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Nellie Knoller

best graphics card for SL?

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What that tells you is that anything that is at least that good will work.  The zippier the better.  "Best", though, is a very subjective judgment.  It depends on what the rest of your system looks like and what else you plan to use your machine for.  I am quite happy with my NVidia GeForce 9800 GT, which is now way out of date by high-end gamer standards, but I can run it on Ultra settings when I want to, and I can use Advanced Lighting, and still get about 15-20 FPS.  If I wanted to do fast-moving RP stuff or if I were into photography in a big way and needed some of the fancier graphics, I'd be looking for a flashier card.  So.... decide what you want to do, be sure that your pocketbook and your power supply can handle it, and shop for the "best" card you can find.

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What that tells you is that anything that is at least that good will work.  The zippier the better.  "Best", though, is a very subjective judgment.  It depends on what the rest of your system looks like and what else you plan to use your machine for.  I am quite happy with my NVidia GeForce 9800 GT, which is now way out of date by high-end gamer standards, but I can run it on Ultra settings when I want to, and I can use Advanced Lighting, and still get about 15-20 FPS.  If I wanted to do fast-moving RP stuff or if I were into photography in a big way and needed some of the fancier graphics, I'd be looking for a flashier card.  So.... decide what you want to do, be sure that your pocketbook and your power supply can handle it, and shop for the "best" card you can find.

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Nellie - That is an excellent question: Below is a recent link to a discussion about specific Graphics Cards others are happy with.

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/Video-Card-Question/m-p/2052725

I use an ATI Radeon HD 6850 Series, 1GB DDR5 memory graphics card and it performs well at High & Ultra modes using the most current ATI Driver from AMD. This GC a slightly older [3 years] technology that reviewed well. This is installed on a 8 GB Dual Boot Dell PC with Windows 7 Professional  & Vista Ultima installed. The Dell PC Model is Inspiron 518 00

This Graphics Card is still being sold at about $120.00 the last time I checked. I also installed a 750 watt Power Supply as well designed for power hungry graphics users. That added another $110.00 to the bill and upgrade.

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Hi Nellie,

Here's a website that gives performance scores for lots of different graphics cards...

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php

You can type in a card type and find its score, or get a ranking by selecting one of the other pages in the "Select a page" dropdown button on the right.

The thread mentioned by KarenMichelle has a lot of good information. nVIDIA cards seem to be preferred by many.

The latest generations of graphics cards often cause the viewer to hiccup because it doesn't know it can work with them. There is a compatibility table (gputable.txt) located somewhere near the viewer program (sorry, I'm not a PC user, so don't where all the viewer parts reside). Sometimes it's necessary to edit that table to include a line for the newest graphics cards (like the nVIDIA 7xx family). The General Discussion forum is a good place to bring up such questions and they'll know where to point you to updated files if you do choose a shiny new card that's not yet known to Linden Lab.

Good luck in your search!

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I posted details of the latest graphics cards in this post http://community.secondlife.com/t5/General-Discussion-Forum/A-Question-About-Graphic-s-Card-Ratings/m-p/2137093#M121656 

The August issue of Custom PC (a UK magazine) contains a comprehensive 18-page test of most of the current gaming graphics cards. The cards were tested at 1920 x 1080, 2,560 x 1600 and 5,760 x 1080 and 30fps was considered the key rate to award extra points, this being the minimum for smooth gameplay. The cards were tested in real games, Crysis 3, Skyrim and Red Star Rising as well as Unigine's Valley 1.0 benchmark.

SL's limited use of memory (512MB) makes it a little difficult to directly transfer these scores across as some of them are 2GB cards so they could be a little skewed in places but hope it helps. I did read a thread where the OP reported better performance in SL with a 2GB card than a 1GB one but I don't know how accurate that is.

 I'll just give you the percentages, which also takes value for money into consideration, and brief comments given.

AMD Radeon HD 5750 1GB: 12% (Woefully underpowered and poor choice)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 1GB: 10% (Underpowered - spend a little more on the GTX 660 for twice the speed)

AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB GHz Edition: 20% (Painfully slow and disappointing performance)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB: 44% (Best low price GPU but that's not saying much - spend a little more on the GTX 660)

AMD Radeon HD 7790 1GB: 41% (Mid way card between low and high end AMD cards but not great performance - better to opt for Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB)

AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB: 56% (Comprehensively outclassed by the Nvidia GeForce 660 2GB  [in actual fact about 10% less] for similar cost)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost 2GB: 67% (A weird card in Nvidia's line-up that isn't worth considering)

AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB: 68% (A great card with high resolution performance that competes with overclocked versions of the GTX 660 2GB but slightly more expensive)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB: 73% (Best value sub £200 card on the market considering price and performance but struggles at the highest resolutions)

AMD Radeon 7950 3GB with Boost: 81% (Great performance across the board, capable high-end graphics card, decent value for money)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB: 75% (Second best to the GTX 670 and HD 7950 in a similar price bracket now)

AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB GHz Edition: 84% (Fantastic performance for the money and little to separate this card and the Nvidia GTX 770 2GB, prices now about the same, slight fps edge to the Nvidia)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB: 82% (Superb card with slightly better performance to AMD HD 7950, very little in it and similar prices)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 2GB: 80% (Ferociously quick but supplanted by the Nvidia GTX 770 2GB)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 2GB: 83% (Slightly better performance than GTX 680 and HD 7970 - best rated card of all and a superb choice)

Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB: 66% (Phenomenally fast for those who want to play everything at very high resolutions but very expensive)

Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6GB: 66% (Now a Titanic waste of money in the face of the GTX 780 with only a 10-15% benefit in performance at 5760 x 1080 when overclocked, otherwise little difference)

 

The Nvidia GTX 770 seems to be a superb card but if too expensive, Nvidia released the GTX 760 a month ago, which I believe is a replacement for the previous excellent GTX 660 Ti.

Nvidia is continuing production of the GTX 660 for the moment so that again would be an excellent choice for SL.

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I hope this is useful,

We just got a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 1gb graphics card although its not the cheapest at £80.00 I can run sl in ultra if I want with good frame rates of 40-60 fps depending on the sim 

 

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Been using the ASUS (amd) R9 290 OC (4gig DDR5) for a good 2 months now and this baby screams. Runs 3 viewers (with all eye candy) comfortably. Though as another member added, it all depends on what you expect. Not forgetting your rig specs too.  The r9 290 rig is fitted to Win7 64bit - 16Gig (2x4gig) Kingston DDR3 HyperX - i7 - 1000w Corsair PSU - Gigabyte mobo - SSD

Though I also have a newish toshiba Satalite Pro (17.3 screen)  - Win 7 64bit -  i7 - 16gig  DDR3 - Nvidia GT 740M - non SSD.
 This runs SL with full eye candy (everything maxed out). Haven't tested it with more that 1 viewer, guess I should. It runs SL nicely too.

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As you know people don't recommend the AMD cards due to LL using Nvidia to develop the game so in the past AMD card would sometimes have video issues etc with SL especially in shadow mode etc. Something due to OpenGL drivers being different from Nvidia. Your performance seems to be quite different. Do you have any glitches etc to speak of and how do yo think it compares to an Nvidia product? I do know the AMD's have many more shaders so I would have thought that was a benefit. Has anyone compared performance of your card to something like a GTX 670?

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If you use a utility called GPU-Z it shows that SL uses much more than 512 of the GPU's Memory depending on the SIM I have seen 2 1/2 GB. The 512 is in theory a soft cap. Now a viewer developer (Cool VL Viewer) did mention not everything in the GPU Memory is textures so that may account for the extra usage. I remeber FS 4.4.2 had the 512 debug setting available to move much higher and seemed to help me however that viewer does not read Mesh.

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Sorry I didn't respond to your question sooner Ormand. Any answer I give now is probably outdated. However, I'm currently using FS latest version. Have been using the Laptop exclusively for SL, for the past 3 months. I don't have any issues with the Nvidia GPU. The AMD GPU on the desktop is heaps faster but it's high end card - least it was back in April 2014. I bought the desktop box (only) in Feb 2010 for $3,300AUD. The orignal GPU was an ATi 9750 OC.

I'm getting a new rig built, going for 2x GeForce GTX TITAN X, should preserve longevity & performance. If I get 4 or 5 years out of it, albeit with a GPU update, I'll be happy.

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I hope you are not expecting any benefit in SL with SLI since the performance will be horrendous compared to a single card (unless things have changed). You might be better off with Pascal rather than 2 Titans unless you are playing other games that do benefit? If you do get a single Titan would be interesting to see the performance difference in SL with the AMD.

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