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Wife wants to play for real now need laptop advice

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content
Wife wants to play for real now need laptop advice

Megafreakintron's Avatar


Megafreakintron
11.12.2013 , 11:02 AM | #1
i've been playing SWTOR of and on since beta. but as of late my wife has shown a interest and has downloaded the game on my old old laptop. a xp based studio laptop. i don't know how it runs it but for some reason it does. on the lowest setting of course. Now she has hinted she wants a better way of playing and this is where i come to you for help. I have a dell account but we don't have a lot of money for me to toss at a new pc just for her to play for 3 months and quit. I need your help to help me pick out a Dell pc for her that wont break the bank. it doesn't haven't o be anywhere near top notch uber graphics. i just want the thing to run the game thats it. any advice on which pc to buy. she prefers a laptop. but if i have to get a desktop so be it. i just have to factor in the extra money for a monitor and mouse and keyboard. any help would be grateful. thx
Day 1 Collectors Edition and Beta tester

VitalityPrime's Avatar


VitalityPrime
11.12.2013 , 11:07 AM | #2
Quote: Originally Posted by Megafreakintron View Post
i've been playing SWTOR of and on since beta. but as of late my wife has shown a interest and has downloaded the game on my old old laptop. a xp based studio laptop. i don't know how it runs it but for some reason it does. on the lowest setting of course. Now she has hinted she wants a better way of playing and this is where i come to you for help. I have a dell account but we don't have a lot of money for me to toss at a new pc just for her to play for 3 months and quit. I need your help to help me pick out a Dell pc for her that wont break the bank. it doesn't haven't o be anywhere near top notch uber graphics. i just want the thing to run the game thats it. any advice on which pc to buy. she prefers a laptop. but if i have to get a desktop so be it. i just have to factor in the extra money for a monitor and mouse and keyboard. any help would be grateful. thx
What's your max $$ to spend?
"A great leap forward often requires first taking two steps back"
"And sometimes all it requires is the will to jump"

Megafreakintron's Avatar


Megafreakintron
11.12.2013 , 11:10 AM | #3
$800 or less if possible. not really interested in spending over that for a paper weight if she quits in a few months
Day 1 Collectors Edition and Beta tester

VitalityPrime's Avatar


VitalityPrime
11.12.2013 , 11:24 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Megafreakintron View Post
$800 or less if possible. not really interested in spending over that for a paper weight if she quits in a few months
I can only give you tips on a PC.

I'm sure someone will give you a better idea of what you can get with that price.

However, my setup was extremely cheap...and it works fine.

This is the exact machine build I use.

I run into trouble during 8vs8 PvP matches...but I can run them...and I can run them fine if I turn settings down.

Dell Dimension E520: You can get this from most sites. Definitely from Amazon or Ebay. (I used one I got from my office)
http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Dimension...Dimension+E520
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...at=0&_from=R40

Installed this GPU:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Installed Windows 7:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Installed and upgraded my ram to 8GB after installing Windows 7:
http://www.amazon.com/Dimension-Desk...dimension+e520

I already had an old Intel Pentium D processor. (so I'm sure you can get something better than that and still be well below your $800 mark.

Anyways...this just gives you an idea of how cheap you can go and still play the game with good quality.
"A great leap forward often requires first taking two steps back"
"And sometimes all it requires is the will to jump"

Megafreakintron's Avatar


Megafreakintron
11.12.2013 , 11:39 AM | #5
ok i found a laptop that has
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i3-3227U processor (3M Cache, 1.9 GHz)
4GB Single Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (4GBx1)
AMD Radeon™ HD 8650M 2GB GDDR5
500GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
17.3 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD+ resolution (1600 x 900)
$499.00

will that do the trick?
Day 1 Collectors Edition and Beta tester

PifferPuff's Avatar


PifferPuff
11.12.2013 , 01:28 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Megafreakintron View Post
ok i found a laptop that has
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i3-3227U processor (3M Cache, 1.9 GHz)
4GB Single Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (4GBx1)
AMD Radeon™ HD 8650M 2GB GDDR5
500GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
17.3 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD+ resolution (1600 x 900)
$499.00

will that do the trick?
Do you have a link for more information?

That laptop will get her off the ground, but will likely need some work to actually be playable. What OS is installed? I will assume that it's a Windows 7 (if pre-owned) or 8 machine. i3s are okay-ish, but can't handle that much in the way of numerous active threads, or open applications. So, some trimming of fat needs to be done before it's game time. I will also assume that it's an off-the-shelf Acer/Asus/Dell/Gateway/HP/etc. type machine and comes pre-installed with a lot of crap that you will likely never use and will only slow the machine down: bloatware. You want to uninstall all that. Stuff like Wild Tangent games and other crap that behave much like viruses do. There are some other programs that might be useful (like operating your webcam - as it may come with proprietary drivers), so you have to exercise caution when cleaning out the trash.

Though these kind of machines come pre-loaded with a limited 30-day run of some kind of AV software (like Norton or McAfee), they aren't well coded at the consumer market level and will slow your machine down considerably. Consider uninstalling it, uninstalling it again with a secondary application (i.e McAfee), and installing a much lighter on resources - but just as effective - AV software like ESET NOD32 for example.

Consider upgrading the RAM to 8GB (dual channel if that laptop supports it). If there is an option to have this machine with a processor somewhere between 2.3GHz to 3.0GHz, take it. Bonus if you can find one with an i5. The GPU isn't too bad though, and will do well even on medium-high graphics settings (if the rest of the machine supports it). However, as it is now, even if you remove the bloat, the game will only really be playable at reduced graphics settings and at lower than native resolution: in MMOs, you want FPS over good looks. So, if your wife likes the game's good looks, there will be some trade-offs between performance and graphics that may need to be considered. Or considering another purchase option altogether?

Also (and this goes for any laptop), get a good set of earphones - preferably ones with a mic (useful for end-game raiding, when the time comes). This game's sounds and music are poor on lame little laptop speakers, but sound amazing with good quality headphones.

In short, depending on what you think your wife wants out of her gaming experience (raw performance, good graphics, or both) your search may not be over.


EDIT: If you have a box of Windows XP kicking around, then that may be an even better option, as that laptop's stats will be fine as is for XP. So, fdisk and format C: that 500GB baby, and start from scratch. You may need to contact Microsoft customer support to activate your copy of XP (if it has been installed before). Also, if you are tech-savvy enough, you may consider "cooking" yourself a custom XP install that enhances overall system performance (i.e. installs less useless stuff).

Going this route, however, requires you to find all the XP compatible drivers for this computer, and really knowing what chipsets it uses (i.e. what Realtek chipset to match drivers to -- and if they exist for XP). You will likely not find all the drivers for every piece of hardware, but all the important ones you will. This is a more involved approach, but will have you spending less money. So, if you can get XP on it, are computer-savvy, have a weekend and quiet place to work, are unafraid of some reading up online, and have lots of coffee, this method will have that computer singing at native resolution and looking pretty good - even with DirectX9.

Good luck!!

Fidelicatessen's Avatar


Fidelicatessen
11.13.2013 , 03:00 AM | #7
Some excellent advice in this thread. I'll throw in my small piece:

With limited funds (ESPECIALLY), don't go the laptop route. You can get a much more powerful computer for your money (this includes monitor and mouse) if you get a desktop. Heat will be less of an issue, so the video card can be higher quality with less engineering. You can also sport a much larger, more immersive monitor (seriously, 17"? you're kidding, right? 22" looks a helluva lot better). Laptops are ideal if you're going to be playing on the road, but if you're just playing a game at home, desktop is always the better option.

$800 for a desktop that will play this game on the highest settings? I could put it together from parts for that much, so Dell or somebody must have one available for even less.

Dropadeuce's Avatar


Dropadeuce
11.22.2013 , 10:01 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Megafreakintron View Post
ok i found a laptop that has
3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i3-3227U processor (3M Cache, 1.9 GHz)
4GB Single Channel DDR3L 1600MHz (4GBx1)
AMD Radeon™ HD 8650M 2GB GDDR5
500GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
17.3 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD+ resolution (1600 x 900)
$499.00

will that do the trick?
You will be disappointed.

Daakal's Avatar


Daakal
11.22.2013 , 12:01 PM | #9
I know you said Dell but have you looked at these sites for some good deals

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/

http://www.ibuypower.com/

They have some pretty good deals on there sometimes. Just a suggestion.
Daakal
"just another nub!"