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Newbie - is it worth it?


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Just signed up for a Second Life account and I have found out that I can't play with basic shaders enabled without most things rendering a flat pink surface. Running a laptop and won't be able to get a better desktop with a decent graphics card for a year or longer. My question is whether or not it is worth getting into Second Life without these graphical features? I suspect object creation would be a fail in this regard but how about everything else like concerts, events, skins, clothes, etc. Can I still get a rich experience playing? I don't know where this journey may lead. Roleplaying, social interaction, commerce, or whatever. Opinions in regards to this would be great. Peace.

 

Toshiba laptop

Satellite L505D

AMD Turion II Dual-Core Mobile M500 2.20 GHz

Ram 4GB (3.75 Usable)

64 bit Windows 7 OS

ATI display adapter

AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200

Total available graphics memory 1918 MB

Dedicated Video memory 256 MB

System Video memory 0MB

Shared system memory 1662 MB

Video drivers up to date.

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Just signed up for a Second Life account and I have found out that I can't play with basic shaders enabled without most things rendering a flat pink surface. Running a laptop and won't be able to get a better desktop with a decent graphics card for a year or longer. My question is whether or not it is worth getting into Second Life without these graphical features? I suspect object creation would be a fail in this regard but how about everything else like concerts, events, skins, clothes, etc. Can I still get a rich experience playing? I don't know where this journey may lead. Roleplaying, social interaction, commerce, or whatever. Opinions in regards to this would be great. Peace.

 

Toshiba laptop

Satellite L505D

AMD Turion II Dual-Core Mobile M500 2.20 GHz

Ram 4GB (3.75 Usable)

64 bit Windows 7 OS

ATI display adapter

AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200

Total available graphics memory 1918 MB

Dedicated Video memory 256 MB

System Video memory 0MB

Shared system memory 1662 MB

Video drivers up to date.

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Not everyone in SL has a high end computer.  In fact a lot of people have older machines and run graphics on low.  It doesn't stop them from enjoying SL.  Also, you may know mentally what you may be missing with a less than optimal set up, but as you are just starting you won't miss it.  Then when you do get a better PC you'll have the pleasure of seeing SL in all its glory through fresh eyes.

Since you are just starting, let me assure you that you have a lot of exploring and learning to do and that year is going to go quickly.  You could also take some basic building and/or scripting classes so that when you do get a better machine you are ready to go if content creation interests you.  I've been in SL seven years and when  learned to build graphics were not as good as even the low setting is now, so that won't make any difference to learning basic building.

I say go for it.

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I just got a back up notebook computer which seems to be similar to yours; it is not fancy by any means and was $230 on a deal (Toshiba also). I can run on HIGH graphics (maybe even higher as I didn't really try) using the SINGULARITY viewer which is based on OLD code but works just fine with the new servers side baking, mesh etc.

So if you are trying to use the official Linden viewer or even Firestorm which is great but needs a pretty hefty system, try Singularity or one of the other third party viewers based on the old code. I am not sure which others are but imagine a search in Google will let you know.

 

 

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I would say you can still have a rich experience in SL. Can you see textures at all or is everything just flat and textureless? If that's the case then maybe you should wait but if you can see things then you should go out and just experience SL. Chatting to people needs very little graphics, listening to live music is the same, RPing is mostly text too. A year goes by pretty fast and you'll just be learning how to do stuff anyways.

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Thanks for the input guys. Things look ok without basic shaders just not very refined compared to screenshots I have seen. Going to try to find Singularity to see if there is a difference. Will stick with it then. Found the "pink" problem is widespread for a lot of people running graphics cards meant for HD use primarily which is where I also found the suggestion to turn off basic shading which cleared that up. Again thanks.

 

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barmer71 wrote:

Just signed up for a Second Life account and I have found out that I can't play with basic shaders enabled without most things rendering a flat pink surface.

ATI display adapter


It's a problem mainly caused by users with certain ATI graphics cards, but there is a well documented solution too and apart from the switch off basic shaders solution, which can be ugly, there is a better solution.

The first thing to do of course is make sure your graphics card driver is definitely up-to-date as this can fix it.

Firstly, enable the 'Advanced' menu if you haven't already by opening 'Preferences', finding the 'Advanced' tab and checking 'Show Advanced Menu'.

Then, go to:

'Advanced' > 'Show Debug Settings'.

In there find "RenderMaxTextureIndex" (start typing it and it should refine the list) and set it to zero.

This has been known to fix it, although I believe it's also been reported that it does have some performance impact in other areas.

You can of course switch your basic shaders back on!

If it still doesn't work, then try a third part viewer like Firestorm as others as suggested.

More about the pink problem, its causes and and its workarounds here:

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SH-2908?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels%3Acomment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=309904

http://jira.phoenixviewer.com/browse/FIRE-4945

 

 

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Another usually recommended fix is to disable the "OpenGL Vertex Buffer Objects" in the advanced section of the graphics preferences; I haven't tested its effectiveness myself, but it seems to have a lesser impact on the visual quality and the viewer's performance.

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Try updating your graphics driver. That's a bug that plagued ATI users about a year ago.

SL is worth it.  However, because it is a user generated world, it taxes computers a bit.  A nice side effect of this is you will learn a lot about your computer in the process. lol.

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Rich experience -

If SL seems to be running reasonably smooth, you will be fine. Maybe it won't ever run as smooth as a video game for playstation whatever but anyways...

Honestly though, the things you REALLY need to have a "rich" experience in SL are these -

Discipline to not let SL get in the way of real life. Oh yes, that CAN happen. "A few more minutes" can turn into ALL night (again) Better call into work, too tired to go.

Understanding that SL is not real life. That fat hairy nerdy guy you saw waddling down the street in real life could be an ultra-hot woman in SL. He will not tell you this though. Not in RL not in SL.

Understand that some people in SL are delusional to the point that they regard themselves as highly as some regard that person's avatar. Some wretched hag in real life might be a snooty supermodel in SL who will play games with your feelings.

Do not let SL mess with your real world feelings. I made that mistake at the beginning. I used to date someone in SL and was IN LOVE! After learning more about this person's real life (thru them telling me and thru some online court documents about this person's history AND photos they sent) I would be horrified to meet in real life.


There is a dark side to SL that has nothing to do with graphics or FPS. What you need to ask yourself is this -
Will SL be worth it if I become all-encompassed and obsessed with it? Just keep a level head. The addiction can creep up quick. I thought it was stupid at first but the first time I called into work to play SL, I knew I was hooked. I HAD to work on my avatar, I HAD to see what was going on with my favorite sim... I soon lost that job BTW.

 

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