Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.
Worth it to Buy an Older Notebook for Gaming?
One of our newer forum members asked about buying a notebook from 2012 for light gaming usage. The feedback has pointed towards it not being worthwhile, citing that the notebook is almost hopelessly outdated. I’m in agreement.
We’re still in the age where technology changes rapidly. Every time it seems like it’s slowing down, another breakthrough occurs, and we keep going on to the next best thing. When it comes to PCs, try to buy the newest computer you can afford. If you’re currently using a PC from three or four years ago, chances are it’s just fine, so keep using it. But if you need to buy a computer, look at models released within the last year or two. The usable lifespan of a computer is, in my experience, about four to five years; six is pushing it. So, if you buy a PC that’s four years old, not only will you probably not have a warranty, but you’d already on the verge of being outdated. That’s not an enviable place. It makes sense to spend a little more and get something newer. You won’t have to upgrade as often, and chances are you’ll have a more reliable machine.
Feedback is always welcome – post your reply to this thread.
Battlefield V Benchmarks with Nvidia RTX Enabled
The latest generation of Nvidia graphics cards, the GeForce RTX series, has been out since early September. We couldn’t test their ray tracing feature at release because supporting games were still under development. The latter is still happening, but titles are starting to trickle in. The first is Battlefield V.
Despite the dedicated processing cores in the RTX cards, ray tracing has a substantial performance toll. Techpowerup posted preliminary benchmarks, showing the performance can be more than halved with ray tracing turned on. Even on the more powerful RTX cards, it looks like 1080p or 1440p is probably the limit of what they can handle with ray tracing enabled.
This news isn’t surprising. Ray tracing is something Pixar has been using for over a decade to do its computer-generated movies like Cars. Massive supercomputers are used for the rendering tasks; it would take ordinary PCs hours to render single frames, let alone an entire movie. Nvidia RTX cards don’t do true ray tracing like Pixar does, rather doing part of a frame. The visual differences appear to be minimal at best, though, at least looking at Battlefield V. This YouTube video does a good job of showing the difference. After watching that, I think I’d have a hard time upgrading to a GeForce RTX card solely to get ray tracing.
On the bright side, the release of the RTX cards is groundbreaking if for no other reason that it brings entirely new technologies to the table. PC gaming has a relatively short history; think back to the mid-2000s. That was a time where it seemed like every other day we were rushing out to buy a new GPU that supported the latest DirectX model. The last few years of anemic software-driven progress in GPU technology seems to have stopped that trend cold, but it turns out it was just taking a break. If ray tracing is indeed the next big thing, you may want to start saving up for a new card to get the latest visuals. Just like old times, right?
Was Windows Vista That Bad?
Windows Vista hit the shelves in 2007 to a mixed reception. But looking back, how bad was it? Time makes things clearer. As it turns out – at least according to our discussion – it wasn’t all that bad. Vista took a lot of flak for its day due to driver issues, much of which arguably wasn’t Microsoft’s fault. Either way, it was a more demanding OS to run that its predecessor, Windows XP, and that alone probably caused a lot of the grumbling.
For a blast to the past, enjoy the article I wrote a short while back: Technologies That Started with Windows Vista.