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Bought "new" netbook, what can an i3-3227U/HD4000 actually run?

Apr 20, 2008
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Since my laptop (A10-4600m) has a faulty fan for the second time I went on eBay and bought the top model Thinkpad X131e. It'll be here in a bout a week or so. They're going for $95 these days and seemed like a solid compact laptop. I've never owned a mobile "i" variant CPU before. I have a Windows 10 tablet with a Z3735f/2GB/32GB, but that clearly doesn't compare to this PC. Specs are as follows.
  • Intel Core i3-3227U @ 1.9GHz
  • Intel HD 4000
  • 4GB of RAM (have an 8GB kit)
  • 320GB HDD (have a 120GB Crucial SATA3 SSD)
  • 11.6" 1366x768 LCD
  • Windows 10 Pro
I usually play Day of Defeat Source (as demanding as CS:S), Rocket League, Golf With Your Friends, DiRT Rally, Starcraft 1/2, and similar. Does it sound like most of these will run on low settings?

I'm excited to use a Thinkpad keyboard again since I had a T61P about a decade ago. There's a bunch of X131e models that use a celeron or slower AMD APU, and also chromebook versions for about the same price. For coding, media and general use this seems like an extremely good fit, but I'm wondering how it'll play games.

 
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Tweak155

Lifer
Sep 23, 2003
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Wow that look of the laptop is a blast to the past for me... I had that style laptop at my last company.

I don't think that thing will run games all that well, but if you're good at dropping resolution you might be OK.
 
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EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
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nice link!

good for classic gaming... and maybe mid to late 00's titles with some quality sacrifices
 
Feb 4, 2009
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I've wondered how something similar to this with more memory would work as a dedicated game server for a steam game.
 
Apr 20, 2008
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I think you can run wordpad like a champ with that thing.
Pong would fly on that thing.
I'm hoping it can run ZZT. Think that's a possibility?

nice link!

good for classic gaming... and maybe mid to late 00's titles with some quality sacrifices
The games posted all list this GPUs integrated as the minimum, but who knows if that's actually playable. If it turns into just a Starcaft 1/2 and DOD:Source rig then I'm good with it.
 
Apr 20, 2008
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I've wondered how something similar to this with more memory would work as a dedicated game server for a steam game.
About a decade ago I had a P3 600mhz laptop running as a Day of Defeat Source server, and via ethernet it seemed to work well. I had up to 9 people on it before it started giving me grief if I recall. I would expect an i-anything would be sufficient.
 

Ancalagon44

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2010
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I remember running CounterStrike: Source on an Athlon XP 2400+ with a Radeon 9600XT more than 10 years ago. This computer should be a lot more powerful than that - even the integrated graphics should be more powerful than a 9600XT. I imagine DoD: Source should be fine.
 
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ZGR

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Oct 26, 2012
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I use my HD 4000 IGP on my Macbook for games as it allows my to keep my fans completely idle and keep temps cool unlike my Nvidia chip which requires audible cooling.

Games that run on HD 4000 really well that I play:
  1. Call of Duty 4 (30-50 fps low settings)
  2. FTL (Faster Than Light)
  3. South Park Stick of Truth
  4. Minecraft
  5. Sins of a Solar Empire
  6. Braid
  7. Garry's Mod
  8. POSTAL 2
  9. Terraria
  10. Super Meat Boy
  11. LIMBO
  12. Half Life 2
  13. Kerbal Space Program (sort of laggy at times)
edit: On Windows be sure to download ThrottleStop and downclock your i3 considerably. You don't need much more than 1 GHz for these games and this will allow maximum boost for your IGP, increased battery life, lower temps, and quieter fans, all while keeping the same performance.
 
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Update: I just got the laptop today. It thankfully shipped with a single 4GB stick, which I had a 2x4GB set to replace it with. Long story short I found out one stick from the 8GB kit was defective (we're talking unused, mint Crucial ram.) Errors were so bad the PC wouldn't post. I was able to pair one stick of the Crucial with the Hynix ram that came with so I've got 8GB of 1600mhz ram. The 120GB SSD installed without issue.

In terms of games so far I've played Day of Defeat Source, Half Life 2, Golf With Your Friends, and Rocket League. All but Rocket League were totally playable at low settings, native resolution. Without an FPS cap (DOD:S) in a full server I noticed the fps would vary from 70-120fps, with fraps showing minimum framerates of 42fps. When I set the FPS limit in console to 63fps it was 100% constant 61-62fps, so the lower temp and lower CPU load allows the iGPU to boost up when needed and the game is very smooth in a full server. Rocket League is 32-40FPS at native res, so I've got some work to do to make that one run 60fps. The notable title was Golf With Your Friends. It has to be incredibly optimized for Intel because it runs better than it did on my A10-4600m, which is a quad core 2.7-3.2Ghz with 384 VLIW4 shaders.

For $95 and this form factor I'm impressed with it's abilities. Media is great, chrome is very responsive and the keyboard is nice. The build quality from what I can tell is fantastic. The BIOS has the option of switching the Fn and Crtl keys, which makes FPS gaming normal.

I'll be testing other games over the next few days.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
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There are hundreds of games you can play on this laptop. Just don't expect to play AAA titles from 2015 and up. Honestly, you don't even need to, most of them are trash anyway.
 
Apr 20, 2008
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There are hundreds of games you can play on this laptop. Just don't expect to play AAA titles from 2015 and up. Honestly, you don't even need to, most of them are trash anyway.
I'm finding many 2014 and below games to be playable, so it's a big surprise.

I've expanded my list to TF2 after good experiences with other Source games. TF2 is very hardware intensive compared to back in the pre-F2P days. The game ran like crap on my A10-4600m, but runs beautifully on this setup. I truly think many games are made specifically for Intel IGPs at this point because on paper the iGPU in this i3 is nothing compared to the 7660g and potentially marginally better in the CPU for certain tasks, but performance is 50+% higher. I couldn't get 30fps in a full server @ 800x600, but this i3 is getting 45-70fps @ 1366x768 which is perfectly playable for anything but sniper.

I was able to use the same low spec config from my A10 system in Rocket League and I'm getting 55-80fps in 1v1 or 2v2 hoops. Performance really drops off in 2v2+ in regular arenas. Still happy I can still play some modes well.

Starcraft 2 is oddly sluggish. I don't know what to make of it. I remember watching a friend play it all the time on a slow AMD APU (A4-5000 or similar) and it worked well, so I have a hurdle there.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,975
68
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I'm finding many 2014 and below games to be playable, so it's a big surprise.

I've expanded my list to TF2 after good experiences with other Source games. TF2 is very hardware intensive compared to back in the pre-F2P days. The game ran like crap on my A10-4600m, but runs beautifully on this setup. I truly think many games are made specifically for Intel IGPs at this point because on paper the iGPU in this i3 is nothing compared to the 7660g and potentially marginally better in the CPU for certain tasks, but performance is 50+% higher. I couldn't get 30fps in a full server @ 800x600, but this i3 is getting 45-70fps @ 1366x768 which is perfectly playable for anything but sniper.

I was able to use the same low spec config from my A10 system in Rocket League and I'm getting 55-80fps in 1v1 or 2v2 hoops. Performance really drops off in 2v2+ in regular arenas. Still happy I can still play some modes well.

Starcraft 2 is oddly sluggish. I don't know what to make of it. I remember watching a friend play it all the time on a slow AMD APU (A4-5000 or similar) and it worked well, so I have a hurdle there.

In my personal experience, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are extremely CPU hungry and require a fairly modern CPU to maintain a descent framerate. I suggest you forget about them. I could never run them well with sandy and ivy bridge i3's , couldn't run them with higher Core2 Duos such as a e8400 and even an i5-650 couldn't run them well either paired with a 550Ti!!! Such are Blizzard games. It's not your HD 4000 gfx that are the issue. It's your CPU speed.

Without thinking too much, some of my favorites, in no particular order, some of which I bet you haven't played or at least haven't finished that will definitely run ok are:

1)Mount and Blade and it's many DLCs.
2)Severance: Blade of Darkness(yes I know it's super old, but it's an amazing game)
3)S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (you may have to drop the settings a tad)
4)Resident Evil 4
5)Command and Conquer Generals and C&C3. (still looks great in 2017)
6)Deus Ex. (Original, 2nd one and maybe 3rd)
8)Doom 3 or Doom 3 BFG edition. (Still looks great in 2017. I am actually playing it now)
9)Deadspace 1 and maybe 2(you may have to run on low, but that's ok)
10)Mass Effect 1 and maybe 2 and even 3.
11)Dragonage Origins
12)Saints Row 1, 2 and GTA 3 (maybe even 4)
13)COD: MW2 and COD: MW (because hey, why not?)
14)Elder Scrolls Oblivion, and Morrowind(yes I know it's too old)
15)Fallout 3 and it's many DLCs
16)Torchlight 2
17)Warlock: Master of the Arcane
18)Painkiller
19)Rome: Total War (Original, not the 2nd one)
20)Darkest Dungeon (will probably run)
21)Borderlands 1... Maybe 2.
22)Company of Heroes 1
23)Bioshock 1


Oh, and guess what... I was browsing ebay today for a cheap laptop and got myself an IBM Lenovo X131 with an i3-3227U for only $80 and free shipping! Once I receive it, I will definitely run some games on it.
 
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In my personal experience, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 are extremely CPU hungry and require a fairly modern CPU to maintain a descent framerate. I suggest you forget about them. I could never run them well with sandy and ivy bridge i3's , couldn't run them with higher Core2 Duos such as a e8400 and even an i5-650 couldn't run them well either paired with a 550Ti!!! Such are Blizzard games. It's not your HD 4000 gfx that are the issue. It's your CPU speed.

Without thinking too much, some of my favorites, in no particular order, some of which I bet you haven't played or at least haven't finished that will definitely run ok are:

1)Mount and Blade and it's many DLCs.
2)Severance: Blade of Darkness(yes I know it's super old, but it's an amazing game)
3)S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (you may have to drop the settings a tad)
4)Resident Evil 4
5)Command and Conquer Generals and C&C3. (still looks great in 2017)
6)Deus Ex. (Original, 2nd one and maybe 3rd)
8)Doom 3 or Doom 3 BFG edition. (Still looks great in 2017. I am actually playing it now)
9)Deadspace 1 and maybe 2(you may have to run on low, but that's ok)
10)Mass Effect 1 and maybe 2 and even 3.
11)Dragonage Origins
12)Saints Row 1, 2 and GTA 3 (maybe even 4)
13)COD: MW2 and COD: MW (because hey, why not?)
14)Elder Scrolls Oblivion, and Morrowind(yes I know it's too old)
15)Fallout 3 and it's many DLCs
16)Torchlight 2
17)Warlock: Master of the Arcane
18)Painkiller
19)Rome: Total War (Original, not the 2nd one)
20)Darkest Dungeon (will probably run)
21)Borderlands 1... Maybe 2.
22)Company of Heroes 1
23)Bioshock 1


Oh, and guess what... I was browsing ebay today for a cheap laptop and got myself an IBM Lenovo X131 with an i3-3227U for only $80 and free shipping! Once I receive it, I will definitely run some games on it.
Solid! Thats my laptop, love it so far. The i3-2xxx version looked a lot worse (1.4Ghz, slower IGP) so I opted for the highest end model. Mine came with a super stable dual band wifi + BT combo which works great with streaming and using my Xbox One S controller. There's a m.2(I think, never had one) slot in it, and looking online people have used it for secondary SSD storage. Cant boot from it. There's a Gobi 3000 3G+ expansion card ($15) that you can put in for GSM data plans, which at least MetroPCS has for $10-15 a month. Once you hit that data cap it probably will be really slow but there's unlimited internet at least.

You probably made an offer on one because I couldn't find one anywhere near that cheap.

I have had zero issue with SC2 playing the desktop with the FX-8350 maxed out so I thought for sure the i3 would be good enough for low settings. It's not awful but it's nothing like my desktop. 1, 3, 5, 12, 16, 19, 21, 22, and 23 are in my library. I will start downloading some. Not a lot of space on this 120GB SSD though. I'm just glad to be playing my most played games on this thing. I went on a work trip to Israel not too long ago and lugged around a huge laptop. Wish I knew about and had this for that trip.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,975
68
91
A quick search online revealed that the fx-8350 is a better performing cpu overall, so off course Starcraft 2 ran better.

Yes, I made an offer on that Lenovo. Thats how I got it this low. Still, you arguably got a better deal, since you have a 120GB SSD, while I have a 320GB hdd(which although it does have bigger space, is pretty much worthless these days)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,998
356
126
I'm finding many 2014 and below games to be playable, so it's a big surprise.

I've expanded my list to TF2 after good experiences with other Source games. TF2 is very hardware intensive compared to back in the pre-F2P days. The game ran like crap on my A10-4600m, but runs beautifully on this setup. I truly think many games are made specifically for Intel IGPs at this point because on paper the iGPU in this i3 is nothing compared to the 7660g and potentially marginally better in the CPU for certain tasks, but performance is 50+% higher. I couldn't get 30fps in a full server @ 800x600, but this i3 is getting 45-70fps @ 1366x768 which is perfectly playable for anything but sniper.

I was able to use the same low spec config from my A10 system in Rocket League and I'm getting 55-80fps in 1v1 or 2v2 hoops. Performance really drops off in 2v2+ in regular arenas. Still happy I can still play some modes well.

Starcraft 2 is oddly sluggish. I don't know what to make of it. I remember watching a friend play it all the time on a slow AMD APU (A4-5000 or similar) and it worked well, so I have a hurdle there.
TF2 is simply a CPU heavy game, no Intel bias or anything, if you use a slower Intel IGP it runs pretty bad, but once you have enough GPU, CPU is a big problem, and that Ivy Bridge is expected to destroy the A10 in a game like this, low clocked bulldozer with no l3 is simply not fast for games, and even with the multicore update I think TF2 is using 2 cores only.

I used to play TF2 back in the day with a 8600GT and with an A64 X2 @ 2.6GHz it was pretty bad, going for an e5200 @ 3.3GHz made a massive difference even with the same GPU (which still was not the limiting factor on the bad spots), but I think this was before the game supported more than 1 CPU thread, still I played it more recently with a sandy bridge at 3.1GHz and it was still very slow at some points (like 30 or 40 something FPS), but this is on modded 32p servers on the worst spots, GPU usage ridiculously low.

HD 4000 is perhaps the lowest one should go in terms of Intel IGPs, even for old games, HD 3000 was a good bit slower and support ended sooner, and before that, even for old games it's painful.
 
Apr 20, 2008
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A quick search online revealed that the fx-8350 is a better performing cpu overall, so off course Starcraft 2 ran better.

Yes, I made an offer on that Lenovo. Thats how I got it this low. Still, you arguably got a better deal, since you have a 120GB SSD, while I have a 320GB hdd(which although it does have bigger space, is pretty much worthless these days)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I upgraded the SSD myself, bought it a while back on a blowout. Today a cheap USB3 HDD enclosure came in the mail and I put the 320GB it came with in to store more games while at home.
TF2 is simply a CPU heavy game, no Intel bias or anything, if you use a slower Intel IGP it runs pretty bad, but once you have enough GPU, CPU is a big problem, and that Ivy Bridge is expected to destroy the A10 in a game like this, low clocked bulldozer with no l3 is simply not fast for games, and even with the multicore update I think TF2 is using 2 cores only.

I used to play TF2 back in the day with a 8600GT and with an A64 X2 @ 2.6GHz it was pretty bad, going for an e5200 @ 3.3GHz made a massive difference even with the same GPU (which still was not the limiting factor on the bad spots), but I think this was before the game supported more than 1 CPU thread, still I played it more recently with a sandy bridge at 3.1GHz and it was still very slow at some points (like 30 or 40 something FPS), but this is on modded 32p servers on the worst spots, GPU usage ridiculously low.

HD 4000 is perhaps the lowest one should go in terms of Intel IGPs, even for old games, HD 3000 was a good bit slower and support ended sooner, and before that, even for old games it's painful.
I kept a cooling pad under the laptop at all times letting it turbo to 2.7/3.2ghz constant, so I clearly and incorrectly thought that would be sufficient lol.

When Valve introduced the multicore update I was playing with a s939 X2 4200+ and an 8800GTS. My frame rate nearly doubled at the time. It became very playable after that. TF2 has greatly increased the complexity of the game so I'm not surprised it wouldn't run well on that APU.

Cache likely plays the biggest factor in piledriver as all of these games run like butter on my desktop but shit on that APU, and we're only talking 1.3ghz/900mhz less at worst than the 8350. I was running 16GB DDR3 1600MHZ and a 240GB SSD before swapping that storage to my desktop.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
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just a little update... I got my laptop yesterday, and installed Darkest Dungeon. Seems to work ok, but I want to install Afterburner and measure FPS.

I used to have an identical model, but with AMD e2-1800. CPU performance was worse off course, but gfx power was about same. I love the build quality of these Lenovo X131's. They are very sturdy, built like a tank, mousepad and keyboard are top notch, and they have USB 3.0.

I am planning to test many games, including Deadspace, Fallout 3(and 4), and Mass Effect. Stay tuned.

By the way, check out this guy's channel on you-tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU8n9Y_hGoQ

he is awesome.
 
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ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
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91
Here's a video of me playing Darkest Dungeon on my i3-3227u laptop:


Ignore the comments on the FPS. I didn't realize it was working properly.
I didn't test how the FPS would be WITHOUT recording. Possibly would be higher. I did all recording, and you-tube publishing on this same laptop.
 
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Here's a video of me playing Darkest Dungeon on my i3-3227u laptop:


Ignore the comments on the FPS. I didn't realize it was working properly.
I didn't test how the FPS would be WITHOUT recording. Possibly would be higher. I did all recording, and you-tube publishing on this same laptop.
Recording tanks performance in Fraps for me, so likely it'd run a lot better. Encoding isn't light on any hardware. I have a friend who has a whole second i5 system to encode video from as their main PC just cant do it and game. Looks solid to me! What overlay program are you using in that video?

Crazy what an $80 laptop can do these days. I've been using mine the last couple days to watch HD football streams which anything Bay-Trail struggles at, and the battery is lasting 4 1/2 hours full brightness, volume and constant wifi.
 
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Welp, I just bought yet another Thinkpad on eBay, going to check it out and sell the one I don't want or give it to a family member. I made an offer and seriously didn't think it'd be accepted. It automatically was. Let me know if anyone wants the link in PM.

$60 got me this:
Thinkpad X230
i5-3320M Ivy Bridge 2C/4T 2.6Ghz/3.3Ghz Turbo
4GB DDR3
12.5" 1366x768 (not sure if TN or IPS)
No HDD
Same Intel 4000 (650Mhz/1.3Ghz vs 350Mhz/1.1Ghz for the i3)
Looks like the 9 cell battery

The CPU looks to be much faster, as well as base/turbo speeds for the iGPU.
 
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