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Old 04-13-2014, 10:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need advice on second gaming platform

I'm looking for some advice on what device would fit my situation. I built a desktop pc a couple years ago and it's running great. I recently started playing Elder Scrolls Online and as luck would have it, my girlfriend is interested in playing as well. I'd like for us to be able to play together, so I need to figure out a second system capable of handling ESO (it's not too graphically intense in low settings). We don't have enough space for another full size desktop so I'm weighing other options. I'm not opposed to spending money, but I'd prefer a low-cost option.

I have a laptop that's 5 years old and can handle ESO at minimum settings, but I've had overheating issues (to the point of shutting down) in the past when gaming. I took apart the laptop and cleaned everything out, but it still runs warm. Could I apply new thermal paste and use a laptop cooling pad to get better cooling with this system? This is obviously the lowest cost of the three options.

Alternatively, I could get a new laptop capable of handling the game. I'll need a new laptop in the next few years anyways, so I could pony up and buy a nice laptop now. My reluctance is gaming laptops usually have a short lifespan and are expensive, but this would provide better graphics with minimal space use and hopefully limit overheating.

My final option, and I admit I haven't done much research on it, is to build a mini-atx. I'm thinking I can use my 46" tv as a monitor, so my spatial impact is less than a full size PC and she could play from the couch. I'm thinking this option is less expensive than the laptop while providing the same or better graphics.

Summary of options:
-Existing laptop with new thermal paste and a cooling pad.
-New gaming laptop
-New mini-ATX using tv as the monitor

Thanks for any opinions; you guys have proved to be very helpful in the past.

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Old 04-13-2014, 10:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need advice on second gaming platform

Laptops run warm anyways, especially while gaming, so as long as you're not to the point of throttling you're good. Just make sure the caked on layer of dust is off the heatsink, it has fresh paste, and keep it lifted and ventilated while she games.

mITX builds are possible, but that and a new laptop really depends on how much you're willing to spend on this ordeal.

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Old 04-17-2014, 03:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need advice on second gaming platform

Thanks for the advice. That's what I was leaning towards. We'll see how the laptop holds up.
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