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Rutherford Beresford

Mesh bogging down high-end Dell laptop

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Please help!  With mesh overtaking the grid at lightning speeds, I'm eager to jump on the mesh band-wagon but something is keeping me from doing so and I desparately could use some assistance.

I have a Dell XPS L702 laptop running the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium Edition, SP1.  The laptop has 8GB of memory with Intel Core i7-2720QM CPU processor running at 2.20 GHz.  When I go into device manager and expand display adapters I see both an Intel HD Graphic Family adapter as well as an NVIdia GeForce GT M555 graphics card.  The NVidia card has drivers as recent as 12/3/2012.

When I fire up Phoenix and go into Graphics Settings and let the viewer choose optimal settings for the hardware, the graphics slider is set to HIGH.  When I actually sign onto the grid with these settings, however, no sculpties rez and my avatar never materializes and I'm unable to move.  If I start with the slider set to LOW and then move to HIGH, I can actually see mesh clothing and such but I'm still barely able to move.  There is a "shaders" checkbox that seems to control whether or not I can do anything in SL or not.  With the check-box checked I can see mesh but things are terribly slow.  Without that checkbox checked things are wonderfully quick but mesh is invisible to me.

Surely my system is "high-end" enough to be able to enjoy SL with mesh.  I'm thinking I just need to tweak a few settings.

Can anyone tell me what I need to do to able to see mesh and still be able to move my avatar?

Thank you!

Rutherford "Ford" Beresford

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Have you considered switching to a different viewer, such as Firestorm? It might be an improvement in efficiency and support for your video hardware.

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My guess is that you're having problems with your laptop realizing it should be using the Nvidia chip instead of the Intel chip with SL. There have been problems with auto-switching laptops not using the high-performance chip. You probably have an option to force the laptop to use the Nvidia chip for certain applications; use that to force your viewer to use the Nvidia chip. Also, don't try running SL on your laptop without it being plugged into the wall; a lot of laptops use the low-power graphics option automatically when they're on battery power.

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That fixed me right up!  Thank you!  There an NVidia control panel where you can specify, on a program-by-program basis, whether to use the standard Intel chipset or the NVidia chipset.  As you might have imagined, the default was for everything to use Intel.  I changed it and now, not only can I see mesh, but my video has NEVER been this smooth and had such incredible level of detail.  Thanks again!

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Phoenix is also very old and outdated - and in 2 months when they change to the new graphic system, won't even be able to render anything but a gray mess.

Now is an ideal time to move on up to the official viewer, or Firestorm, or something.

 

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I was thinking of making this a separate topic the other day, but, with two personal computer topics already on page one I will ask here.

I've asked before but, this seems a timely moment to ask again. And hardware updates so often.

Would people please chime in with their personal picks for low cost, high spec computers, for running Second Life?

If you like, choose one for normal running of Second Life, and a second one for optimized viewing/content creation/photography in Second Life.

You can also include separate categories if you like, for PC, Mac, and/or desktop/laptop.

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I'd like to see some suggestions as well since I will be in the market for a PC after the first of the year.  Or even components since I received some great suggestions in the Merchant's Forum for ways to put together a nice machine at relatively low cost.

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

I'd like to see some suggestions as well since I will be in the market for a PC after the first of the year.  Or even components since I received some great suggestions in the Merchant's Forum for ways to put together a nice machine at relatively low cost.

I'm partial to midrange Nvidia cards - I've been using a GT 430 and recently changed to a GT 640, which behaves about the same. They fall exactly in the middle of the range of settings with the current graphics preference setup, which means I can use deferred rendering ("lighting and shadows" ) and a 128 meter draw distance pretty much everywhere if I don't turn the actual shadows on, and if I'm in a quiet area or setting up for a photo I can turn just about everything on if I don't mind pokey frame rates. They're reliable, don't draw extreme amounts of power and the drivers are usually trouble free. They're not the most powerful cards on the market but you can find one for less than $100 if you look around and given what you're used to it'll be like being a watcher of the skies when a new planet swims into your ken or stout Cortez [well, Balboa] silent on a peak in Darien.

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

I'd like to see some suggestions as well since I will be in the market for a PC after the first of the year.  Or even components since I received some great suggestions in the Merchant's Forum for ways to put together a nice machine at relatively low cost.

Yes. Many might have a little holiday spending money and be in the market. Be nice if everyone got the most bang for their buck. 

I had hoped to upgrade but it will need to wait. However, a really sparkly machine would be a wonderful carrot before the cart, which could give me some incentive to scrimp a bit more.

 

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