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Thin and light gaming

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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March 18, 2012 2:34:37 PM

Hey yall,

I think Ive decided on the Lenovo U400, but maybe some geek wizardry could sway me...

Im in the Navy, so storage and space are tight, to say the least. I want a laptop, primarily for movies/websurfing/skyping, but I want to be able to play games as well. I had looked at Ultrabooks, but being limited to 4gb of Ram seems to be unacceptable. From what I understand, the Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics can handle most games at medium settings....but with 4gb of memory?

So here is what I want. 14" or smaller display. 6GB or more memory. 1600x900 res. HDMI out. SSD drive, 128 is big enough for me. Bluetooth/wireless capable. Enough muscle to run Skyrim at 30-40fps on medium settings.

Thanks fer looking!

More about : thin light gaming

a c 572 D Laptop
March 18, 2012 2:46:57 PM

sailorjohn said:
From what I understand, the Intel HD 3000 integrated graphics can handle most games at medium settings....but with 4gb of memory?

So here is what I want. 14" or smaller display. 6GB or more memory. 1600x900 res. HDMI out. SSD drive, 128 is big enough for me. Bluetooth/wireless capable. Enough muscle to run Skyrim at 30-40fps on medium settings.
Hello SJ;
Intel HD 3000 graphics = most games at medium? Ahhhhhhh - not so much. And certainly not on a 1600x900 pixel display. Higher resolutions need more GPU muscle.

Skryim? Won't run acceptably even on low settings, low resolution.

To get an idea what you're looking at:
Intel HD Graphics 3000 review

Got a plan B?
Or a working budget?
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a c 572 D Laptop
March 18, 2012 2:54:48 PM

And how soon will you need to pick up your new notebook?
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a c 572 D Laptop
March 18, 2012 3:48:16 PM

It's just about the same as the HD 3000 Graphics result (HD 5450M / Geforce 410M equivelent).
So the HD 6470 is just a very minor upgrade. Still no Skyrim on Low.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Benchmarks
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a c 572 D Laptop
March 18, 2012 3:52:10 PM

To me - it looks like you'll need a Geforce GT 555M / GT 635M or Radeon HD 6770 / HD 7690M laptop graphics card to get medium graphics on 1366x768 resolution.
(remember that's average FPS you're seeing)
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March 18, 2012 4:00:28 PM

SSD will only help with booting and loading games. It is not going to help with FPS in games...but OS will run snappier which is really nice ... It would be cheaper to get SSD from newegg and reinstall the entire OS system than to get it from manufacturer...the only draw back is that there is no OS disk it is all preinstalled partition not sure if you can copy that to your SSD..maybe another thread
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a c 572 D Laptop
March 18, 2012 4:05:14 PM

Something that should run Skyrim on low in a slim 14" frame
MSI X460DX 14" Notebook $850
Core i5 2450M(2.50GHz) 6GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 14" 1366x768 LCD w/ NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
(GT 630M is a renamed GT 540M)
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March 19, 2012 3:29:00 PM

Good stuff,

What about the Sony VIAO S series?

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-VPCSA4FGX-BI-DVD-Writer-Prof...

Seems like it has the muscle...

The other options are a custom X460 MSI and the Alienware M11...

The MSI seems a bit large for watching movies in my tiny rack though.

Something must be wrong with the S series...according to just the components, it should run Skyrim at medium...with at least 30fps...what am I missing?
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a c 572 D Laptop
March 19, 2012 3:42:07 PM

MSI: 4.3 lbs. 13.35" x 9.43" x 1"
Sony: 3.65 lbs. 13.04" x 8.84" x 0.92"-1.27" and an extra $500+. Does have 1600x900 resolution though.
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a c 572 D Laptop
March 19, 2012 3:52:21 PM

sailorjohn said:
it should run Skyrim at medium...with at least 30fps...what am I missing?
Probably tested @ 1366x768 resolution.
Expect less at 1600x900. There is a chance the faster CPU might lift it back up above 30FPS, but I cant say for certain.
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March 19, 2012 4:09:25 PM

Great point on the sizes. So, its between X460DX and Asus U31SG

MSI-
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM, 2.2-3.1GHz, (32nm, 6MB L3 cache) (SKU – X2N170)
nVidia GT 630M 2048MB PCI-Express DDR3 DX11 with Optimus™ Technology
8GB Kingston HyperX DDR3 1866MHz CL11 Dual Channel Memory (2x4GB SODIMMS)


ASUS-
2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-2410M, 2.3-2.9GHz, (32nm, 3MB L3 cache)
nVidia 610M 1024MB PCI-Express DDR3 DX11 with Optimus™ Technology
8GB DDR3 1333MHz Dual Channel Memory (2x4GB SODIMMS)


So, ASUS is smaller and cheaper, MSI seems to have more 'umph'. Whats the consensus?

Also, which of these do I want?

Built-in 802.11 Wireless B/G/N - Stock Wireless Card + Bluetooth (SKU - X8R002)
Intel® Advanced-N 6230 - 802.11A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth (SKU - X8R105) ( + 30 )
Bigfoot Networks Killer™ Wireless-N 1102 (2x2) (SKU - X8R051) ( + 40 )
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a c 572 D Laptop
March 19, 2012 4:24:42 PM

That Nvidia 610 GPU is OK for home entertainment stuff and very light games. It's just pretty far behind the GT 630M for gaming.

Intel WiFi/Bluetooth would be my suggestion for an upgrade but the standard WiFi Bluetooth is OK too.

X460DX suppose WiDi (Wireless Display). With a HDMI dongle for TV the notebook can broadcast directly to the TV. That might be handy for your situation.

Wireless Display - WiDi
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March 19, 2012 6:35:30 PM

Thin and light and gaming simply don't mix. It's one or the other.

That said, check this one out, you can also customize yours:

http://www.dell.com/us/p/alienware-m14x/pd.aspx

It's not about the amount of RAM if it comes to gaming. 3-4GB is all you need for pretty much anything and most laptops have that these days. You need a fast CPU and GPU for gaming.
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March 19, 2012 7:17:42 PM

4GB Is Plenty For Games
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