Portable system for LAN gaming

The customer has an avid interest in computer games, in particular LAN and internet gaming. He currently has a stationary and a notebook, both running Windows 7. The below table show the requirements of the games, which the system must be able to handle. All games require windows as an OS, so it is also included.

Game CPU Memory Graphics Network
World of Warcraft
Cataclysm
1.5Ghz 1GB+ NVIDIA Geforce
ATI Readon 9500
Broadband
Portal 3.0 Ghz 1GB DirectX 9 Internet access
Counter-Strike 800Mhz 128 MB 32 MB graphics card Low latency
LAN access
Windows 7 1Ghz 2GB DirectX 9 Internet
access

There are two options. The first is to assemble a dedicated computer with a small form factor, e.g. based on the Geforce motherboard for gaming in mini-itx size. As this options is quite expensive it is not advised under the current budget.

The second option is to optimize the current notebook for gaming, which means free up processing resources, and that is the recommend solution.

The first thing to do is disable windows Aero, the resource intensive Graphical eye-candy, that makes tilting, rotating and translucent windows in the user interface. It is recommended to use the Basic or the Classic setting instead. You can read more about Aero at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Aero

After the Windows Theme setting has been changed, the next item to do, will be to remove all processes from the computer that are not necessary. The best thing to do is to create a batch file, so as to ease the transition to gaming mode.

The command to use is TASKKILL, e.g:

TASKKILL /IM notepad.exe

The “/IM” is argument allow us to use the process name instead of the process ID., as the process ID changes from reboot to reboot.

The process to include in the kill script would be those that are not necessary to run the computer, for gaming purposes, like IM chat applications, print managers, OEM processes e.g.g ToshNotify.exe, background updaters e.g. jusched.exe, itunes, and others. It is recommended to go through the task list for processes, and google those that you do not know what do. If they are not necessary, add them to the script.

Be sure to stop the Desktop Window Manager with the command:

TASKKILL /T /F /IM dwm.exe.

The dwm is the root process for the Aero features. The argument /F forces a process to quit, even if it is not responding, and the /T removes child processes. The dwm process is not necessary to use the Basic or Classic theme.

You can read more about DWM at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_Window_Manager

You see at complete argument list for the TASKKILL command at MS website at: http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/taskkill.mspx?mfr=true

What remains, is to wish you a merry gaming experience. 🙂

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