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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry if this is a n00b question or whatnot, but I have a few questions and thoughts to share on this. First of all, I currently have a crappy old Dell Optiplex GX280 (was powerful 4 years ago lol). This is NOT the PC I am asking about, but I wanted to do some comparisons on a new system I am probably going to buy.

Specs for the Optiplex (NOT THE ONE I'M GOING TO USE WITH PCSX2)-
Pentium 4 2.8ghz (single core with HT technology)
2GB DDR2 ram
Intel Integrated Media Accelerator 900 (crappy)

This is what I currently have. Here's a shock- I was actually able to get Jak and Daxter to run at up to half speed at certain instances with most speedhacks and CPU enhancements enabled. Native PS2 resolution of course with no special filters or anything enabled. It ran at speeds of 30%-50% pretty consecutively even using a really ancient single core with integrated graphics. I'm stunned. Final Fantasy 10 ran just slightly worse, but with a ton of rather serious graphical glitches (no doubt due to my integrated card). I'm kind of surprised Jak and Daxter ran better and with few graphical glitches actually.

Now, here's the thing- I getting a new laptop soon. This is the one-
Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS4530-6823 NoteBook AMD Athlon X2 QL-62(2.00GHz) 14.1" Wide XGA 3GB Memory DDR2 667 320GB HDD DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 9100M G - Laptops / Notebooks

It's an Acer Aspire 4530 with the following specs-
AMD Athlon X2 QL-62(2.0GHz) dual core obviously
3GB DDR2 memory clocked at (I think) 667mhz
NVIDIA GeForce 9100M G

Before you say this sucks, please understand these things-
1- I'm broke. $500 is about the maximum I can spend
2- I'm going to college soon and wanted a laptop for the portability
3- It's much better than what I have now

I just wanted an idea on how well this laptop could play the games I tried above. I already got shocking speeds considering my PC. I'd be upgrading to a dual core (which I assume despite being 2ghz is still faster than a single core 2.8ghz), 50% more memory, and a somewhat decent graphics card (better than integrated at least). Keep in mind that I do not mind playing games at really low resolutions if they will run at anywhere close to decent speeds, I can turn on frame skipping if that could help it speed up, and I don't need any special filtering or whatnot. I just want to know what I can do with this laptop. I'm going to get it anyways (most likely), but I just wanted to know in advance what it's capable of.

I guess I should mention a few games I'm interested in running-
- Kingdom Hearts
- Kingdom Hearts 2
- Jak and Daxter
- Final Fantasy X
- Final Fantasy XII
- More of whatever is compatible and not TOO stressful to play

Thank you for you patience and thanks in advance for any help your provide me. Understand that I'm broke and in need of a new laptop for various reasons and I'm sort of stuck. I will also take any suggestions for better laptops around the $500 price range if you can suggest any.
 

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Mhm.
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Well. You can never really be sure about a system until you try it (unless its a new core2 gaming system:lol:) but I think kingdom hearts should run pretty decently maybe 70%fps at least. Never really tried the other games personally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well that's nice at least. Kingdom Hearts is one of the ones I'd like to run the most. And already, judging at how well Jak and Daxter ran without even a dual core or decent graphics card, I imagine it would run pretty well on this new one.

For a basic question- How much better performance (lets say in percent) would the Athlon X2 QL-62 2ghz processor perform over my old Pentium 4 2.8ghz single core. I still don't really understand why a dual core 2ghz processor would far outperform a single core 2.8ghz. Or is it 2ghz PER processor when it says that?

Basically I've never owned a multi-core processor before. I saw an AMD X4 Phenom at Best Buy clocked at "1.8ghz" (according to the label). I thought to myself "that doesn't seem very fast" until the sales rep corrected me by saying that EACH of the four processors was clocked individually at 1.8ghz. Is the same true of this X2 processor I'm considering? Meaning, when it says 2ghz, does that mean all of the processors together add up to 2ghz, or does it mean that each on is 2ghz?

I'm having to adapt to a new generation of technology (despite being 20 years old). I've been living on a Pentium 3 for the past 4 years haha! My finances restricted me from getting ANYTHING near decent until now (if you can call this new laptop decent). I'm still several months away from being able to afford it. I need it soon since my old one is breaking at the hinge and is old as crap.
 

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You can build a pretty nice desktop PC for $500 that will run many PC games at high settings and run pcsx 2 well with the games you have listed. I recently built one for a friend. very very doable. . If you really need a notebook PC for college and it has an integrated gfx chip, don't expect it to play any newer games or run pcsx2 well. its just the reality of value oriented notebooks.
 

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Mhm.
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does that mean all of the processors together add up to 2ghz, or does it mean that each on is 2ghz?
That means that each core is running at 2ghz. so its like having 2 2ghz cpus. Thats why it goes so much faster over the 2.8 p4. With the 2 cores it can utilize both more eficiently and distribute it over both getting faster speeds.

And i really cant say the comparison of the amd to the p4. i have no knowledge of the amd line, although its dual core so right off the bat it beats the p4 almost hands down i would think
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
EDIT- Thank you very much Bubbafat, so that does basically mean the entire thing can reach speeds of near 4ghz when the cores are added together (although I know that's not how they measure it technically). Just what I wanted to know. I guess now that whenever I see a multicore system say the ghz speed, it means per core. Thank you so much for telling me this and sorry for being a n00b here. :D

I do already know that this particular laptop can run Crysis and other similar games at decent framerates and medium-to-high settings enabled at least. I need the laptop for the portability. When I game, I am mostly into older games from 2007 or before actually. In particular, emulators like N64 or Dreamcast I know will work decently on it. And to put it simply, I have rather low needs when playing a game. I can stand small resolutions when playing games and consider anything above or around 25 frames per second as totally playable. I wouldn't mind playing PS2 games even if I had to skip some frames to get it running fullspeed or near that.

Just being able to get that Jak and Daxter game to run even half speed on my old one makes me suspicious I would be able to get it near fullspeed on the newer laptop. But basically, I'm still trying to truly figure out just how much faster this new laptop would be from my old Pentium 4 PC. Bubbafat helped answer this. It would at least kill the old one speed-wise. So I think I could get at least a few games to play somewhat decently or so.

I'm not yet ready to dedicate the money to building an entire computer. I have had to repair and add on to on before, but I really don't think I have the experience to do it yet, or even that I would want to risk messing it up (if I mess something up, it's all over and my money is wasted). I need a laptop anyways, not a desktop PC. So don't bother trying to tell me desktops are better and cheaper. I know that. I just need a laptop for this time. I heavily value portability for now and need it for college and other things. Just understand this. And I'm not trying to act like an ass and beg for great speed with PS2 games, just trying to see how much I can do with a limited system.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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I used to have a similar Dell OptiPlex GX270 that looked as follows.

Pentium 4 2.8GHz (Northwood, 800MHz FSB, Hyperthreading)
1GB PC3200 (400MHz) DDR(1) RAM (4x256MB dual channel)
nVidia GeForce 6800 GS AGP 256MB (overclocked and unlocked/modified to where it was basically running exactly as an Ultra)
Dell Intel G865 Motherboard

That system didn't fare so well (at the time, when there were no speed hacks and PCSX 0.9.4 was about the latest).

My next system was basically what I have now, only I had an E8400 (usually @3.6GHz or @4.05GHz). It chewed through PCSX2, as does my current PC, and this is without any speed hacks.

Honestly, while your new system is an improvement, it's not good for PCSX2 at all. If you need the portability for school, then it's probably what you'll have to go with, but it will not be a good system for PCSX2. I'd say it's at the very bottom of "acceptable and/or half decent" for PCSX2. I know you don't want to hear this, so I'm not trying to suggest this, but a laptop isn't the best for PCSX2. They often have slower CPUs, slower GPUs, and no overclocking, let alone all of the heat issues. I can't give you an estimate. Maybe it'll play full speed for what you need and how you set it, but the hardware itself is only the bottom of the barrel for what most consider acceptable.

By the way, do be aware that, despite the GeForce name, the 9100 model refers to both the motherboard chipset and the integrated, yes integrated, nVidia GPU. The 9100, though one of the better integrated GPUs, is not that great overall. I hate to say it, but an Athlon X2 @2GHz with an integrated GPU will probably not fare well all too for PCSX2 at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Obviously in the future, I'd love to be able to afford a really epic system that could pull it off. Like I said, I can deal with lowest possible settings to get it to run anything at all. At this point, I'm getting the laptop almost 100% for sure (provided I can raise the funds to get even that price), but I'm just trying to figure out what is possible on it.

Clearly being both poor and without a college education sucks. I hope to fix the latter of those issues in order to also fix the former. And in a few years, what is currently cutting edge and extremely expensive for PC's will be low-end and dirt cheap (and able to run PCSX2 full speed)! :p

Who knows too, maybe emulation will get faster later on down the development process too. At least now, I'll be able to run Dreamcast and such. Even run N64 and PS1 in pretty high def situations. I still love old games the best anyways.

EDIT- I was browsing the screenshot thread and noticed one particular person managed to get Kingdom Hearts to run on a 1.7ghz single core laptop at speeds from 30-60fps. Pretty impressive. And he's got only an integrated graphics card to boot. I think that means at least that game I'll be able to play. I'm under the impression I can get at least a few games to run at a pretty playable rate. The post I am talking about- http://forums.ngemu.com/1627318-post650.html
 

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This person used all the speedhacks possible, I'm sure. That means the fps counter says stuff like 60fps, but it doesn't actually run well :p

AMD Athlon X2 QL-62(2.0GHz) << Won't cut it for most games
NVIDIA GeForce 9100M G << May be barely enough for native resolution
 

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My laptop is benq s41 447, 1,5 ghz core 2 duo, and believe it or not, I get full speed in KH, and almost playable full speed in kh2 (which is a good thing, because this game is too fast)

I recommend you to get intel core2duo laptop instead amd ones. you will probably get even better speed compared to mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's cool to know. But would your core2duo outdo this X2 processor I'm considering? According to specs, the X2 has a 0.5ghz edge over that one of yours. And can anyone recommend one of these better core2duo laptops at around $500?
 

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From Love and Limerence
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It depends on how the frequencies being compared and the application, but in general, a Core 2 is probably about equivalent to a good few hundred MHz faster than an Athlon X2 at the same frequency. In an application like PCSX2, this difference may be more pronounced. I would wager a Core 2 @1.5GHz and an Athlon X2 @2.0GHz would be close.

I found some laptops for ~$500 on Newegg with ~2.0GHz Core 2 Duos, but the only problem with going with an Intel laptop in that price range is that you're looking at Intel GMA (usually X3100 or 4500) IGPs. In other words, you're trading a bit of GPU power for a bit of CPU power.

Neither will be good for PCSX2 in the end, so I'd say considering all else, I'd spend the extra ~$100 and get the Core 2 based builds.
 

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it's hard to find gaming laptop around $500, I bought mine last year for $929 and a bit disappointed because I found cheaper local core2duo laptop with higher processor and dedicated GPU. :/

I remember there is Dell Vostro 1500, one of the cheapest gaming laptop available for $600, if you could find it, I recommend you this one. I couldnt find any vostro 1500 and I ended up picking benq s41-447 instead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for that suggestion eriol33. I have Dells myself (infact, I've had nothing but Dells since 2000). I am currently typing on my old Latitude c610 (it sucks so hard, it's amazing it's not spontaneously combusting now). I have had ups and downs with the company. This laptop was bought off lease about 4 years ago because I needed a laptop. It has a partially fried bios (the battery won't charge up), and a broken hinge on one side of the screen. Basically, it's on the verge of breaking and one of the reasons I need a new PC badly.

The other PC is the one I tried some PS2 games on. I looked up the vostro series. Newegg has a few, but they all have an Intel GMA X3100, which I assume is FAR FAR crappier than even an integrated Geforce 9100m g. Even if I got a core2duo, I'm assuming it wouldn't matter if the graphics card is so much worse and becomes a bottleneck.

The two Vostros laptops I found were-
Newegg.com - DELL Vostro 1510 (464-3663) NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T9300(2.50GHz) 15.4" Wide XGA 2GB Memory DDR2 667 250GB HDD 5400rpm DVD/CD-RW Combo Intel GMA X3100 - Laptops / Notebooks
and-
Newegg.com - DELL Vostro 1510 (464-3400) NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T8100(2.10GHz) 15.4" Wide XGA 2GB Memory DDR2 667 160GB HDD 5400rpm Dual layer DVD Burner Intel GMA X3100 - Laptops / Notebooks

I really appreciate all the laptop advice though and will like anything you can tell me! :)
 

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don't get an x3100. get minimum an intel 4500 as that is probably double the performance of the x3100 and can actually run kingdom hearts at nearly full speed along with Final Fantasy X2 (atleast the intro cut scenes as I haven't tried farther than that)
 

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yeah, intel x3100 and integrated graphic card is a big no no. there is always cheapter alternative for laptop with dedicated gpu, you better compare many laptops before decided to buy.
 

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also ppl said that Intel GMA chips sucks with OpenGL aplications, so GDSX will perform poorly.

Better if you stick with Nvidia/ATI GPUs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I was using a Pentium 4, but I bolded the part where I said that it wasn't the computer I was buying. I had just tried my Pentium 4 and was astonished to find I could run games AT ALL. Just a test anyways. I was curious.

I definitely want a decent GPU, even if it is integrated, Nvidia is likely better than intel. And likewise, I still haven't found another PC in a similar price range with both a core2duo AND an Nvidia GPU. So I'll likely stick with that Acer Aspire 4530. If it can't play PS2, oh well. I just need a laptop for other reasons and will accept whatever it happens to be able to play.

EDIT- in other amazing news, I was actually able to get Kingdom Hearts running on the emulator at speeds of anywhere from 50%-100%!!! Wow. Few graphical glitches, but how amazing! Doesn't even use much CPU speed if that counter on the window bar is accurate (it fluctuates from 30%-60%) That is on my old Pentium 4 with an integrated intel graphics card. I imagine that I could get it running fullspeed easily on that Acer laptop! :)

But out of curiosity, how much of a speed improvement could I get if I added a new graphics card to this Pentium 4 PC? I was considering a Radeon X1300 (don't laugh, it's the best that will fit my PSU and is less than $20). If it's cheap enough and offers considerable speed improvement, I might add one to this one just to make it a bit better until I can afford a new laptop.
 
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