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Old WIN XP laptop for gaming (like Asus M70)


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I went through multiple threads that covers this topic but I would like to get some recommendation what older laptop to buy.


To be honest I really like Asus M70 - huge, ugly multimeda laptop that somehow reminds me good old times but I would like to explore some other possibilites from that era. It means gaming/multimedia laptop from 2006-2008 with dedicated GPU. It can be huge, ugly, crazy in any way with T9300 - T9550 or P8400 - P8800 CPU and I of course I would like to install Windows XP (I suppose it shoudln't be problem).


It is just too exhausting for me to explore old laptop reviews from that era and try to find something I could possibly like. Maybe you just know about some kind of machine that would satisfy my needs? :)


Thank you!

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For a late 90s era DOS retro portable-----


This one is a little beat up...




However, it is a pentium 166, with an ESS audiodrive 1888 (which has realmode drivers, and thus can pretend to be a soundblaster 16), and 32mb of RAM.  Hard drive is easily accessible.


If you want beige, you should look into the old Toshiba Satellite series.



For an XP era machine---


Anything with a decent 32bit CPU and approx 1GB or more of RAM would suffice.  I have several potatoes I inherited for free that would work nicely, but they deffinitely look more modern.  I have an AMD based Toshiba with a crippled Radeon video chip that would work fine in that respect. Its sitting on a shelf.


For vintage, you might try a Fujitsu Lifebook E2010.




It has an ATI Radeon M340 graphics chip, IIRC, and can be coaxed into having 1GB of RAM.  Audio is a SigmaTel/Realtek audio codec.






Edited by wierd_w
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OK, the Toshiba AMD Potato is tested to be 100% XP capable. (working, no missing drivers, running in AHCI mode)


For reference, it is a Toshiba Satellite C655D.


It has a 1.5ghz E-240 single core processor with 3gb of RAM, and a Radeon 6310 GPU.

Display panel has native resolution of 1366x768@60hz

Sound is Connexant Azalia HD audio

Wifi is Realtek 8188CE

Ethernet is Atheros 8152


It has a numeric keypad in the keyboard.



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Since you've been browsing threads you've probably already seen my opinion on xp gaming laptops which isn't too different from yours with the m70.  I like using the 'legacy driver support' built into office-grade workstations from the vista/win7/win8 eras to go back to xp (or even win2k), and get a fully maxxed out OS for your trouble with fairly mainstream hardware.


My Dell Latitude D630's and Precision M2300's (I like the dell d-accessory ecosystem) are fairly compact, dirt common, and can come with dedicated Nvidia graphics (make sure to use the service tag lookup to find the nvidias if ebay shopping). I think they max out at 256mb graphics ram, but I only have 128's and lower in my collection. They'll also take 4gb of standard ram, and come with up to a t8700 core2duo. 


I prefer the 14" machines that I listed above, but 'the beast' of the d-series machines that fits my dock is the Dell Precision M6300. (and actually really the closest dell to that Asus m70) M6300's can come with Core2Extreme cpus up to 2.8ghz (that I've seen), and Nvidia Quadro FX 3600M's with ~512mb of ram (512 that I've seen, but probably 1gb on some). There are some dell xps machines that dock with my d-series setup too, but the ones that do dock are the slim ones that really don't like to game as much.

Edited by Reaperman
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The AMD Potato I cited uses "shared system RAM", and gobbles down 512mb for vram.  Technically, it has a socket inside, and can take a multi-core CPU.


Similar story with the Pentium 4 era intel based potatoes I have inherited. They have an actual socket on the laptop's system board, and you could drop a multicore chip in, if you really wanted to.  However, the video is still not what the OP requested, with discrete graphics chip.


The AMD potato delivers there on both fronts, just with an AMD socket, and not an Intel one.

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I wanted a small XP system with a built in DVD as I have a bunch of ~2000 era Windows games on CD and DVD.  I had previously tried to repurpose a Sony Vaio laptop (Vista era) but found XP unwilling to recognize much of the hardware including the graphics adapter.  I never though of trying Dell D-series laptops.  Instead I recently bought a Dell Optiplex 760 SFF off Ebay.  Delivered to my door it was $60.  They have so-so built in graphics but they do have a PCI x16 expansion slot so I added an Nvidia 6500 for another $11.  


For XP era games this is working really well.   The Core Duo proc and 2GB of RAM handles GTAIII through GTA San Andreas.  It runs Need for Speed Underground and Nightfire very smoothly.   It will run Need for Speed III but it needs a patch to load and run.   Rogue Squadron runs without any problems.  


The Small Form Factor is bulkier than a laptop but is still compact.   I would guess it is about the same dimensions as an Amiga 3000.  I use a Raspberry Pi keyboard and mouse which don't take up much desk space.


What is not working so well, and I am hoping you guys might have some insights, is DOS era games.  


Doom, Doom II, Simcity 2000, Quake - the graphics and sound are corrupt.   I have to use DosBox to get them to run properly.   I don't recall if/how I ran these back when XP was my main OS so perhaps this is expected?   But I am wondering if there is a command.com config option for XP that would allow these games to run without DosBox.   Since they are running well enough its more of a curiosity at this point.




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