Linux Gaming Laptop, Recommendations? (2018)

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sinewav
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Linux Gaming Laptop, Recommendations? (2018)

Post by sinewav » Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:39 am

My laptop is 10 years old, time for a new one. Would be nice if it could run modern games built on Unity or Unreal. I spent several hours looking for something reasonably priced, but there isn't much out there. Checked out System76. Eh... Dell XPS is also pretty expensive. I've seen recommendations for Acer and ThinkPad, but I have no patience for hacking Linux and I want a pretty solid out-of-the-box solution (or near flawless documentation). Tall order, I know. Some have suggested finding something a little older with a GTX 960M chipset. I also have no patience for gaming culture and all the ridiculousness that goes along with video card wars. I just want to play somewhat modern games.

NOTE: You might think it's absurd, but my apartment/desk is too small for a full tower, so I need a laptop or a microPC.

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Re: Linux Gaming Laptop, Recommendations? (2018)

Post by Lucifer » Sat Mar 31, 2018 1:29 pm

Borderlands 2 runs decently on my Lenovo, under Wine. I don't know how old it is, though.
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Re: Linux Gaming Laptop, Recommendations? (2018)

Post by Manta » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:48 am

Just my humble two cents, take it for what it’s worth as I still run a vid card from 2009.

Have read very good things about the latest generation of on die integrated graphics from both amd&intel. Though it seems having any discrete mobile gpu is always better and you would probably be safest going that route.

Also don’t discount Craig’s list, I picked up a reliable commercial grade Dell latitude i5 for $120 for my mother to use as I can’t do on-site tech support. It had mobile intel gfx but ran her RTS and Adventure games fine. So if you’re not to picky you might find a good deal on a laptop only a gen older maybe even get to test load something on it before buying.

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Re: Linux Gaming Laptop, Recommendations? (2018)

Post by delinquent » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:57 am

I've always gone down the route of build-your-own, so with a bit of fiddle I don't see why you can't build a small-form-factor machine from second hand parts. My current windows machine still rocks a processor from 2011, and I have excellent results in most modern titles. Subnautica is buttery smooth, as is the new Kingdom Come, etc etc.

I would stay away from getting things online, though. I tried putting together the rig I have at the moment, sans the extra drives I have in it from years past, and it came to around three times what I actually paid for it.

I'd suggest looking at prebuilt machines, perhaps ex-corp or ex-mil machines, and then buying a beefier power supply and a relatively passable GPU. Unless you're l33tg4m3rt33n there's no need to go hunting for a powerhouse.

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Re: Linux Gaming Laptop, Recommendations? (2018)

Post by Lucifer » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:44 pm

delinquent wrote:Unless you're l33tg4m3rt33n there's no need to go hunting for a powerhouse.
I had to laugh. Your entire post reads like "l33tg4m3rt33n" to me. I'm happy to finally have *one* 64-bit computer. My TV is still being powered by a 32-bit computer. And you're talking about a "passable" processor from 2011.

Yeah, lol. :)
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Re: Linux Gaming Laptop, Recommendations? (2018)

Post by Monkey » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:52 pm

@sinewav
What is your budget, roughly? What are the specifications of your current laptop?
sinewav wrote:my apartment/desk is too small for a full tower, so I need a laptop or a microPC.
Laptops tend to be a lot more expensive than desktops of the same specifications. I have one laptop and one desktop. Both are a few years old now. The laptop, despite being 64-bit, has a single-core processor and 2GB of RAM. I got it for free from my friend because it can't run Windows 10. My desktop is of a similar age but has a quad-core processor and half-decent AMD Radeon graphics card. My point is, why not get a cheap laptop for general use (minus games) and a decent desktop for games. My desktop is only a "midi" tower (inbetween a "full" tower and a "microATX" tower/case). It can still hold a standard ATX motherboard and other standard ATX parts and it's possible to turn it on its side and put the monitor on top of it. If that's still too big, you could get a "microATX" case, which needs some microATX parts, but would still be much cheaper than a laptop of the same specifications. In case you don't know what "ATX" is, it's the standard form factor for most desktops.

As for graphics cards/chipset, (and I'm not trying to start a flame war here, I'm just informing you) NVIDIA aren't open source friendly. Even if you aren't planning to use open source software/drivers now, you may in the not too distant future. AMD would probably be the best bet performance-wise (similar to NVIDIA), but I hear Intel are getting better too.

Processor-wise (CPU), AMD tends to give you (well, here in the UK at least) slightly more power for your money than Intel.
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Re: Linux Gaming Laptop, Recommendations? (2018)

Post by delinquent » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:10 pm

Lucifer wrote:
delinquent wrote:Unless you're l33tg4m3rt33n there's no need to go hunting for a powerhouse.
I had to laugh. Your entire post reads like "l33tg4m3rt33n" to me. I'm happy to finally have *one* 64-bit computer. My TV is still being powered by a 32-bit computer. And you're talking about a "passable" processor from 2011.

Yeah, lol. :)

Oi! It's not all that unbelievable to be fair. My Windows machine has an i5 2500k in there, from I think Q3 of 2011? Anyway, it's perfectly serviceable, and I actually do some of my development work on it. I do have some issues with running out of available resources, but for now I'm quite happy with it. I've had the same machine near four years now, my only gripe is lack of virtualisation - which the machine in my office takes care of. Anyway, I was trying to get across that whilst today's modern offerings seem to be aiming for ridiculous framerates that are entirely unnecessary for a comfortable hour or two, something a bit older can often work adequately enough.

As for my TV, I got myself a Pi instead. Largely for the ability to program IR blasters that turn on my TV and the amp, but equally because it was cheap. LibreELEC supports casting, too, so bouncing media from my phone to the Pi is simple enough.

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