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Good / great GPU for SL


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(yes a recurrent topic and I have read various posts but have some basic questions to help my research)

Im starting to look for mid range lap top, probably 15" screen - $ and weight are considerations - and am wondering about GPU.   Some basic questions:

- am I right Passmark is a good benchmark?  (of course all benchmarks are simplistic to a degree). 
  are there any "gotchas", ie a GPU with good benchmark that SL will choke on?  (assuming CPU, RAM etc all good).

- what would be a reasonable Passmark GPU benchmark to get "good" SL performance, or better, today
                (Im a sailor, so would like a reasonable DD say 250-350; want v good rezzing but usually in not overly crowded  sims)

- ditto in say 3 years time (my current machine was "high end" 5 years ago, now it sometimes struggles) - I do want to plan ahead a bit!

- am I right that SL doesnt use more that 512K video memory?   if so, could that change in the next 3 - 5 years?

- am I right that NV is preferred to Radeon?  Why?   I have seen people say they are happy with radoen cards.

 

 

 

 

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I had a Radeon card once, my experience in SL was that it was fine when it was running but pan around and it was as if it had major rendering or memory swap issues as it would stutter very badly and the frame rate would plummet.  Then after it sorted itself out, it would run normally again with a good frame rate.  I swapped to Nvidia and haven't changed from Nvidia brand since.

I'm also not sure where this "myth" about SL only using 512MB of memory comes from.  I know that the slider in the graphics dialog only goes to a max of 512MB but this is the graph of memory usage on my GTX 680 from flat (498MB used), then I loaded SL and teleported a couple of times.  It's only going one way!

memorycard.jpg

Maybe people want to argue that the card is only caching textures and it's not "SL" that's using it, I don't know anything about how SL uses it but either way, it's happy to use what's available and not sit at 512MB.

For a laptop, I have an i7  with an Nvidia NVS 5200M which is more than SL capable though not a "gaming" laptop at all.  It doesn't compete with the desktop GTX 680 but I don't hate using it by any means.

Definitely run from anything that says Intel graphics, unless you'd like to view SL as a PowerPoint presentation?

The only problem with benchmarks is that they can favour something which could suck in SL, If you did want to go gaming laptop, typically something with an Nvidia GTX7xxM would be nice, other than that, those are my experiences.


(I've just done a Passmark test on my NVS laptop and the issue that you may have when making comparisions is that it appears that Passmark is only based on DirectX and SL uses OpenGL.  The NVS 5200M in that laptop doesn't score massively higher than the abysmal Intel 4000 but in SL the difference is night and day, probably because the Intel doesn't do too badly at DirectX.)

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Ahoy Joy :smileyhappy:

Ya, Nvidia is the way to go, even though I don't know **bleep** about AMD other than mine burned out after half a year of doing duty on SL. And in Nvidia the most important thing about deciding on the gpu are the letters at start (GTX is better than GT) and the first two digits following that: i.e. GTX760 tells you the card is the lastest generation (7) but a mid level card (6). So if you can find a nice latop featuring a GTX580 or 670 or 660 it's still better than one with a GT720. The x6x cards are traditionally the best 'bang for bucks' cards in Nvidia's lineup.

 

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Hey Orcs fancy seeing you in a place like this LOL!

So NV GTX 699 is what Id want, if it exists LOL.

GT 640M or 650M seem common in lappies in middle of my price range; if I push it then its 750M.

Apple (Mac Book Pro, lower end / Air)  has something called Intl Iris?   Any diea what that is and how good it is?

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That graph is from a GTX 680 2GB version, strictly video memory.  498MB used just running Windows, rose to 1.7GB in SL.  It will go to the full 2GB given a bit of teleporting around.

Personally speaking, I doubt you'd be unhappy with those with the GTX card you mentioned in the mid range.  It's easy to suggest the x6x to x8x cards but you did state that you're looking for mid range and not an all out laptop so from that I assume that you'd be content with a good frame rate on basic through mid/high graphics, leaving very high and ultra for pictures.

I'll run my GTX 680 desktop on ultra with all graphics at max all day long but that's a very different price range to the typical mid range laptop.

I'll quite happily run my lowly Nvidia NVS 5200 laptop at mid/high without shadows though but as already stated, it's not a big struggle for it either so does the job.

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So then, all else being equal, go for more vid ram rather then less.   I forget which machie but I did see a mid price with fairly good GPU but only 512 MB vid ram.   That would be a poor choice?


...

 

Is Intel Iris (Mac) any better than other intel gpus (for SL)?  It does have somewhat higher Passmark rateing than the Intel D chips..  but I note the comment re: DirectX vs OpenGL.

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JoyofRLC Acker wrote:

So then, all else being equal, go for more vid ram rather then less.   I forget which machie but I did see a mid price with fairly good GPU but only 512 MB vid ram.   That would be a poor choice?

 

...

 

Is Intel Iris (Mac) any better than other intel gpus (for SL)?  It does have somewhat higher Passmark rateing than the Intel D chips..  but I note the comment re: DirectX vs OpenGL.

Maybe you are misunderstanding or I am miscommunicating.  There are other processes using video RAM besides textures.  So more is always better.

I was only addressing the specific item, "texture memory."

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:

Thank you for that Perrie, that correlates my experience both with the way the 2GB is used and also where Bao comments on some ATI card swapping badly and killing fps which was exactly my issue and suspicion when I had an ATI card.

A lot of us have been looking at that because of the "textures discarded due to insufficient memory" problems that many people are having and the resulting crashes.  We keep getting directed to Bao's comment and are beginning to get the feeling we are being told these crashes are "expected behaviour."

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