 at 1366x768.


We'll have to agree to disagree.

My tests of both platforms does not support your conclusion. Either you haven't tried what I have, or your definition of 'fine' does not sync up with my own. :) 
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May 17, 2012 9:50:38 PM

Can it RUN? Sure!
Playable? No fking way!
Only because it runs at avg 10FPS don't mean its playable! I don't see anyone playing on those little screens anything other then MMOs! I agree that the little screen, batery time and portability are killers here, but not for gaming!
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May 17, 2012 9:50:44 PM

How is 30fps playable... I am having trouble reading any actual words...
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May 17, 2012 10:14:28 PM

Roller Coaster Tycoon was meant to be played on a low end PC. It is poorly built for stronger systems. It plays just the same as it does with an 8400GS with a Celeron D than it does with a GTX460 with a Core 2 Duo. You might as well play it on a laptop.
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May 17, 2012 10:29:08 PM

You hurt my feelings when you called Q3 decent :c

Regardless, this is quite relevant to my interests. I don't have a netbook, but I've found HD3000 on an i5-2410M to be... underwhelming. It's always fun to see how far I can push games' visual quality on weak hardware before it becomes unplayable though!
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May 17, 2012 11:07:28 PM

K-beamother great suggestions:- the original ghost recon+the 2 expansions+numerous mods- rainbow six raven shield+the 2 expansions- unreal- deux-ex- swat 3- serious sam- prince of persia - sands of time- GTR2- C&C generals+zero hour- empire earth- Far cry (?)And the whole POP Series


- Prince of Persia: Warrior Within & Two Thrones
- Doom3
- Indiana Jones and The Emperor's Tomb
- Age of Empires II & III
- COD Modern Warfare
- Army Men RTS
- Duke Nukem-Manhattan Project
- Just Cause
- Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King
- Medal of Honor: Allied Assault & Allied Assault Spearhead
- Red Alert 2 and its many mods
- Obscure
- Rise of Nations Series
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May 17, 2012 11:12:34 PM

This article is a great idea. It should be made into a forum thread where everybody is invited to post their own experience in running old games on low-end hardware.
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May 18, 2012 12:00:48 AM

I didn't realize that Battlefront II even came out for PC, I may have to pick it up.

Also, -9000 points for recommending Spore. That game is absolute trash and has installs spyware too.
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