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What makes Second Life run smoother?


SLtesterL2
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   I was just wondering what specs of the computer makes SL run the smoothest since I'm contiplating on purchasing an Alienware m14x in the future. For the specs of my laptop I'm not too sure but I'm most likely going to purchase the system with 8gb of RAM and  2 GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with Optimus and was wondering how that would affect my experience with SL. Again I'm sorry for not providing any info on the specs of the laptop im thinking of getting, but right now I just need to know what will make the server/viewer run with the least lag in general so please give me any info you can even links but i prefer your own reply if you can. Also I will be playing wirelessly if that helps you. Please ask me any questions and I'll try my best to answer you so you can give me the advice I need.

 

 

 

Thank You :matte-motes-bashful-cute-2:

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Howdy, Tester!

8GB RAM and a 2GB video card will work wonderfully well.  You should be able to run SL in "Ultra" mode.  It's running it wirelessly where you'll have your problem.  So much information is transferred between the server and your computer every second that having that info then be transmitted over a radio frequency can/will cause major problems.  You should NEVER run SL over a wireless connection.  There are a lot of things that can interfere.

Always use a corded connection.

Other than that...you're good!

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Tester, if you don't really must have a laptop general advice is to use a desktop coz it's

  • cheaper
  • more powerful
  • doesn't overheat and fry out that easily
  • is upgradable

But if you're mostly connecting to SL on the go there are much better gaming lappies than those grossly overpriced yet cheaply made Alienwares. Alienware is owned by Dell these days and Dell's own XPS series is as good as the Alienwares when it comes to serious gaming. Still you pay a premium price just for the fancy name and logo and bling factor. Apart from that I recommend that you take a look at the MSI GE and G series and the various Asus ROG machines. With the exception of some hardcore machines by small manufacturers like Sager, MSI seems to blow everything out of the water.

Yes, and if possible at all plug in!!! And put your lappy on a cooling stand with lots of airflow and never use it on your lap or on wooden surfaces.

More general advice about what's important for smooth gaming/SL:

  • cooling
  • stable internet connection (better stable than fast, better good ping and burst than fast throughput)
  • cooling
  • GPU (Nvidia if at all possible)
  • cooling
  • RAM (more the better)
  • cooling
  • PSU (power!!!)
  • cooling
  • CPU (any proci made after 2009 will do)
  • cooling

 

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I strongly agree that wifi can have terrible problems running SL.  But it really depends, in an unpredicable, and complex fashion, on the particular router and its surroundings.

I have two wireless routers at home.  The one that I got from my ISP tests out fine for up and download speed, and will run most applications just fine.  But running SL there is 20% packet loss every time, and SL is so laggy and jerky, it is unplayable.  I have another router next to the ISP's connected with an ethernet cord.  It runs SL just fine, almost all of the times.  But occasionally, it will burp, I'll get a few percent packet loss, enought to begin noticing, espessically if I am using HTTP textures.  Plug that in with an ethernet cord, the problem goes away.  In my case, what ever external source is causing the interfence is pretty rare, and rarlely lasts more than 10 minutes, so I almost always go with the wifi.

I travel around a bit, logging in from my RV.  Most campgrounds these days offer some kind of free wifi service.  About half the time, they will run SL flawlessly.  Maybe 1/4 of the time, not at all, and 1/4 distinclty so-so.  And just because the wifi worked fine in a given campground last year, does not mean that it will in the same place same time this year.

So wifi certianly has issues.  For your router, in your environment, you may indeed need a hard wire connection.  But it is far from impossible to run SL just fine.  Today, I'm parked in my niece's backyard, running ultra, with no packet loss, and no issues, using the wifi router inside her house.

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The other answers are good. I'll add a little.

The CPU, motherboard, memory, and graphics card combine to create a good or weak computer for Second Life.

CPU can be AMD or Intel. Each brand has its fans. I am an Intel person. Whatever, at four cores you have about all the CPU that is needed. One does get a bit more out of additional cores. Faster is better. With Intel the i7 is better than i5 which is better than i3. Go for what you can afford.

The SL game eats about 2 to 3 gb of ram. So, having 4+ gb makes it possible to have more than just SL running without excessive page faulting (swaping memory to disk - which slows things way down). Memory speed is important. Faster memory is better. Few people bother to look at memory speed. In talking to people that have good performance I find they tend to fast memory.

An nVidia 650 is going to be good. The second digit is the key to performance with nvidia in any game. A 680 is way better but costs way more. The 650 should be more than what SL needs.

Motherboards have different chips to control memory transfers to disk and video. Look for the boards transfer rates. New unit have 6gb/sec transfer rates. With the new SSD drives that can be important.

New video cards and motherboards use PCIe3 to make a faster video channel.

Solid State Drives (SSD) are getting faster and lasting longer. They can deleiver 6gb/s. They are expensive, US$1/gb. But generally way faster than conventional hard disk drives. Some people use a conventinal large drive for the C drive and and main storage. Then use an SSD for caches to speed up applaications.

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To find out what kind of motherboard you have, yo can download a program like CPU-Z and find all the information in the mainboard tab. PCIe is backwards compatible, so a PCIe3 graphics card will run on a mainboard that supports PCIe2, of course the card might not  reach its full potential then.

To find out what kind of PSU you have, the easiest way is to open your box (if you have a desktop) and look at the side of the big box in the upper back where all the cables go. It will say 400W or 500W or something. Beware this is maximum power drawn, so a 600W one doesn't neccecarily provide more power to your PC than a 550W one. Normal is 70-80% efficency, silver rated is 80%+ and gold 90%+ I think. If you have a laptop, chances are you can find the PSU on the manufacturer's or retailer's website or on your invoice.

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