NB: Tested on a ION 2 netbook
This is only a preliminary test of Team Fortress 2 on a netbook, and not any bog-standard netbook. Using my Asus 1015PN, an Intel Atom N570, ION 2 powered netbook, you might just be able to play Team Fortress 2 on your netbook, with some major tweaking much like what I did to play Half-Life 2 on my previous non-ION netbook.
Downloading the 10GB worth of data from Steam took quite long, but since it’s a free game, might as well try. With ION 2, the gameplay quality wavered wildly from acceptable to abysmal. When you play with a lot of bots, it slows down significantly. When you play online, however, it usually is fine until you get cornered and get into a big gun fight with sentry guns, rocket launchers which will eventually lead to your loss as you’ll see frame rates tumble from 18 to 5.
And the problem with online games is that more likely than not, you’ll find servers that are chock-full. Certain maps are better than others too. Maps that stretch very far are a drain on performance, but smaller and more indoor-based maps are less strenuous on the netbook. One odd thing is that when I lowered the graphics down to 640×480, I actually got around the same frame rates, and sometimes worse, than when my display was 1024×600. Not sure why, but it does show that you have to toggle the settings around and find out what suits your netbook best.
I suspect that the biggest bottleneck is now the Atom rather than the graphics processor. Unfortunately, there isn’t much one can do unless you decide to overclock the system. However, I suspect that if you have bought an AMD-powered netbook, you might have significantly better chance of playing Team Fortress 2 reliably.
On a later date, I hope to write a guide on how you can tweak Team Fortress to be able to play it on a netbook such as mine. Hopefully, the tips that I gained from modifying Half-Life 2 would come in handy.
What is Netbookist?At Netbookist, we're commited to finding out the limits of a netbook, especially in gaming. We're also interested in optimization, tweaking, and pushing the netbook to the cutting edge.
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