Netbook Retro Gaming?

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by 1magus, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. 1magus

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    Ok the last few weeks I have been looking for a netbook on and off and so far I have not found much information on running older games on Intel GMA Graphics and Atom.

    Now first off I understand that most newer games (at least games released past 2004) probably aren't going to work. Another side question am I wrong about this year or shall I say can I not run games released past 2003?

    Right now I'm looking at the HP mini 210 HD however if anybody else has any suggestions for a better netbook than this please let me know.
    Here is what I expect to do with a small 10-10.2" netbook:
    Play windows based games released from 1995 (right around when dos stopped seeing strong support) to 2004 (EtherLords 1+ 2 possible?)
    Watch videos SD or HD ( Can they do HD that small?)
    Use software emulators for consoles SNES, Sega Genesis/CD/32x, PSX, N64
    Surf the web and go on video streaming websites like Hulu

    I noticed a lot of these netbooks have 262k color screens is it to make them cheaper? Are there any small netbooks with great vibrant million color screens, that is if I really need them?
    One concern I have is that all of the netbooks I have looked like do not say if they have a directX compatible sound chip, does this mean they don't have one and games that need it do not work well?

    Any information would be very very helpful please list you're feedback if any of you have run games on netbooks among other things. Ultimately should I wait for newer netbook releases? Does anybody know of any good 10-10.2" netbooks that will be released in the future and be much better than current gen?
     
  2. jlippo

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    I have tried SNES games with old acer aspire one and those did work nicely, I doubt that anything after that is going to work well though.
    PSX&N64 games will most likely not work as the machine doesn't have powerful CPU and GPU is simply abysmal.

    Video streaming is really about how the website displays the stream, some sites work nicely with low reslution streams and for some there just isn't enough power.
    Flash just sucks in general, especially as there isn't a easy/fast way to force low quality on.

    I haven't used the original display much as I hooked it into my 40' tv, so I cannot comment on screens.
     
  3. 1magus

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    Well does anybody else who has tried emulators or games want to reply please?
     
  4. I.S.T.

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    PSone games should work well, if you use a software plugin like the P.E.Op.S. software GPU plugin. SNES games, well, it depends on the emu you use. bsnes is much more intensive than other emulators, so it may not run properly. Run snes9x1.52(One of the few emulators that gets sound right in most games) or zsnes1.51 if bsnes gives you problems, or if you don't care for it for some reason.

    Genesis emus will run well, as will NES emus.
     
  5. 1magus

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    Ok so what about games older games?
     
  6. 1magus

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    I mean like EtherLords, System Shock 2, Deus Ex etc....?
     
  7. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I've been using an EeePC 900 for old games for a couple of years. The performance of GMA 900 and the Celeron 900 are more than enough for games up to around 2001. GMA 900 does a good GeForce 2/3 impersonation. You might as well pretend that it's not shader model 2-capable because it can't run any of that acceptably.

    I've played System Shock 2, Deus Ex, a few other Unreal 1-based games, Project IGI and more. NFS3 w/ Glide emulator.

    The 900 MHz Celeron is good for DOS games that aren't too demanding, say prior to 1994 maybe? That's a tough one to nail because they vary too much. Dark Forces, for ex, is not too bad but it's not really smooth. My bro's netbook with Atom 1.6 is essentially the same.
     
    #7 swaaye, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2010
  8. 1magus

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    Are you saying a Intel Atom 1.8 GHz can emulate at the same speed as you'res? Or are you saying same with Windows games because they all have the same crappy GMA?
     
  9. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    I've found my Eee900 great for 3D games from 2001 and older. It's a nice little retro game machine that essentially performs like a high end computer from ~2000. The Intel IGP performs similar to a GeForce 2 GTS and the CPU like a P3 1000.

    Atom 1.8 should be plenty fast for those old games. It will be faster than a Celeron M 900. But it is still Atom and so 1.8 GHz doesn't mean as much as it might seem. :)

    The new Atom CPUs with the IGP on-die should run cooler too.
     
  10. 1magus

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    I added you on AIM do you mind signing in so I can ask you a few questions?
     
  11. tongue_of_colicab

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    But remember not to install windows 7 and try old games because performance is poop. Under XP you can play lots of old games with no problems.
     
  12. 1magus

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    A lot of the netbooks seem to have Windows Vista or 7 is there an easy way to install XP onto a netbook?
     
  13. tongue_of_colicab

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    The easiest way is probably to create a bootable windows xp usb stick with ''win to flash''.
     
  14. 1magus

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    Honestly why would they ever make netbooks with Windows vista or 7?
     
  15. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    The easiest way is to just get yourself a USB optical drive. Installing XP via USB flash stick is a good bit of effort and it doesn't always go smoothly.

    Windows 7 runs ok on them. But for older games XP is the way to go for certain.

    BTW, I don't use AIM anymore. :)
     
  16. 1magus

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    Well one more question
    should I get one with GMA 500 which as I understand is not really made by Intel and has support for video decoding but needs unofficial graphic drivers.
    Or should I get one with a GMA 950 which is under clocked to 200 Mhz and can go up to 400 with GMA booster?
     
  17. tongue_of_colicab

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    If you use win to flash your up and running in like 2 minutes :) The program creates the bootable stick for you. Indeed this works a lot better than trying to create one yourself which is more likely to go wrong than right (atleast that is my experience).
     
  18. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    GMA 500 is a mess from what I've read. Poor driver support.

    You should be looking at the newer netbooks that have the Atom N series (ie N450). Those have the IGP on die with the CPU and run a lot cooler and have better battery life. They call the IGP "GMA 3150" but I'm fairly sure it's basically GMA 950 with a new badge.
     
    #18 swaaye, Jun 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2010
  19. swaaye

    swaaye Entirely Suboptimal
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    http://wintoflash.com/home/en/
    Cool.

    I've been using USB Multiboot which has a few steps. The most annoying issue I ran into is some Windows Update would come along and screw with the boot.ini resulting in the inability to boot my install until I fixed it. I've only seen this with my XP installs from flash sticks.
     
  20. 1magus

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    It can't be a re-branded 950 because the program GMA booster will not work with it I believe?
     
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