I'm thinking of getting myself a cheap new laptop

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Coltonamore, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Coltonamore
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    Coltonamore Time to stop Tron Bonne!

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    Is there any cheap computer I could get that's good for my kind of usage? My usage would be like, emulation, older pc games, and Minecraft. Is there any good computer for the things I would do on it? My price range is around $200-$300. By the way, I don't play CoD or any other games like that on a computer. I might as well buy a ps3 or a ps4 instead if that was the case.
     
  2. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    A laptop with that price range, is simply a matter of being lucky with anything you get. You're looking at the second hand market, which always varies in specs and quality.
     
  3. 3bbb7

    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    you probably want to go for a refurbished or used laptop (and reinstall your OS obviously). you wont find a new laptop for $200-300 that will run minecraft or pc games post 2005-2006 i'd say.
     
  4. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    You have to go used if you want decent emulation.
     
  5. Coltonamore
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    Coltonamore Time to stop Tron Bonne!

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    Would I find a computer like that new if I wait til black friday? I don't have the money at the moment, by the way.
    The systems I plan emulate are, nes, snes, sms, sega genesis, Sega cd, 32x, ps1, and n64.
    I had a really old computer that emulated all of these at full speed, and it was a 2003 desktop computer. I don't have it anymore though.
     
  6. 3bbb7

    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You might find a deal but the best you could do is build a desktop computer. You could make a decent (not good by any means) build for $300 that would play Minecraft at decent frame rates (dont expect anything over maybe 40 fps or so with optifine) and would run emulation pretty good
     
  7. Coltonamore
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    Coltonamore Time to stop Tron Bonne!

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    The only thing is that I don't want a desktop cuz I can't take it with me. I like to play all these games on the go, so yeah, you get my point.
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Emulation of what? PS2 emulation is somewhat more demanding than genesis/megadrive after all.
    Assuming you just want 16 bit and older, playstation 1 and some forays into the likes of the saturn and N64 (the N64 is shockingly undeveloped for my money) then you can do well with nothing much at all as that was a solved problem some years ago. GC and Wii gets interesting (I would not say no but do not expect great things) and I would more or less give up now on the PS2 for your budget. I have not toyed with the dreamcast in some time so I can not advise there (somewhat undeveloped but doable in a lot of cases would be the party line).

    Older PC games.... most PC games have been locked to directX9 levels thanks to the consoles (or the less cynical side of me wonders if the devs have realised that excluding all but the rich might be a good idea). To this end the most trouble you will probably encounter is trying to get old dos or windows 95 things to work on modern windows which is usually solved by doing a search, using dosbox or finding that the source code was released and updated for modern computers. I am not sure about Intel graphics, I have heard rumblings you can game on them and even managed to pull it off myself once but if it says ATI/AMD or Nvidia then so much the better. I would spin a similar sentence about Celeron and AMD's equivalents but that is not so bad these days.

    Minecraft. Works on basic computers and as long as you do not want to have huge textures across a draw distance further than real life manages you should be good whatever goes.

    The trouble with buying a cheap laptop is that it will come with a cheap frame/chassis, a lousy battery and most of the rest will not be brilliant either all of which leaves the projected lifetime at but a couple of years of general use with most of that spent praying it does not overheat and you do breathe on it too hard. You can get the specs in one (just about) but it does not go much further than that.
    It has got marginally better in recent years but assuming it is not a simple hard drive fix, ram upgrade or power supply issue then I tend not to want to fix those cheap laptops. I will tend to keep the more business/gamer/nice lenovo things running though if they even trouble me at all. Indeed if you can find something that was a tad better at this time last year (we are a bit far from all the ends of business years but that usually works well) then I might instead point you at such a thing -- I have seen several people get laptops, get a tablet and promptly never use the laptop so you might be able to make someone there an offer.
     
  9. 3bbb7

    3bbb7 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well, good luck on finding a good laptop. when you get one I suggest installing a lightweight linux distribution (or just use a more popular one like Mint) to make everything better.
     
  10. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    You can't compare desktop to laptop though. Out of all system you listed, you'll want beefy system if you want to run SNES accurately. Otherwise use Snes9x instead (avoid Zsnes, it is outdated).

    Really though, at $300, that laptop is pretty meant for basic stuff such as web browsing and Microsoft Office. A $300 desktop is going to offer way more than $300 laptop.
     
  11. Coltonamore
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    Coltonamore Time to stop Tron Bonne!

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    I do not plan on emulating anything above n64. So ps2 emulation is out of the picture.
    Ok then, so that whole time I was using an outdated snes emulator on my computer. Also what about black friday though, could I just get a good computer for cheap then or no?
     
  12. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    See what's available. If you're not sure, ask. Just remember that the most important part for emulation is the processor. The more powerful the CPU, the smoother the emulation. That means you shouldn't be looking at anything lower than a Core i3, and whilst they can be found for $200-300, getting a "good" one for that price is all about luck.

    So look, and see how lucky you are.
     
  13. DinohScene

    DinohScene Feed Dino to the Sharks

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    High end Core 2 Duo with 4 GB of RAM should also emulate pretty good.
    But then you'll be looking at a second hand one.
     
  14. decemberchild

    decemberchild latecomer

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  15. PityOnU

    PityOnU GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I wouldn't buy a used laptop, but that's just me.

    Watch http://slickdeals.net/ and wait for some deals.

    A decent AMD-based laptop will suit you well, and are commonly on sale in your price range.
     
  16. Kirito-kun

    Kirito-kun Disciple of GabeN

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    At $200-$300, you're not gonna be getting a capable laptop. I'd either raise that budget to at least $400, or just build a desktop. A desktop is much more capable at the same price.

    Now, if you're looking for a good budget laptop on sale, you'd want to look for a laptop using an AMD Fusion CPU. These chips have among the best integrated graphics on the market, much better than anything Intel has to offer. Look for an A6, A8, or A10 CPU. Those chips would be good for light gaming and emulation. However, even if on sale, an AMD Fusion laptop may still cost $400 or higher. The budget you have right now greatly limits your choices.
     
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  17. Coltonamore
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    Coltonamore Time to stop Tron Bonne!

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    Ok, good to know. I don't make much money and I was thinking I might have the money by black friday, or if I don't I normally get $200-$300 by then, so yeah.
     
  18. calmwaters

    calmwaters Cat's best friend

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    My laptop has four cores and I paid $500 for it at Best Buy. It runs everything great, except for the Playstation 2... It'd be cool if this was discounted on Black Friday...

    Just for info though: it's a Toshiba Satellite with 3 USB ports, (an SD card port), and Windows 7, which is a great OS.
     
  19. Adr990

    Adr990 To boldly go where no man has gone before!

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    It's a different kind of suggestion but..
    Get a tablet.

    For that budget you can get a nice android tablet.
    On android you can use mouse and keyboard via usb(if the tablet supports OTG)
    And bluetooth controllers. (PS3 etc.)
    There are a ton of Emulators apps for Android (like RetroArch) (not just the really old ones, also the N64 and PS1). Including a full speed Nintendo DS recently.
    You can also get a app like PowerSuite for it, then you can also use your tablet for Word, Excel and Powerpoint editing/reading.

    And yes, you can also play Minecraft on Android. (And games like GTA3, Carmagadon, NFS Most Wanted etc.)

    Seems like the best way to go about, imo.
     
  20. Coltonamore
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    Coltonamore Time to stop Tron Bonne!

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    Well, How the heck would I be able to play the pc version of sonic heroes and any other game like that? Tablets are out of the question did you see that I was planning on playing pc games form 5 to 10 years ago on it. I don't think that andriod would be able to play those games, plus I have an andriod phone that can really emulate good already, So yeah, you get the point.