Okay so I believe the term “gamer” does requires some level of commitment (setting a fixed routine to play games) and technical knowledge (choosing a motherboard, building your own PC), and I little, if not neither of them.
If I have to choose, I would probably call myself a “games-enjoyer-whenever-I-have-some-free-times” sort of person.
And now the reveal a.k.a. my “gears” , so I have got a:
Dell XPS 15 9560 (released way back in 2017), with the below specs:
I was drawn to this laptop because of how sleek it look at the time (it was basically the Macbook of Windows to be honest, and the XPS 15 series still is to this day), and the fact that its specs could allow me to game occasionally was a big plus.
The retail price for my configuration was around $1,499 according to my trusted assistant the Bing chatbot. Lucky I bought it used at around $1,128 (adjusted for inflation) so it was practically a steal.
The first 2-3 years of using the machine were super! Everything was butter smooth i.e. opening apps, rendering videos, even playing games at moderate to high settings (albeit with a resolution decrease to 1600 x 900).
However, performance really took a hit after I installed the patch for Spectre/Meltdown some time in 2020 (I know it was release back in 2018, but I am the type of person who rarely updates his computer so… ), but even then, it was still serviceable.
Fast forward to today, where the battery is extremely swollen (gon get it replaced soon), the display pales in comparison with my work laptop, and the GPU can only handle gaming at around 30 - 40 FPS-ish. I believe it is only a matter of time before I retire this (used to be) bad boy and get myself a new one.
Let me know how your experiences with your current machine have been like. Do you built your own PC, or buy pre-built, or do you prefer laptops for their portability?
And if you are in the market for a new machine, what are some of the criteria that you look for in a machine?
CPU: 16 × AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U with Radeon Graphics
Memory: 32 GB
AMD radeon Graphics
1 TB SSD
It is more than I need because:
I am using Linux only, which is by far more memory friendly than Windows for the apps I use
I am mostly doing DevOps / Sysadmining activities
It is the ‘standard’ gear provided by my company for engineers, the need for RAM is justified because, sometime, some engineers had to run few VM’s at the sme time (like I did when I was in charge with testing)
For home usage I have less powerfull gears … just because are old.
one Laptop with 32 GB RAM because … VM’s for hobby (Linux development), but just a 20 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD and one HP AIO with 16 GB RAM and 1TB HDD.
For this last one I have to buy an SSD one day.
Bot of them have dual graphic, nvidia and intel … because, ocasionally, gaming … well, actually just having fun on making various old-old games to run on Linux (like Severance - Blade of Darkness, HoMM 3, and so on)
For real gaming I have a modded PS2 (I am nostalgic and I love some games which are not available for PS3 and above) and a PS4 for more up to date games.
I was hit by that too so I disabled the patches on Linux for my personal machines, i am installing apps only from trusted sources.
As for the brands:
I love the Thinkpad series of Lenovo, mostly because of the keyboard design.
The reason for laptop is, hybrid work (remotely and from office)
Personal laptop is an Asus Ultrabook, the reason for it is … it was a big something at the time of choosing it, love the aluminium case.
The battery died so I replace it (found a 6 cells available, the original was 4 cells). It is a bit heavy … but still working and I think will still do his job for few years.
Initially had only 8 GB of RAM but I upgrade it to 32.
This gear came, actually, from one of my previous jobs, after ceasing the contract they let me keep it so the only expenses I had was to replace the battery and buy more RAM.
I can consider this one as a gift.
The reason for Laptop is, I was travelling a lot at that time, due to the job nature.
The display resolution is quite low for today, 1366*768 but is still OK for casual traveling.
HP AIO because I hate having cables laying around and the space taken by a tower. This one came also with only 8 GB of RAM so I upgraded to 16 … because this is the maximum supported by the mainboard. Further investment for this one will be probably a caddy-case and a 1 TB SSD and … should still work fine for few more years.
I can also use it as a second display for laptop or display for PS4 (it’s 24’’ 1920 x1080)
Consoles for gaming … because, despite what other thinks, I consider that real gaming should happen on consoles … and I don’t play shooters.
Actually, currently, the consoles are mostly collecting dust … but one day perhaps I will have time to play again (e.g after retirement) … or I will donate them to a museum.
Aw, the old reliable T14, I used to have a last-gen model with Intel back at my old company as well.
Same here, they have just the right amount of key travel that made typing rather enjoyable. Way better than my Dell and the Macbook Air that Katalon provided me with.
I’m thinking that for my next purchase, it would probably be a Lenovo Slim Pro 7. Having watch several hands-on and reviews, I think it has the right balance of performance, a nice display, weight & thickness.
And now that AMD processors have (finally) supported USB 4, it is one step closer to my dream gaming setup: a thin & light notebook connected to an external gpu, a screen, keyboard and mouse. Portability by day, and power to game by night
Seems like we got a retrogramer on our forum!
I was born in '97 so the few games that I considered retro are Half-Life, Counter Strike, and those 8-bit games like Mario and Mega man on our knock-off video game cartridges.
You may want to check out this youtube channel, this guy plays around with a lot of retro-tech and games as well
Interesting, I have only played console once or twice so I couldn’t get used to the control. Gaming with a mouse & keyboard have always feel more natural to me. It is either that or the fact that I could not afford a game console in the past
By shooter, do you mean shooting games like Call of Duty and such? Why is that? And what kind, or genres of games do you enjoy?
One of the games from EA (back when they still make games and not “surprise mechanics”) is The Sims.
i can still remember the countless hours that I spent building houses and buying furniture only to sadisticially kill off my Sims one by one by “drowning” them in a pool with no ladder, or starving them in a doorless room, etc.
And man, the whole soundtrack is always timeless, but the Buy Mode 1 track will always be close to my heart
Yes. Playing such on a console put the player in a big disadvantage, mostly due to the accuracy needed for aiming and the rapid turns needed.
So using a high performance mouse is a must.
I like mostly adventure and hack and slash, e.g. the very old Drakan - Order of the flames (reason for PS2 which have a special edition not available for PC)… God of War (one more reason for PS2 since 1 and 2 are not available for newest… GoW 3 not sure if it was remastered for PS4, it may be) and so on.
For such, at least for me, control with analog joystick is by far better than keyboard and mouse.
For retrogaming, i have about 300 or more buyed on GOG.
Basically, i buyed all the games I liked and struggle to play them with cracks and so on, since, when I was young, I cannot afford them
Not sure when I will have time to play them all.
For even older, i will setup one day a RetroPi. I have the needed hardware, only lack of time to do the ‘assembly’
The only exception from shooters is Serious Sam series. I own everything released up to now (special edition for PS2 only also)
It felt rather weird, and I guess, refreshing to play as Lara before the newest Tomb Raider trilogy.
Now though the game was released in 2007, so technically I can’t really call it a retro game, but due to the lack of “polygons” in games back then, as well as how my friend’s PS2 Slim rendered the game and making everything looked smudgy and blurry, I guess it did make me feel as if I was playing a game from 1999 or 2000.
And it was the first time in a long time that I got to pick up a controller again so it did take me quite a long time to get used to the control, especially the thumb sticks for moving around and adjusting the camera’s angle.
So I got to play Stray - an adventure/platforming game where you get to play as a cat - yesterday, and the visuals were superb. Somehow my aging laptop could still push out some decent framerates for this game.
Oh and I love how the devs include these little “mechanics” in the game that let us do “cat things” e.g. getting a paper bag stuck on our head which interestingly revert the whole control scheme → pressing W would go backward instead of forward and so on, clawing up trees, carpet, and furniture, pushing paint bucket off the roof, brushing ourselves against the robots, and my favorite, the box …
I’ll never give ASUS another penny of my money. I have a Asus RoG laptop (2018). The battery failed at 13 months. Before that a bunch of random keys stopped working. At about 15 months the trackpad stopped working.