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A budget laptop that can run KSP?


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First off, right off the bat I would like to clarify that I live in Canada. This means that any amazing deals that might be had on amazon.com or bestbuy.com or anything else .com won't work for me. It has to be .ca. With the Canadian dollar being as weak as it is right now this means we have to pay more when buying stuff that comes from outside of Canada.

So yeah, I'm at a point where I'm probably going to have to buy a laptop for school, and while I'm at it I would really like to find something that can play KSP to some degree. My budget is (at the most) 500$. I don't mind turning the graphics down, keep the ships part-count low. Really I just want to be able to turn the game on and show it to my classmates. We're not allowed to install games on the school computers but I'm sure there are plenty among them that would love to check it out. I checked on the wiki for minimum system requirements but it's not really... clear what it all means. http://wiki.kerbalspaceprogram.com/wiki/System_Specs

Graphics: SM3 512MB VRAM

This is the current contender that I'm checking out. http://www.amazon.ca/Acer-Aspire-SW5-012-16AA-Detachable-Touchscreen/dp/B00NGK98GS/

and this is it's CPU/GPU. http://ark.intel.com/products/80274/Intel-Atom-Processor-Z3735F-2M-Cache-up-to-1_83-GHz

The GPU mentioned on that page doesn't say anything about SM3s or VRAM. Just that it's an Intel HD GPU with a Graphics Base Frequency of 311 MHz.

The reviews for the laptop seem good, and it's under 500$. But... let's be honest it's not stellar. Limited to 32GBs of capacity, 10-inch screen is pretty small, only one USB port. It also says "Windows 8.1 with Bing" which tells me this might be some kind of horrible "Free OS with adverts!" deal... I would be really happy if someone had something similar if not better to offer. Anyone who's found they could run KSP on unusually affordable/low-speced laptops? And before anyone says "Pfff... an atom? That'll never run anything." There are people who claim to have gotten KSP to run on atoms before. I would just like more input on how... usable those cases were. Like, "Good up to 50 parts" or "It'll pretty much be 5 frames-per-second whatever you end up doing.


Might also be a contender, slightly heavier, lower resolution screen, better CPU. http://www.amazon.ca/HP-Stream-11-P010nr-convertible-Office/dp/B00X5X2NXQ/

Edited by PTNLemay
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I think you will be sorely disappointed with trying to play KSP on that... That is basically a glorified two-piece tablet/netbook. I would think any ONE of the three major shortcomings with that would keep you from satisfactorily running KSP: 1st, the Atom processor, 2nd, only 2GB or RAM, 3rd, Intel HD graphics...

I have a Lenovo Lynx tablet, and there is NO way KSP would run on it...And if it did, it would probably melt it down... Heres the specs on my tablet/keyboard dock:

Windows 8, 11.6 inches IPS Display

64 GB Flash Memory, 2 GB RAM Memory

8-hour battery life, 802_11_BGN wireless

Intel Atom Z2760 1.8 GHz

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Eh, it'll be hard to find a laptop that can run KSP well within that price range. I'll do some looking.

But don't buy that laptop you linked, definitely needs a higher clocked processor. You could probably get by with intel HD graphics though.

Also, do you need that MS office 365 subscription that comes with the laptop your post?

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I have a Lenovo Lynx tablet, and there is NO way KSP would run on it...And if it did, it would probably melt it down...

Hmm... Does it run any games at all? Or have you not tried for fear of overwhelming it? I know there was a thread once where someone said that the recent 2014-2015 atoms are actually powerful enough for some games. They've beefed them up since the old days. Back in the pre-2010 era they could barely run the OS, but these days they're different.

Do you have a e-waste recycling center near you? If so then you can check for old PCs, my current (and my previous) gaming PCs are both from a e-waste bin.

That's usually good for desktops, but I'm really looking for a laptop here. I have a very decent desktop PC already, what I need is something mobile for use at school.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With only 2 GB of RAM I couldn't consider either of those suitable for KSP.

Both those examples are "hybrids", with a tablet and an attachable keyboard. Portability and performance are like a tablet. If you really want a hybrid you'll have to either ditch the idea of playing KSP on it or significantly up the budget.

Otherwise I think you'd be better looking at conventional laptops. If you shop around and check your specs you might get something decent in budget. The Core i3-4005U seems like a pretty common processor to see and is probably the best you can expect and will run KSP pretty well I reckon.

As for "Windows 8.1 with Bing", don't worry about it, there's a discussion here and it's basically the same as normal: http://www.howtogeek.com/195934/what-exactly-is-windows-8.1-with-bing-do-i-have-to-use-bing/

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I know there was a thread once where someone said that the recent 2014-2015 atoms are actually powerful enough for some games.

Maybe for a few older games that rely on multithreading but the single core power of the current generation of Atoms is still abysmal at best. And right now KSP can and will use only a single core.

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Does it have to be a laptop? Laptops and performance do not go together well. If you want to make the most of your money performance wise, you will need to get a desktop. If you want to spend more, get less performance, but gain portability, get a laptop. Make sure you do not buy a worst-of-both-worlds: a big, heavy laptop that still performs like a laptop.

My Macbook Air runs KSP fine, and the OS is much more easy to understand than Windows 8.

Without wanting to start a flame war, I seriously cannot imagine anyone calling Windows 8 hard to understand. Both Windows and OSX work perfectly fine, as soon as you are used to how they do things. Both can be terribly frustrating when you are just not getting how things are supposed to work.

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