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Hardware  » Sub $500 laptop that will play SW:TOR?

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  Slapshot1188

Elite Member

Joined: 5/06/07
Posts: 4153

 
OP  9/24/11 10:34:01 PM#1

Looking to buy a present for someone.  I'd like to keep it under $500 and am looking for something that will run SW:TOR.  Obviously for the price I am not expecting a top of the line gaming computer,  but just something that will do a decent job if we turn down some settings.

 

One I was looking at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834101252 

 

I'm not very familiar with the processor...

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  nixvaldez

Novice Member

Joined: 5/15/09
Posts: 14

9/24/11 10:47:06 PM#2

min for TOR

Processor:

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better
  • Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz or better
  • Operating System:
  • Windows XP or later

RAM:

  • Windows XP: 1.5GB RAM
  • Windows Vista and Windows 7: 2GB RAM

Note: PCs using a built-in graphical chipset are recommended to have 2GB of RAM.

Star Wars: The Old Republic requires a video card that has a minimum of 256MB of on-board RAM as well as support for Shader 3.0 or better. Examples include:

  • ATI X1800 or better
  • nVidia 7800 or better
  • Intel 4100 Integrated Graphics or better
the intergated bideo card on the laptop shoulf be enoguhg i thing i would ask around the forums on the main website
  User Deleted
9/24/11 10:59:40 PM#3

 

You will be able to run the game just fine based on the minimum requirements they listed. Though, you might have to play on low to medium settings. The processor is a quad core APU. Basically it is a quad core processor with the graphics integrated onto the CPU.

You can see how well the it performs on a variety of games here (scroll down) http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6520G.55734.0.html

You can read more about the processor here http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-A-Series-A6-3400M-Notebook-Processor.55753.0.html

I think it is a good laptop for $500.

  eycel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1339

pew pew

9/24/11 11:14:28 PM#4

Looking at that laptop I first thought it looked like an amazing find, but then I found out the grapics processor uses integrated memory on it instead of dedicated and scores 4000 in 3dmark06 which isnt going to cut it(the new intell 3000 integrated graphics scores higher then that on new sandy bridge processors).  I have a Ideapad Y460 that scores close to 9k in 3dmark06 and can reach 10, and while it runs everything great including rift,crysis2 and other demanding games I wouldnt go much lower then the ati radeon 5650m in it.  There are alot of choices you can find for around your budgest if you are willing to put the effort in allthough the sub 500$ range is harder then say sub 600$.

 

Im 100% positive you could get an kick ass Dell XPS 15 on black friday for around 550$ or so with a great graphics solution, although it would be just a nvidia gt540m that would play swtor very well.  

Also on black friday are te ideapads, Y470 and p460, on black friday you would be able to get those for a reasonable price also and they got some punch with nvidia 550.  

Honestly if your willing to go the extrea step, getting something like this is going to benefit who ever recieves it a great deal, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834246153, your really never going to get much of a better deal in my eyes then this.  Its same graphics solution thats in the m14x, its very high powerd laptop that will be able to run the newest games with dx11 technoligy for years to come.   Even on black friday you will be hard pressed to get a better deal then this. 

 

The only other alternative is to find some deals on ebay which is spotty at best, I bought a alienware years back from there and it was a terrible nightmare to deal with cause I spend more then 2k on it and at the the time there was no support but I suppose you might have better luck since alienware is owned by dell now and warrentys are transferable.   Search for alienware, you will be able to find many sub 500$ notebooks on ebay though I would assume most of those warrenties would be over by now.

 

  Willythewhiz

Novice Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 6

9/24/11 11:17:11 PM#5

I would wait till dec to even get a laptop they will be getting more powerful and AMD is putting more APUs in laptops this means the videocard be upgradable APU = cpu/gpu all in one

willythewiz Xfire Miniprofile
  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13390

9/25/11 12:12:03 AM#6

The Gateway laptop is easily the best you're going to get on a $500 budget.  As you might expect, it's not likely to run the game well at max settings.  But the game should be smoothly playable at low to moderate settings, depending on how demanding the game is.  If the game won't run smoothly even at low settings, then it will be a case of a badly coded game, not insufficient hardware.

Do note that it's very much a budget model.  1066 MHz memory rather than 1333 MHz will hurt.  So will a 5400 RPM hard drive.

If you're inclined to tinker, you might want to try undervolting the processor, which will allow a more aggressive turbo boost (and thus better processor performance) within the same 35 W TDP.  The laptop might not have the BIOS options available to let you try that, but if you can, it's a free performance boost.  If you undervolt the processor too far, you could make it crash (e.g., blue screen of death) under heavy loads, but if you undervolt it and do a stress test and it doesn't crash, then it's fine.  There's zero risk of damaging the processor by undervolting it, as that decreases the stress on it.

"You can see how well the it performs on a variety of games here (scroll down) http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-6520G.55734.0.html"

Note the huge margin of error that they give.  That's not an accident.  You can cripple the Radeon HD 6520G integrated graphics by mismatching the memory channels or even leaving one memory channel completely vacant.  A lot of laptops do exactly that.  The Gateway laptop that the original poster linked does not do that, however, so it will likely tend to perform quite a bit better than the average as found on that site.  It won't be at the high end of the range, however; that would take 1333 MHz memory instead.

The rest of this post is dedicated to pointing out that Eycel is wrong.

"then I found out the grapics processor uses integrated memorry on it instead of dedicated"

Congratulations.  That's the whole point of Llano.

"scores 4000 in 3dmark06 which isnt going to cut it(the new intell 3000 integrated graphics scores higher then that on new sandy bridge processors)."

Wait, you prefer Intel graphics to Llano?  Even lower bins of Llano destroy Intel HD 3000 graphics in every metric that matters (e.g., pretty much any game that ever has existed or ever will).  Intel will claim that Sandy Bridge wins at video transcoding, but I say that's not a metric that matters.

"I wouldnt go much lower then the ati radeon 5650m in it."

For starters, there is no such card.  you might mean a Mobility Radeon HD 5650.  AMD didn't go to the M at the end until the 6000 series.

Next, the graphics portion of Llano integrated graphics is nearly the same as that of the Mobility Radeon HD 5650.  Llano gets UVD3 rather than UVD2, but that's better, not worse.  One big difference is that the A6 bins are salvage parts that disable one of the five SIMD engines, so you lose some performance there.  It's clocked a little lower, and uses system memory rather than having its own dedicated memory.  It's made on a different process node, but that means much lower power consumption for Llano.

So while Radeon HD 6520G is slower than Mobility Radeon HD 5650, it's not going to be a huge gap.  Maybe 20-30% or so.

"Im 100% positive you could get an kick ass Dell XPS 15 on black friday for around 550$ or so with a great graphics solution, although it would be just a nvidia gt540m that would play swtor very well."

Dell says that the Dell XPS 15 starts at $900.  And that's without the GeForce GT 540M.  If you want that, it's an extra $100.  That manages to double the price tag in exchange for maybe 50% faster graphics.  The price tag isn't the only problem, though, as that also perhaps doubles the power consumption under heavy loads.  If Dell uses discrete switchable graphics, then you get all the driver nightmares that causes.  And if they don't, then the battery life will be awful.  Llano completely avoids both of those problems.

"Honestly if your willing to go the extrea step, getting something like this is going to benefit who ever recieves it a great deal, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834246153, your really never going to get much of a better deal in my eyes then this."

That's $700.  That doesn't fit a $500 budget very well.  And that also sticks you with all of the power consumption and either driver or battery life problems of the previous laptop that you mentioned.

"Its same graphics solution thats in the m14x,"

Umm, yikes.  No, it's not the same graphics.  It's not even remotely similar graphics.  Different GPU die, different number of shaders, different number of TMUs, different number of ROPs, different core clock speed, different memory bus width, different type of video memory, different amount of video memory, different memory clock speed, different form factor, etc.  Well, they're both of the Fermi architecture and built on the same process node, but that's about all that they have in common.

What, you didn't realize that there are two completely different, unrelated cards that Nvidia brands as GeForce GT 555M?  Chalk up another win for deceptive Nvidia marketing.

"its very high powerd laptop that will be able to run the newest games with dx11 technoligy for years to come."

Sure, it will run DirectX 11 games.  But expect to have to turn off nearly all of the features specific to DirectX 10 or 11 in order to make them playable.  Either of the cards that Nvidia brands as a GeForce GT 555M is considerably faster than Radeon HD 6520G integrated graphics.  But probably not even twice as fast.

I was going to wisecrack about it only being high powered if you're talking about power consumption, but it isn't even that, either.  Nvidia doesn't give a TDP on either of its GeForce GT 555M cards, but they're probably around 30-40 W.  The processor is 35 or 45 W, depending on which of the models you've talked about.  That adds up to quite a bit.  An A6-3400M is 35 W for the processor and graphics together, meaning about half of the power consumption of either of the laptops you've brought up when under heavy loads.  Now, you do lose some performance along with the lower power consumption, but Llano still offers untouchable performance per watt.

  noquarter

Novice Member

Joined: 7/03/06
Posts: 1170

9/25/11 12:26:02 AM#7

For laptops you get much more out of your money at $700 than $500 though if you can go a bit higher.

  eycel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1339

pew pew

9/25/11 1:17:12 AM#8
Originally posted by noquarter

For laptops you get much more out of your money at $700 than $500 though if you can go a bit higher.

noquarter is right, sub 500 just ist going to do it unless you can find some extream deal on black friday in like maybee the dell outlet or lenovo refurbished section.

  sudo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/05
Posts: 698

9/25/11 1:24:36 AM#9

I'm not sure there is such thing, OP...

Better buy it closer to release and save more money or even wait after release.

Hitting minimal requirements doesn't mean enjoyable gameplay experience (true for all games).

"Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted.
Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world."
Hans Margolius

  Slapshot1188

Elite Member

Joined: 5/06/07
Posts: 4153

 
OP  9/25/11 10:08:22 AM#10

Thanks for the replies guys.  I really do not want to go past $500 as it's basicly a gift for an 8 year old.   I found the laptop I linked in the OP for $425 on sale so as long as everyone agrees it will run SW:TOR as long as we turn down the settings to low/med I think I'm going to go ahead and order.  I was mainly concerned about the CPU as I didn;t know anything about it and 1.4GHz seemed pretty slow.  From what I have read it's a pretty decent chip (for it's cost).

 

 

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  eycel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1339

pew pew

9/25/11 10:17:18 AM#11
Originally posted by Slapshot1188

Thanks for the replies guys.  I really do not want to go past $500 as it's basicly a gift for an 8 year old.   I found the laptop I linked in the OP for $425 on sale so as long as everyone agrees it will run SW:TOR as long as we turn down the settings to low/med I think I'm going to go ahead and order.  I was mainly concerned about the CPU as I didn;t know anything about it and 1.4GHz seemed pretty slow.  From what I have read it's a pretty decent chip (for it's cost).

 

 

If you ask me doesnt matter if its for 8 year old or 18 year old.  That laptop isnt going to run swtor, it doesnt have a dedicated graphics chip, its integrated.  It wont run on low, or any setting for that matter.  You have to realise weather 500 dollars or 435 dollars, thats alot alot of money.  You can get alot of stuff with that type of money.

Check the dell outlets, and lenovo outlet(the resertified and refurbished systems), call some of there reps and see what they can do for you, tell them your situation, ask about black friday etc...

  Slapshot1188

Elite Member

Joined: 5/06/07
Posts: 4153

 
OP  9/25/11 10:22:28 AM#12
Originally posted by eycel

 

If you ask me doesnt matter if its for 8 year old or 18 year old.  That laptop isnt going to run swtor, it doesnt have a dedicated graphics chip, its integrated.  It wont run on low, or any setting for that matter.  You have to realise weather 500 dollars or 435 dollars, thats alot alot of money.  You can get alot of stuff with that type of money.

Check the dell outlets, and lenovo outlet(the resertified and refurbished systems), call some of there reps and see what they can do for you, tell them your situation, ask about black friday etc...

Black Friday is 2 months away... :)

 

From what I have read, it's graphics chip while integrated, is actually better than many discrete chips in the low-mid price range.  If you see something better under $500 I'm all ears though!

 

 

"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)

  eycel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1339

pew pew

9/25/11 10:25:59 AM#13

just think about it though, Iv never read anyone anywhere playing a brand new mmo with integrated graphics ever.  I dont think it will work, let alone on an older game.  The closest thing Iv ever read, and iv read alot is something like the old Z model sony vaios with dedicated nvidia geforce GT 330m cards and even then the game was terribly slow and stuttery not in any way worth using. 

 

  snapfusion

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/17/11
Posts: 976

9/25/11 10:26:53 AM#14

Any modern PC based chip with a current version of Direct X will run ths game the question is what is your idea of playable framerates?  Mine are no less than 60fps with 50 to 60 players on screen which you will not achieve on a sub 500 dollar laptop.

  eycel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1339

pew pew

9/25/11 10:28:45 AM#15
Originally posted by snapfusion

Any modern PC based chip with a current version of Direct X will run ths game the question is what is your idea of playable framerates?  Mine are no less than 60fps with 50 to 60 players on screen which you will not achieve on a sub 500 dollar laptop.

The thread starter has good idea here, we just need to capitlize on this.  There is a market out there that can cater to this situation, its just finding it is the problem.  There has to be something in the dell outlet, like a refurbished xps system.

 

Just something like this would be better then what you  posted, http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-1570MRB-15-6-Inch-Laptop/dp/B004EWEZNS/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1316964749&sr=1-4 cause at least the processor in it is half way decent.

 

Ok heres something, stuido 17 with dedicated graphics and duo core, http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/Online/SecondaryInventorySearch.aspx?rn=1694&SC=lowToHigh&c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh.  I wouldnt settle for this though.

 

Just check the outlet there, there are hundreads of laptops to choose from, there are laptops in here under 550$ that will play SWTOR. 

Ahh I guess there isnt really much in the outlet.  Nothing I would consider to buy under even 600.

  djnexus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/06
Posts: 686

9/25/11 10:42:10 AM#16

This right here is the best laptop PERIOD that you can buy for less than $500. Hurry up and snag one while you can, they are selling quickly and fast. I just bought one a few weeks ago at Best Buy and got the last one. I have been able to run games with no problems. Very nice laptop for the price and for $30 more you can upgrade to 8 gigs of ddr3 ram just pop in another stick. It comes with one stick of 4 gigs ddr3 ram. You can only buy these at best buy. This has the new dual gpu. Its got a built in gpu tied in with the CPU along with a dedicated 1 gig video card that can be combined to 1.5 gig video. The sticker on my laptop says Radeon HD 6720 G2

Laptop:

Asus K53TA-BBR6

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ASUS+-+Laptop+/+AMD+A-Series+Processor+/+15.6%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Brown+Suit/2881042.p?slloc=01&skuId=2881042&slref=10&id=1218360613837

 

Laptop Specs:

AMD quad-core A6-3400M* accelerated processor
Features a 1333MHz system bus for efficient system processing.

4GB DDR3 memory
For multitasking power, expandable to 8GB.

500GB hard drive (5400 rpm)
Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.

AMD 6650 graphics
Feature 1GB video memory for lush images with vivid detail. HDMI output for connection to an HDTV. (Yes thats a 1 gig dedicated video card that does direct x 11)

  eycel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1339

pew pew

9/25/11 10:46:33 AM#17
Originally posted by djnexus

This right here is the best laptop PERIOD that you can buy for less than $500. Hurry up and snag one while you can, they are selling quickly and fast. I just bought one a few weeks ago at Best Buy and got the last one. I have been able to run games with no problems. Very nice laptop for the price and for $30 more you can upgrade to 8 gigs of ddr3 ram just pop in another stick. It comes with one stick of 4 gigs ddr3 ram. You can only buy these at best buy. This has the new dual gpu. Its got a built in gpu tied in with the CPU along with a dedicated 1 gig video card that can be combined to 1.5 gig video. The sticker on my laptop says Radeon HD 6720 G2

Laptop:

Asus K53TA-BBR6

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ASUS+-+Laptop+/+AMD+A-Series+Processor+/+15.6%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Brown+Suit/2881042.p?slloc=01&skuId=2881042&slref=10&id=1218360613837

 

Laptop Specs:

AMD quad-core A6-3400M* accelerated processor
Features a 1333MHz system bus for efficient system processing.

4GB DDR3 memory
For multitasking power, expandable to 8GB.

500GB hard drive (5400 rpm)
Offers spacious storage and fast read/write times.

AMD 6650 graphics
Feature 1GB video memory for lush images with vivid detail. HDMI output for connection to an HDTV. (Yes thats a 1 gig dedicated video card that does direct x 11)

thats an amazing deal, that will run everything.

  djnexus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/06
Posts: 686

9/25/11 10:49:46 AM#18

Yea tell me about it as soon as I found out about that series of laptop I went apesh*t and had to have one. I did tons of laptop research weeks before buying a laptop I was looking for a laptop that could run newer games and was the best bang for the buck and stumbled across it. Ive ran games like Bioshock, Bad Company 2, Fallen Earth etc all on medium to high settings no problems. I dare say that this will also run Battlefield 3 when it comes out at least on low to medium settings and also will run SWTOR for sure.

  djnexus

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/06
Posts: 686

9/25/11 10:50:45 AM#19

Another thing Best Buy will NOT ship these from there website you have to pick one up at a store. I had to drive an hour and 1/2 to get this laptop because there was no Best Buy in my area.

  eycel

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1339

pew pew

9/25/11 10:52:47 AM#20
Originally posted by djnexus

Yea tell me about it as soon as I found out about that series of laptop I went apesh*t and had to have one. I did tons of laptop research weeks before buying a laptop I was looking for a laptop that could run newer games and was the best bang for the buck and stumbled across it. Ive ran games like Bioshock, Bad Company 2, Fallen Earth etc all on medium to high settings no problems. I dare say that this will also run Battlefield 3 when it comes out at least on low to medium settings and also will run SWTOR for sure.

yea its truly an amazing deal for the hardware you get, kinda unbelievable really.  500 dollars is 500 dollars though, you should get something for that type of money.

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