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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

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avatar srry 17th July 2010, 16:43 PM

Typing this journal from my new Toshiba NB305 that I got yesterday, 2 days prior to leaving on an 11 day trip to France, Germany, and Switzerland with my family.

It's a neat little machine, although I am somewhat disappointed to say that it has a bit of trouble trying to play Half-Life, which even on a netbook seems somewhat surprising considering it's a 12 year old game. The laptop's native screen resolution, 1024x600, is apparently unsupported by Steam's Half-Life for whatever reason. It forces it into 800x600 mode, and brutally stretches everything out. Windowed mode works fine, though it's a bit distracting. The first time I started a new game and was riding on the tram, I actually got a huge amount of lag and general sluggishness. Switching to Direct 3D and 16 bit colors seemed to fix these problems for some reason. I guess the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 isn't too happy about OpenGL rendering.

Ultimate Doom played fine after a few DLL copying shenanigans though. :)

P.S. Windows 7 starter is the only OS I have ever used in my life that has desktop backgrounds intentionally designed out. Seriously. WTF, man.


avatar Crollo says: 17th July 2010, 18:07 PM
Generally unless you get a gaming laptop they don't really cope with games well, even really old ones, and one thing is guaranteed, they will NEVER run a game even half life, on their native resolution unless you're playing doom.
avatar srry says: 17th July 2010, 18:12 PM
I actually did find a way to run HL perfectly, just with black borders on either side of the screen in 800x600 mode. It's almost better than widescreen, it's the aspect ratio it was meant to be played in.

I think nVidia just hates OpenGL.

It's just funny, because my ten year old IBM laptop with up to 16mb of shared video memory seemed a bit smoother...
avatar Taylor says: 18th July 2010, 05:43 AM
Intel GMA is balls, you should avoid it like the devil. And yeah, as crollo said, netbooks aren't designed for games at all (although HL is in fact 12 years old) and 1024x600 is not that common of a resolution, not all games support it.
avatar srry says: 19th July 2010, 08:32 AM
Despite GMA being balls, I seem to remember some old Intel integrated graphics card working somewhat smoothly in our desktop PC circa 2005. I'd expect a netbook released months ago to perform somewhat similarly... But I'd be wrong I guess.

Also, posting from Heathrow, lal. Worst deal on wireless internet access ever.
avatar Captain Terror says: 19th July 2010, 21:09 PM
netbook are balls. maybe return it quick and get one with a normal native resolution if you can; may solve some of your problems.
avatar srry says: 20th July 2010, 00:11 AM
For one, I wasn't the one paying for it. For another, I was looking for something about this size, and the next smallest one, with a 13.3 inch screen and internal optical drive, was $800... not a lot, but more than the person buying it wanted to spend.

I wasn't willing to go any bigger than that, and I was limited to the selection they had in stock at Best Buy, if I wanted to have it before the trip (which was the whole point.)

Also, every laptop now is widescreen, so there's not going to be anything normal about any of their native resolutions. Old games will hate it either way.
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