What PCs should I think about using?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by RevPokemon, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. RevPokemon
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    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    Hi guys I'm new here at GBA temp and am also a bit of a novice in the area of emulation and especially regarding emulation on PCs. Anyway I'm going to get a new PC for school and was wondering what PCs would be good for emulation considering I heavily use SNES,gen,GBA, and also n64 and psone. Also I would like one that can run Dreamcast,GameCube and ps2 but I think with my price range of under 350 that it is out of the question (at least for GameCube not sure about ps2 or DC). Also some PC games I'd like to hopefully run are portal 2, SA2 Remake, and the civilization game and sims but emulation is more important. So thanks for the help

    Also It has to be a laptop not a desktop that's non negotiable
     
  2. vayanui8

    vayanui8 GBAtemp Maniac

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    PRetty much anything can emulate older systems, but you'll need something pretty powerful to emulate gamecube and such. You'll want a real graphics card in the laptop to play games reliably, so I'd say for good and reliable emulation on the higher end systems and get good performance in those games you'll probably be looking at a laptop in about the $800 range
     
  3. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    If you want to fool around with emulation on a laptop, it won't come cheap - don't aim at anything lower than a 7 or 8-series GeForce and a 3rd or 4th Generation Intel i5. If you want to buy a desktop, there's a broader spectrum of variables, as you'll probably want to build one yourself rather than relying on pre-builds which are usually crap. Seeing that "it's not negotiable" though, as I said, you want something with a lot of oomph. Don't look for anything with less RAM than 8GB, preferably you'll want even more than that. You're planning to emulate stuff, so avoid AMD builds - these CPU's usually do not fare as well at emulation as their Intel counterparts.
     
  4. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Emulation needs more than 4GB of RAM?
     
  5. Zerousen

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    4 GB is the bare minimum for any games in general. Since OP wants to find something that plays games like Portal 2 as well. However, his budget of only $350 probably won't get him much anyways.
     
  6. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Whilst that is very true, I've also seen some very overpriced shitty laptops with 8-16GB of RAM. It's the balance of specs that matter, and RAM should never be the deciding factor.
     
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  7. Zerousen

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    Did not think you would reply so quickly, so I took my sweet time in editing my response, oops. You're right though, he'd want something with a little bit of everything, but I'm afraid that he won't get much of anything from a $350 laptop. Price range would have to be at least $500+.
     
  8. RevPokemon
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    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    Ok thanks really portal 2 and that doesn't matter much as ill just buy the ps3 ports

    Edit how much ram is need for psx or n64 emulation and to you think good psx & 64 emulation is possible in my budget?
    Also what PC games could I run in my budget?im not now speaking of tf2 or that but older stuff like does,original doom, or other software like supermeat boy.
     
  9. Fat D

    Fat D GBAtemp Maniac

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    Portal 2 works well enough on my 8-year-old budget desktop where the only relatively recent part is a 4-year-old budget graphics card I bought to replace a dead one. I have not tried it on FullHD resolution or similar because I prefer windowed mode, but it is definitely playable and reasonably good-looking. Contrary to what enthusiasts might tell you, you do not need high-end gaming machines to play games. A <$350 laptop is pushing it, though, you probably will not get decent graphics on that one, especially with Intel's dominance in the portable domain. Fifth-gen emulation and old PC games should be fine, though, unless you go with excessive modding.
     
  10. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Emulation is mostly dependant on the strength of the processor, and older system emulation gets little benefit from graphics strength. To that end, finding a laptop with a core i5-3xxx or i5-4xxx (as foxi mentioned) and using the integrated graphics would be enough to emulate those older systems with good speeds. It'd also be enough for Portal 2 and CivV (but not at max graphics), although I don't know SA2 so I can't comment on that.

    For newer systems, they do require boosts provided by graphics... Although I've never actually tried any newer system emus so that's all I know.
     
  11. Zerousen

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    RAM shouldn't be too important unless you have multiple programs running at once, and I'm sure that your new laptop will be filled with plenty of unnecessary bloatware that you should probably remove or disable. As for older PC games, it'd depend on how graphically intensive it is, and most likely you'd have to turn down the graphics settings quite a bit. I honestly don't have much confidence in it being able to run very well, it might be better if you raise your budget a bit up to around $450 or so.
     
  12. RevPokemon
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    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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  13. Foxi4

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    It's unreasonable to run a 64-bit operating system on anything lower than 4GB RAM and it's equally unreasonable to expect 4GB RAM to be enough for gaming. No, it's not the most important component, but 8GB is the bare minimum in this day and age. Sure, chances are that the GPU will have some built-in memory of its own, but that doesn't negate the fact that gaming in general is pretty memory-hungry.

    tl;dr You can't buy a good gaming laptop for $350 like the OP wants, especially if you intend to use it for GC/PS2 emulation. Think $500 and above, preferably around $800.
    Avoid Acer like the f*cking plague - they seem to have good components and they seem to be cheapo, but there's a reason for the low price. Invest in an ASUS, a Samsung, a Toshiba or a Lenovo. Avoid HP and Acer.
     
  14. RevPokemon
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    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    OK so not runming GC and ps2 is OK with me just running 64 and ps1 is what I want anything else is just a bonus

    Any way what PC would be good for n64 emulation and cost under 350?
     
  15. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    8GB is the minimum in this age not because gaming requires it (most can't use more than 2GB, and I don't often see many games go above 1GB), but because RAM is so damn cheap these days. I've seen benchmarks (admittedly from just over a year ago) that imply that 6GB is actually the sweetspot for laptop RAM, whilst 4GB is the bare minimum. Of course, more RAM is always better, but you shouldn't accept a weaker processor just because a laptop has more RAM. As I said, it's balance of specs.

    And when it comes to GC/PS2 emulation... You know more than me, so I stop here.
     
  16. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    I just don't think this is going to happen with your budget - the best you'll get is an i3 or i5 with integrated Intel HD graphics. It will emulate both the PS1 and the N64, sure, but it will leave a lot to be desired and since it's a laptop, expansion options are limited. To me this is just wasting money on a device that will underperform - I suggest saving up and buying something that will not make you feel buyer's remorse.
    I'll agree that 6 and 4 are okay numbers if you're not doing memory-hungry stuff, but then when you're thinking about expansion, it can pose problems in the future. If the laptop is 2x2GB Dual Channel then you'll have to swap both modules, which is a considerable expense. If it's 1x4GB, then you will probably only have one slot and you'll never break past the 8GB limit. 6GB would probably be 1x4GB+1x2GB, so it's easier to work with when you're expanding, I suppose. Stuff like this takes some specs sheet reading and forward thinking. All in all though, I'd definitely go for 8GB as a start - I've got 4 and I can safetly say that I could use more than that after comparing my own laptop to my sister's new machine.

    EDIT: Now just to be clear, I'm not saying that you can't buy a laptop for $350 - what I'm saying is that you'll be disappointed in how it operates pretty soon. There will come a time when you'll think "I'm going to play game X now!" and you'll be faced with a wall of sub-par performance that you can do nothing about, and you don't want that to happen as it essentially means that you'll have to buy a new laptop to enjoy it despite having just bought one.
     
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  17. RevPokemon
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    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    So basically anythimg in my price range will run n64 and psone great and basic programming and apps like documents and so on but is weak in the fact that it lacks customization abilities and lacks power for heavy duty gaming such as tf2 and so on.
     
  18. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    TF2 is not heavy duty and will run on nearly any laptop currently in the market (so long as it doesn't have an Intel Atom or something silly like that).

    Edit: games that constitute "heavy duty" are modern shooters like battlefield 4 and call of duty, or games with high graphical requirements like Tomb raider and bio shock infinite. Well, modern games. Valve games built on the source engine are already over a decade old and weren't that graphically intensive in the first place, which is why nearly any laptop can run them.
     
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  19. Foxi4

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    Pretty much - the Source engine doesn't really have huge hardware requirements, so Source games like TF2 or Portal should work fine even on embedded graphics. Don't expect playing Battlefield 4 or anything of that nature though - "bigger" games need "better guts". Keep in mind that embedded graphics will use your on-board RAM as video memory.

    To reiterate, if you're dead set on your budget and you don't want to wait, you're looking for a laptop with an i3/i5 processor 4th Gen (superior for emulation, all come with embedded Intel HD graphics which should be fine for anything that's not graphics intensive) and 4GB and up RAM (4 being bare minimum for basic computing) - you should be able to afford that much. I don't necessarily give that purchase a blessing as it will become obsolete within a blink of an eye, but if PS1/N64/"light" gaming is what you're looking for, you should make due.
     
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  20. RevPokemon
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    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    Thanks for the help guys!!!
    I will consider what you have said to blme when looking for a PC. Also I have to say I'm sorry if ive seemed like a dumb a## or jerkbag. Anyway thanks