Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rocksmith for PC Demos Great on Desktop (Video) but Won't Play on My Old Laptop

I downloaded the Rocksmith PC version demo onto one of my desktop systems and also onto a laptop to try it out. The desktop system works great! Really nice. Fast loading. Flawless, really. Cable was recognized immediately. It was plug and play. Literally. All software should work like that. Much better than playing on the XBox.

My desktop system isn't exactly a new, state-of-the-art computer. I don't remember exactly when I bought it, but I think it's close to 5 years old. It's a Gateway GT5432 with AMD Athlon 64x2 5000+ dual core processor. Only upgrades are 3 GB of RAM and I did swap out the original video card with an NVDIA GEForce 9500GT. This system is nothing special and it runs Rocksmith just fine with no jerkiness, no lag, and no other issues.

[demo video to be posted here as soon as I get a FRAPS capture I downloaded, installed and tried FRAPS, but it slows down my processor and also didn't want to capture the audio. I've also tried Cam Studio, a free open-source program that also captures on-screen video. But, that didn't work much better than FRAPS. So, I'll do this the old-fashioned but reliable way - with an actual video camera on a tripod! Stand by.]

[I'll be using one of my cheap First Act guitars to do the demo video]

My laptop was another story - couldn't get past tuning on the laptop. BUT I believe that's because the laptop I was using isn't exactly a high-performance model. It's a 2-year old Compaq with an AMD Sempron SI-42 processor. Got it at Wal-Mart for under $300.00. It does have slightly upgraded RAM (to 3GB). The video card meets the minimum requirements to run Rocksmith but video memory is only 256MB. That can't be good. Rocksmith boots slow and runs even slower on this laptop. It recognizes the cable just fine, but I never made it past tuning. It takes forever to get that far. Once I get each string tuned, as soon as I get to the final tuning check on the high e string the game locks up. That's as far as I've gotten.

I'll try downloading onto my wife's slightly newer, slightly nicer laptop and let you know how that goes.

I am generally impressed with loading speed and absence of lag in the PC demo. And, I love the fact that on a PC I can grab screen shots for later reference and record video directly onto my HDD for blogging purposes. But, for now I'm not ordering the PC version. Not saying I won't get it. Not saying you shouldn't get it. It looks awesome. But, for me, there's no need to rush. If my wife's laptop doesn't work any better than my old laptop, I'd have to bring a guitar upstairs to play Rocksmith on my desktop computer, or put a computer in the music room, or put a computer in the living room. None of those are attractive options at the moment. I'd want to be able to play this on a laptop that I already own.

Plus, there's that DLC issue - I'd "lose" 18 songs by switching platforms. For now, I'll stick with my XBox version. (And, just for the record, I won't be buying any more DLC until I make up my mind about which platform to go with. Of course, if Ubisoft figures out how to credit our previous DLC or transfer it across platforms. . . well, that would certainly help. Are you listening, Ubisoft?)

One last thing to consider: The Demo is probably somewhat smaller than the entire, full-blown program. There are only 3 songs, compared to 51 in the full version. I don't know, but it seems possible that the whole program might not run quite as well even on my desktop as the stripped-down demo.


  1. I think the game has pretty reasonable requirements, but no doubt that you will notice any inadequacy. I am guessing the weaker proc, slower disc access and marginal video of the laptop are all working against you. You can probably have 1 of those at minimum levels if the rest are good, but all of them at min spec are gonna be trouble. Good luck with the wife's laptop.

    I don't get the DLC arguement. Not that it wouldn't be nice, but that it couldn't have been expected. It would be like expecting a car company to warrantee the tires with the car. Sure it would be nice, but it would cost the car company, tire company and service company and only save the customer money, AND it would be ripe for abuse.

    The DLC is the same way. Transferring DLC would cost UBI, MS/S/Steam, and the artists money. People would also abuse the system.

    Put a little differently, I had never used steam before. So before i bought RS, i checked about the policy regarding re-install, resale, multiple computers, playing offline, etc. Anyone who goes "OMG, i can't resale my steam game" simply didn't do their homework just like someone who wants the worn out rear tires on their new mustang replaced for free.

    I do think it is extremely funny that when the PC was in the delay forever/canceled stage, everyone was like "go buy an xbox, it is like $200, that is nothing, blah blah blah" and now that the PC is out, everyone is envious.


    1. I've had a good year's worth of use out of my XBox and original Rocksmith game. I've probably gotten at least $30 worth of enjoyment out of the bass expansion I bought in August. I definitely don't regret jumping into the game right away instead of waiting for a PC release.

  2. Oh, i hear that - If i had known in fall '11 that PC wouldn't have been out till fall '12, i think i would have found an xbox too. I just thought it was ironic that the ubi forums were full of people bitching about the PC version not being out and the response was 1) buy an xbox, it is for gaming so it will be a better experience and 2) it is only a few hundred dollars. It turns out modern PCs are faster than an xbox (obviously). Now some people feel that the few dozen dollars they have spent on DLC is some sort of huge barrier.

    Honestly, i would keep the xbox till after the bandfuse launch. I don't think they will ever have that on PC. At the very least, that will be a good source of songs to learn and an easy way to learn tab.


  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! Glad you found it useful.