What has CS:GO to offer?
CS:GO offers new maps, characters and weapons as well as many improved classic CS game elements, such as revised map versions of de_dust and more. In addition, the primarily competitive game introduces new game modes, matchmaking, rankings and other new features. The title continues to embody one of the most played games in the world and is the subject of numerous competitive gaming tournaments.
The award-winning CS gameplay continues to invite revisions and expansions from developer Valve, and in 2019 a battle royalty mode called Danger Zone has even been added to the shooter.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” was released on August 21, 2012 for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and since December 2018 the title has also been playable as a free-to-play game. But what are the technical requirements to pay the game?
CS: GO Minimum System Requirements
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 / AMD Phenom X3 8750 or better
- RAM: 2 GB
- HDD: 15 GB of storage space
- GPU: Video card must be 256 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 3.0
- OS: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Screen Resolution: 720p
- Network: Broadband Internet Connection
CS: GO Recommended System Requirements
- CPU: Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5700 3GHz / AMD Phenom 8750 Triple-Core
- RAM: 2 GB
- HDD: 15 GB of storage space
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 / AMD Radeon HD 6670
- OS: Windows 7
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Screen Resolution: 1080p
- Network: Broadband Internet Connection
Ranking First: MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004
- Good gaming performance
- Good battery life
- Sharp screen with good image quality
- Little internal memory
A lot of gaming power thanks to GeForce GTX1660Ti
While there are some weak points on the outside, the inside of the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 is all the more valuable. As in most other gaming notebooks, the MSI device also contains an Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 6 cores of 2.6 GHz each. An Nvidia GeForce GTX1660Ti provides strong graphics performance. Nvidia has developed the graphics chips of the GTX 1660Ti especially for mobile devices and they are now found in many, but not all gaming notebooks. They get less hot and are quieter and thinner. Therefore, the maximum performance has been capped.
In the benchmarks, the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 can keep up with the other gaming notebooks out there: In the results of the performance tests with PCMark 10, the device is in the upper range. The performance rates in the tested PC games are good by the bank. Overall, the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 achieves a good to very good performance when measured against the performance of the best GeForce 1080 models, which is fully acceptable especially in Full HD resolution. The usual 16GB (8G*2) DDR4 2666MHz round off the result.
MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 in test: Good display and many interfaces
The 15.6-inch display is also impressive. The chessboard contrast isn’t too high at 156:1 and the display’s maximum brightness of 249 candala per square meter is almost the lowest of all gaming notebooks tested. Overall, however, the 120 Hz screen gives a good image with Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. The sRGB color space is covered to 94 percent, so the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 achieves a very good value in the test environment – in short: The colors are rich and respectable.
The device contains an SSD with 512 GByte memory. The thin MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 does without an additional HDD hard disk. Nevertheless, there are plenty of interfaces: 3 USB 3.0 inputs type A, a USB type C port with Thunderbolt 3 standard, as well as display port and HDMI. Like many gaming notebooks, the MSI device also emphasizes th importance of the network connection, complementary to WLAN. An optical drive is not on board.
Good mobility at the expense of usability
In terms of mobility, the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 surprises, as already mentioned. Despite the focus on a good gaming performance, the MSI notebook doesn’t do without a good battery life. This is significantly higher than in almost all competing devices. The notebook lasted 07:26 hours in video playback, the runtime in PCMark 8’s work benchmark was 04:09 hours. Thus, the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 really is a gaming machine for on-the-go gaming.
Moreover, the name “Thin” is quite justified, as the device is thin, light and quiet. Thanks to mobile hardware like the 1660 Ti graphics chip, the MSI notebook could be built compactly and is with 4.2 lbs. significantly lighter than comparable devices. The usability, however, suffered noticeably: In our test, the keyboard showed a rather puny stroke path and the keys seemed much too soft. There is probably simply not enough room for the keyboard due to the device’s thinness. This is, however, not an huge issue.
Verdict: MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 in test: High price for a lot of performance
In the end, the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 shows good test results in most areas and has earned a top position. The price is also very fair for the performance you get. If you only look at the gaming performance, the MSI device is quite within the limits. However, as a total package, other gaming notebooks have a better price-performance ratio. But if you value the mobility and performance of your notebook, the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 is a great choice for you. As the hardware in the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004 is very perfomant, it meets the Counter Strike Global Offensive requirements with ease. You will not have any problems to play CS:GO with the MSI GF65 Thin 9SD-004. You also will not have any problems running the newest game titles on medium to high graphics settings.
Second: Acer Predator Helios 300
- Enough power for WQHD gaming
- Great price-performance ratio
- Remains relatively quiet under load
- Battery/SSD/RAM easily exchangeable/expandable
- Slightly wider display frame
- A lot of useless software included
Design and processing
Creating a design for demanding gamers is not always easy. At a price of around 1000 Dollars, the device should also look like something. A despicable, simple case, as it is often used in ultrabooks, would have been the wrong choice here. The otherwise black Helios 300 with two blue stripes and the Predator logo on the back of the display sets color accents. The notebook doesn’t look boring even when opened. Blue accents around the touchpad and the white edges of the keys stand out.
There’s nothing to complain about when it comes to workmanship. With a weight of 5.2 lbs., the Helios is certainly not a lightweight, but it is also neatly built in technology. The case is made entirely of plastic, probably also to save weight. Despite the material used, the Helios 300 is robust and ready for everyday use. The display can be opened and closed easily. The hinges also make a neat impression – nothing wobbles.
The Helios 300 we tested has a display with a diagonal of 15.6 inches. With the comparatively small display, the FullHD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) is completely sufficient. The matt surface ensures a sufficiently good view of the events even in difficult lighting conditions. Otherwise, the colors and contrasts are well displayed, even if everything has a small blue cast.
The display is more than sufficient for gaming, especially when on the go. Frequently, one or the other monitor is surely connected to the notebook, which then covers all wishes.
The Predator Helios 300 series is available in either 17 or 15 inch format with a matt IPS panel and Full HD resolution. In terms of CPU, you can choose between an Intel Core i5-8300H, i7-8750H or even i7-9750H, which is the latest CPU in the “mobile” processor range. There are even more GPUs to choose from for graphics work. A GTX 1060 is built into our test device.
Fortunately, you won’t get gaming notebooks with less than 8 GB RAM from Acer, but the devices can be equipped with up to 32 GB DDR4 RAM. SSDs start at 128 GB memory and stop at 512 GB, of course also with NVMe connection. The optional additionaly built-in HDD with up to 2 TB provides sufficient storage space.
Connection options are also offered sufficiently. The Helios 300 has three USB 3.1 and one USB-C port. For further displays there is also an HDMI 2.0 and a miniDP connection. Built-in card readers are certainly not necessary in a gaming notebook, which is why Acer does without them. There is also a front camera and an integrated microphone. Neither of these can score with outstanding quality, but they are there for emergencies. There is a combined 3.5 mm connector for connecting a headset or microphone.
Connectivity is provided by the Killer 1550i AC Wifi module with dual-band WLAN in 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. The module also enables Bluetooth 5.0, and the Helios can also be connected via LAN using the Killer E2500 network card. Measured by the performance, the battery is not huge with 3,815 mAh, it is certainly sufficient for simple work or a extended round of gaming.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 in this configuration is certainly a bargain at this price for the performance you are getting. The 16 GB RAM in combination with the i7-9750H and the GTX 2060 allows current titles with high settings to be displayed without any problems. Therefore you will not have any problems playing Counter Strike Global Offense (CS:GO).
You also get a high-quality product with recognition value in terms of design and workmanship. The keyboard is also worthwhile for frequent writers when other tasks than gaming are on the agenda.
Third: ASUS TUF 17.3
- High processing speed
- High gaming speed with Full HD resolution
- Acceptable battery life
- Comparably quiet for a gaming laptop
- 4K games are jerky
- Few connections
Bold cases with an aggressive look, lush displays and lots of LED blinking – most gaming notebooks can be seen from a distance. What you can’t see at first, but every gamer knows: nine out of ten current devices contain an Intel processor and an Nvidia graphics chip. The Asus TUF FX705DY looks like a typical gaming notebook, but rather untypical components work under the hood. And the black gaming part still has a few surprises in store, as the test shows.
Asus TUF FX705DY: tightly calculated price
Thus, the price of around 1000 Dollar for a gaming notebook is surprisingly low. After all, there is a full-grown specimen with a 17.3-inch display for this, which at 5.6 lbs. isn’t too heavy for a gaming notebook, but is still quite thick: 1.2 inches are quite opulent in 2020, even for mobile gaming computers. The Asus – like most of its congeners – does without the fattening DVD drive; as a rule, gamers don’t have to deal with silver discs anyway thanks to online platforms like Steam.
Asus TUF FX705DY: The engine? Brand new AMD CPU!
However, gamers need strong technology, as most current games are extremely resource-hungry. If you loosen the eleven screws on the bottom and remove the cover, you can let your eye wander over the following components:
- Processor: The quad-core Ryzen 7 3750H from AMD, which was introduced on October 6, 2019, is responsible for the processing power.
- Graphics chip: Instead of the graphics processor housed in the CPU, the separate GeForce GTX 1650 4GB graphics chip calculates the image reproduction on the display.
- Working memory: The graphics chip and main processor have a generous 16 gigabytes of working memory available for fast data transfer.
- SSD: Operating system, programs and data are stored on a fast SSD with an effective 477 gigabytes of memory.
Asus TUF FX705DY: Lots of steam – even when playing!
The raw data didn’t promise any miracles before the test – the more astonishing the results: Thus, the Asus TUF scratched a “very good” subnote in the speed measurements with office and internet applications. Even more astonishing, however, is that it also showed games on the built-in Full-HD display smoothly in full detail rendering. But the Asus isn’t as fast as notebooks with separate graphic chips, like Nvidia’s RTX models. Thus, the rendering on connected monitors jerked violently – the graphic chip Vega 8 is definitely too weak for 4K games.
Asus TUF FX705DY: Orderly display
In return, the Asus is 600 Dollar cheaper than RTX notebooks, but by no means made cheap. The display was also convincing: It showed figures, environments and objects nicely sharp and with almost original colors. The image change was done in under 14 milliseconds without ugly streaks.
Verdict: Asus TUF FX705DY – Frugal, quiet worker
And we experienced another surprise: a full battery charge lasted between three and a half and almost four hours. These are very respectable values for a gaming notebook. In addition, the processor and graphics chip develop little waste heat. The notebook stayed pleasantly cool on the bottom side even after two hours of gaming. But it wasn’t only the built-in fans that provided for the low operating temperature, because the Asus didn’t annoy with loud fan noises neither during gaming nor under full load – it remained nice and quiet. As the Asus is well equipped, playing Counter Strike Global Offense (CS:GO) will not pose any problems. Also for future game titles the TUF 17 is very well prepared.
Fourth: Acer Nitro 5
- Good gaming performance
- Very good battery life
- Many USB ports
- Display could be better
- HDMI port for external displays only
With the Nitro 5, Acer would like to bring a cheaper model with good performance to a gamer’s desk. We were given a Nitro 5 with a 17 inch display, an AMD Radeon RX 560X 4GB Graphics and an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Processor from Acer for a test and are curious to see how the gaming notebook performs in our test!
Equipment and Software
Our Nitro 5 offers some connections. In addition to the proprietary power connector, you’ll find a 3.5mm jack and USB 2.0 port on the right side. On the left side are two USB 3.0 type A and one USB 3.0 type C connectors. There is also an HDMI port and a 1 GBit RJ45 LAN port. There is also a Kensington lock on the edge.
The notebook tested here has an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Processor, 8 GB DDR4-2400 RAM, a 1 TB HDD, and an AMD Radeon RX 560X (mobile) with 4 GB GDDR5 built in. All the hardware is housed in a 17-inch, 5.9 lbs. case with a 60Hz full HD IPS monitor and 0.9 megapixel webcam. The built-in hardware is thus sufficiently dimensioned even for computationally intensive tasks. Counter Strike Global Offensive will not pose any problems for this gaming laptop.
Verdict: The Acer Nitro 5 AN517-5
The Acer Nitro 5 AN517-51-7887 tested here is a solid gaming notebook. The workmanship is good, the keyboard and touchpad are fine. The battery life is average and the volume is within limits. In return, the performance is consistently high and well placed for its price range. There are hardly any alternatives against the Acer Nitro 5 in this price segment.
At the end of the test it’s clear: You get a good gaming notebook with 17 inches and decent performance with the Nitro 5. If you can do without a 144 Hz screen and can live with the mentioned weaknesses, you should take a closer look at the Nitro 5 from Acer.
Fifth: HP Pavilion 15
- Powerful hardware
- Fancy design
- Good battery life
- Under full load relatively loud
- Display somewhat dark
Best performance in this price range
The HP Pavilion 15 makes an elegant impression with its silver-coloured housing, clean finish and illuminated keyboard. You can’t even tell the price of under 750 Dollar from the look of the device. On the other hand, you notice with the keyboard that HP wanted to keep the case as thin as possible – the stroke path is short, the keys are a bit too slippery and overall the keyboard gives a bit too little feedback for our taste. Another problem is that the transparent letters on the silver keys are low in contrast with bright backlighting and are sometimes difficult to recognize. The mouse replacement is good for this, even if it looks a bit sticky during fast movements.
HP doesn’t allow itself any mistakes in the performance test. Thanks to the modern AMD 2nd Gen Quad-Core Ryzen 5 3550H with 2.10 GHz up to 3.70 GHz, the integrated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 3GB GDDR5 graphics chip and 8 GByte RAM, the pavilion cuts a great figure for office and internet tasks. The performance is even sufficient for simple photo and video editing. If the built-in RAM is not enough, you can expand it at any time – a free slot is available. Only the comparatively high volume under full load clouds the pleasure of the powerful notebook a little.
Modern equipment at a low price
The equipment of the HP Pavilion is impressive. The speedy SSD with Intel Optane Memory has a storage capacity of 256 GByte, providing enough space for data and at the same time ensuring fast system starts. There is also a card slot for SDXC cards as well as three USB 3.1 ports (one of which is type C) for fast data transfer. The notebook also has Bluetooth, WLAN-ac and a Gigabit Ethernet connection. An external monitor or beamer can be connected via the HDMI interface. As meanwhile usual for thin notebooks (the pavilion measures only 0.8 inches in height), HP does without an optical drive.
Decent mobility for a 15 incher
The notebook weighs about 3.8 lbs – in a duel with smaller so-called ultrabooks like the TrekStor Primebook C11, the Pavilion seems like a real colossus, but compared to other 15.6-inch models it is relatively light. The battery with a capacity of 42 watt hours supplies enough energy for a runtime of 8:42 hours with simple word processing in the test. The HP Pavilion 15 lasts for almost 7 hours in video rendering and even more than 5 hours in intensive use. Overall, the mobility isn’t perfect with that, but it’s still okay.
With a Full HD resolution (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), the 15.6-inch screen offers a comfortable size for working. Thanks to the high pixel density, HD content looks good on the notebook. The IPS display doesn’t turn out excessively bright with a maximum of 219 cd/m², but is still suitable for outdoor use due to the matt surface. Only particularly bright environments, such as those in direct sunlight, should be avoided. The contrast ratio, measured using a checkerboard pattern displayed on the screen, is only average at 144:1. For its price range, the display still works out okay, though.
HP delivers a well equipped and solid notebook for the office area with the Pavilion 15. In the test, the 15.6-inch laptop was particularly convincing in the performance category thanks to strong hardware. But the equipment and battery life are also okay for the price of under 750 Dollar. Apart from the background noise under load and the only average display, the device hardly shows any weaknesses in the test. Although not the strongest gaming laptop, you will be able to easily play Counter Strike Global Offense (CS:GO) on th HP Pavillion 15.
About Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO)
The question why you should actually play the tactical shooter Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (short: CS:GO), if you already own the original Counter-Strike or Counter-Strike: Source, is still a vlid question to ask. We ask a counter question: Why do women need more than four pairs of shoes? And here is the simple answer: Because it’s fun and in the case of CS:GO also free!
CS:GO unfolds exactly the same pull as the old parts, even if, as someone who has just changed from the first Counter-Strike or Source, you first have to change over in not unimportant matters. But once you have ventured out on Dust, Italy or Train and completed a few rounds, you just don’t want to stop. Unless you end up on a server where the opposing team is so dominant that you can go into battle without weapons. But hey, then you just change the server, it’s that simple.
Because Global Offensive is a Valve game, it is logically distributed through Steam and, once purchased, is inseparably linked to the Steam account. You may install the game on as many computers as you wish. Since 2018 the game is free to download and play!
They forgot the tunnel!
Hidden Path are not reinventing the CS wheel with Global Offensive. The Hostage- and Bomb maps are all old acquaintances, even if some of them have small adjustments. A wooden walkway now connects the two balconies on the classic Dust and the terrorists have been given a new entrance from the underpass. On Aztec the direct water access at the terrorists’ starting point is missing and the way out of the water up to the two wooden gates now runs in the opposite direction, on Train you can now overlook bomb site B from two elevated points and so on.
But the small changes actually have interesting effects. On Dust the underpass is not as static anymore, on Aztec the … let’s call them sniper rifle enthusiasts on the terrorist side down at the water access, because there is no water access anymore, the anti-terrorists can’t stab the enemy team so easily in the back anymore due to the adapted ramp to the wooden gates and on Train you have a really clear view of the bomb site from the new balcony. The map adjustments are good and useful, even if many fans of the old games might grumble at first, because their usual procedures are impossible or at least made more difficult.
The Ak 47 is broken!
If you start CS:GO and think that you are the king (or queen) of the map like in the previous games with Ak 47, you will look stupid after a few rounds and doubt the famous skill. Where has it gone? It is not gone, it just needs to be spiced up. Or in other words: CS:GO works differently than its predecessors in the crucial details of scatter, armor and hitbox.
The hitboxes in CS:GO are smaller than in Counter-Strike or Counter-Strike: Source. The logical conclusion: You have to aim better. The armour is more durable. The logical conclusion: You need more bullets. And the scattering of the bullets on the recoil is different. The logical conclusion: You have to get used to it. Together this results in the following: What means a safe headshot and one opponent less in the predecessors does not mean the same in Global Offensive. Those who are aware of this will save a lot of nerves (and curses) in the first matches in the game.
The developers’ noble intention to weaken the sniper rifles and especially the thick AWP by blurring the view through the scope when you move can only be called noble intention. The blurring effect has no effect. If you’ve always been good with the sniper rifles, you’re good in CS:GO. Much to the chagrin of those who are not.
Molotov cocktail? Bullshit!
Something we rather smiled at or at least looked at critically at the first announcements: The Molotov cocktails (terrorists) or the incendiary grenades (anti-terrorists). In practice, however, these flame-carpet-creating throwing things turn out to be incredibly great. You can really interrupt a rush for a long time or at least bring it to a standstill to such an extent that there is no longer any question of a rush. When all terrorists have gathered in the underpass on Dust, sometimes two incendiary grenades reach down from the balcony to weaken the bombers so much that they might as well give up.
The new bait grenade, which makes fighting noises where no one is fighting, can beautifully ambush enemies. However, you either already know the hotspots of a map from its predecessors or you learn them quite quickly. And because the living and dead players are now always visibly displayed at the top of the screen (you don’t need to press tab to find out about the team’s condition), the bait grenade should cause noise in nine out of ten cases without effect. If you immediately see that your team consists of only two people, your partner is standing right next to you and suddenly you can hear combat noise from somewhere, then you can be sure that instead of “somewhere” there is no shooting, but only a lure grenade.
Softer Counter Strike
Most of us will be playing CS:GO in classic competition, in other words as we have always known it. There are three more modes available as alternatives. Or better said: 2.5, because behind the classic casual game there are the familiar cards with the familiar tasks (planting bombs, saving hostages), only in the softener version.
Among other things, there is a free death cam, so you can follow every player after his death, not only those from your own team. The team collision is on hold, so you don’t hinder yourself in any narrow places. And you don’t have to buy armour and defensive kits. Instead you get an additional weapon. The thing is called Zeus, it’s an electric zapper, which can only zap once in close combat, but then it’s deadly in any case. But: How often does Counter-Strike use hand-to-hand combat? Exactly! This means that game mode 0.5 is already ticked off.
Old new mod
Also not really new is the game mode “arms race”, because it already exists as a modification called Gungame for CS: Source. In arms race two teams face each other on manageable (new) maps. As soon as you catch an opponent, you immediately get a new weapon in your hand. The winner (despite teams) is the single player who was the first to successfully use all weapons.
Weapon purchase not applicable
“Destruction” on the other hand can be booked under “new”, whereas it’s actually just a mixture of bombing game and arms race. The terrorists have to place an explosive device as usual, the opposing team has to prevent this.
However, the purchase of equipment is omitted, the guns are automatically assigned. And one after the other. If you kill one or more opponents in one round, the game will give you a new weapon in the next. This ranges from rifles to shotguns and pistols to sniper rifles. Not only the automated weapon change makes destruction challenging and varied, but also the new cards that are designed for it and which have to be learned first.
Graphics? Not important!
For the graphics, Global Offensive does not win an award, even if the maps and models have been visibly enhanced. But the animations are still the same as in Source, everything looks rather stubby. It’s a pity, in times of Battlefield 3 Global Offensive almost seems like a title from a bygone era. But only visually. Playfully the thing is simply timelessly good. Even if veterans might still bump into the small changes at the beginning. But that will disappear relatively quickly. We speak from experience.