Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
thiscloudnow

Netbooks and Game Programming? wha u say?

This topic is 3420 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I mentioned it in the gamedev chat and most people thought I was nuts lol. But I'm curious if anyone has experience programming on Netbooks, specifically 3d game programming. I don't have intentions making VERY complex games and the netbook isn't going to be my MAIN computer, so please no unnecessary comments concerning the cramped keyboard and screen size. Netbooks are fairly inexpensive and "seem" to have some decent speed capabilities versus my outdated current notebook. I've googled about it a little bit and saw some of the netbooks can run some decent games. The netbook I'm interested in is: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834152074 If anyone has any advice/comments on this it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Steven C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
They're still computers, they still process 1s and 0s into more 1s and 0s for us to do things with. Keep things simple, and worry about memory and processor requirements. Programming for them is like programming for anything else, but I would strongly recommend you plan for cross platform development, as a LOT people I've met that are using netbooks are leaning toward one of the Linux OS flavours.

It really isn't anything different than programming for a normal PC after all, there is no funky hardware in any of them that doesn't logically look the same to a program as a normal desktop. You're only lacking horsepower and memory, much like 4-6 year old computers are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, I've spent the last month or so porting some existing games to a new netbook platform.

Some of the older netbooks are just yer basic i386 platforms: you can build on any i386 platform and your binaries can just be copied. Viola.

Actually building on a netbook (and I have build GCC from source on one) is a bad idea because you're generally using a SSD instead of a mechanical hard drive, and writes are (a) slow and (2) limited. You're better off building on a dev system and copying to your netbook.

The newer netbooks are not based on i386 architecture but instead on things like ARM. They've got DSPs and graphics coprocessors with attendant acceleration, but generally only support OpenGL ES (not OpenGL and definitely not DirectX or .NET in any flavour). Your best approach to develop for these babies (awww...) is to use an i386-based SDK that provides OpenGL ES, then build for your target under an emulator (eg. QEMU).

For full multiple platform portability, you are limited to using the subset of OpenGL 1.5 common to both Microsoft Windows and OpenGL ES 1.3. It may be possible to use available extensions to OpenGL and find a common subset between OpenGL 2.0 and OpenGL ES 2.0, I don't know.

Keep in mind, as well, that you're going to be resource constrined on a netbook. The OS will generally run without any kind of swap and there will onyl be something like 128 or 256 MB of RAM, and it's probably shared with the graphics copro.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That MSI is similar in performance to an old Pentium 3 computer with a GeForce 4200 in it. The Atom isn't a very fast CPU, and it's single-core. The 945 isn't a great graphics chip, and it shares RAM with the main CPU (and there's only 512 MB to share). If your current notebook has 256 MB or less, and an Intel 815 or less, and a CPU that's less than 1 GHz in speed, this this will probably be an upgrade, but not all that much of an upgrade.

Before Christmas, I found an Acer Aspire AS4530 with a Turion X2 and a GeForce 9100M for $399, which was a pretty good deal and would be a much better laptop to develop on. They seem to have sold out of that by now, but you can probably wait until another blow-out of that sort shows up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I got a eee pc netbook (with Windows xp)around thanksgiving and have used it to program. I just recently started working with opengl 3d programming, and one issue I found on my eee pc was that it didn't handle the GLUT timer function right for some reason. Where the timer function would be set up to recall the function every 25 milliseconds(or something like that) and would work on my desktop, it would grind to a halt on my eee pc and not call it in a timely manner. I was finding that to get the function to call every 25 milliseconds, I would have to set the timer function to recall every 1 millisecond, and I never found out why.

Beyond that, I haven't found any other issues with developing on the netbook beyond slightly slower compile times. They are very nice to using on the go and the battery lasts a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by mpipe
Why would you program on a netbook?

(a) because it's what I'm paid to do (your mileage may vary on this point),
(2) because it's a whole lot easier to move git repos between home and office
(d) it looks waay cool and hot chicks ask me to show them what I'm doing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the help everyone, except mpipe lol. I think I'll just go for a cheaper laptop, thanks for the suggestion hplus0603.

And oh Bregma, thanks for the very helpful info and the
(a)
(2)
(d) laugh lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I didn't notice ARM processors mentioned in any of the specs for netbooks when I was shopping for them a few months ago.

Intel Atom is an x86-64 CPU, and it appears to be fairly dominate in the market now. At least in options I've found for sale in Canada. Also be aware that there are single AND dual core versions of the Atom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!